Motherhood is a personal journey that’s full of ups and downs, making it challenging to have consistent habits to promote good health. Over time, this can result in weight gain, anxiety, exhaustion, and more. Often there isn’t a “one size fits all” solution, but instead, the way forward is by making small changes to your habits over time so you can improve your mental, emotional, and physical health.

In this podcast, you’ll hear 19 healthy habits I have adopted as a boy mom of two under two, as well as a house, two dogs, and spouse all apart of her crew. Healthy living isn’t something that happens by chance given a full life, but it can happen by choice. Tune in to hear what small changes you can make from a Certified Coach who’s right there with you.

If you’re a mom, you’re in the right place. This is a space designed to help you overcome challenges and live your best life. I’d love for you to join me inside Mom On Purpose Membership, my community for moms where we take this work to the next level.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Show Resources:

Full Episode Transcript:

Hi there. Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life podcast. My name is Natalie Bacon and I’m an Advanced Certified Mindfulness Life Coach as well as a wife and mom, if you’re here to do the inner work and grow, I can help. Let’s get started.

Hello my friend. Welcome to the podcast. Today, I thought it would be really fun to talk about healthy habits I’ve adopted in motherhood. I am in the thick of it right now with two under two. And I’ll never forget when one of my coaches, I was on her podcast and she asked me, you know, are you feeling kind of really overwhelmed or struggling? Was the transition to motherhood or from one to two hard? And you know, I said, no, not really. And not to sound arrogant at all. I struggle in lots of other ways. And it’s also not to say that every day is just easy and, and I’m well rested and, um, to give this kind of false idea of, of what my experience is like.

But I think that it could be really helpful for you to hear a different narrative than maybe what you see, um, on social media or in other spaces so that you know that just because you have two under two or just because of any circumstance doesn’t mean that your experience will be a certain way. And that’s really what I wanted to talk about. And I think that the only reason I’m really able to navigate motherhood in the way that I’ve been able to is because I apply the tools that I teach to my life. There is no way that I would be able to process the overwhelm, make good decisions, kinda feel good about myself and let mom guilt go when it comes up. I wouldn’t be able to do all of that without managing my mind. It really is at the core of how I’ve been able to love and embrace and live into motherhood and, and kind of just make this season really incredible, even though it’s hard.

Of course. So even if you are not in the season of two under two, you are in a different season and you’re in a season that has its own challenges. And I think that the healthy habits I’m going to talk about today, apply to any season that you’re in that you might want to incorporate some healthy habits into. So that’s really why I wanted to share these healthy habits that I’ve adopted in motherhood with you. Number one, I shower every morning no matter what. Literally, no exceptions, okay? I don’t wanna say no exceptions. I think that when I had food poisoning a couple years ago, I maybe didn’t shower for 24 hours, but that is it. Even throughout the entire newborn phase, I take a quick rinse in the morning, it’s so important to me. It’s like more important to me than sleep because if I can choose between a 15 or 20 minute shower and an extra 15 or 20 minutes of sleep, I’m gonna choose shower every time because to me, the ripple effect of feeling clean in my clothes for the full day is so much more impactful than anything else.

So for some of you, I know that you like to shower at night, you can do the same thing. I think that just making it a routine of self-care, particularly if you do have little ones at home, getting that shower in whenever you can can make a really big difference. I know that for me it 100% has, and it was only because I just decided that’s something I’m always going to do. I’m always going to shower. I think the narrative out there is that you’re lucky if you get a shower when you have a newborn. And while that may be true, I’m still going to prioritize it. I don’t wanna think that the norm is mom doesn’t get to shower because that just makes it harder for me to, um, show up for the day.

Number two, I expect everything to change all of the time. And this is because kids change and grow. So right when I figure out one thing that’s awesome, and then I just plan for it to change and entirely, I remember when my first son was really little and we finally figured out sleep training with him, and then we got him on two naps and it was amazing. And I remember just wanting that to last forever. And then, you know, surely a few months later we transitioned to one nap. And I remember thinking, this is so weird. Something is off with his sleeping. It’s been so consistent for, gosh, six months now. And then it dawned on me, oh yeah, this is the part where he’s growing, he’s changing, expecting that it should change, was something I forgot in this situation. And then once I remembered it, it was so much easier because I just reminded myself, oh yeah, this is the part where he goes from two naps to one nap. Nothing’s gone wrong. It’s supposed to change. There have been so many instances of this, and it doesn’t matter how old your kids are, whether they are really little babies, whether they are are in grade school or teenagers or adult kids, they’re constantly changing. And if you just plan for that and expect it to change, it can actually help you sort of ride the waves of those transitions without thinking that something has gone wrong.

Number three, I don’t drink alcohol. You’ve heard me talk before about this, but it really is a healthy habit that makes a big difference in motherhood. I never have to think about rides or coming home tipsy or the next morning going out too late. Drinking is just not a part of my lifestyle and it has made me show up healthier and I think that I can always redecide, but when I consider the pros and cons, the value that it adds, I just don’t see it. I don’t see it there. And so thinking about the role that alcohol plays, I did an episode on kinda mommy wine culture and how that becomes normalized. And it doesn’t have to be for me, it’s not a part of of my life and I’m healthier for it.

Number four, I use a calendar. This is a habit that has made motherhood so much more manageable because if there’s something that needs done, which there always is, whether it’s an appointment, an activity, something I want to plan, could be anything, putting it on my calendar instead of on a to-do list has made the biggest difference and impact in my mind. Staying in a healthy place, I can stay so much more calm and out of that rush, rush, rush energy. If I use my calendar, if I use a to-do list, I feel behind, like I’m never gonna be ahead or never gonna be caught up. And it impacts my ability to feel joy in a real way.

Number five, I coach myself and I choose my thoughts on purpose when appropriate. I don’t coach myself on every single thought. There are lots of thoughts that I don’t need to coach myself on, but when I’m making a decision or when I’m going through a challenge or when something seems hard or I’m having an off day or I’m feeling overwhelmed, instead of attaching to those thoughts and feelings, I coach myself. I take a look at my thoughts, I take a look at my feelings, I kinda separate myself out from them and I decide deliberately how I want to think. And I don’t always want to think happy thoughts, right? That’s not always appropriate. If there’s, um, a challenge or, or something that I want to kind of be concerned about, happy might not be how I want to think and feel. And yet choosing consciously always gets me out of that primitive, anxiety ridden overwhelming place that my default brain likes to go to. So it’s truly the tool that has made the biggest difference.

Number six, making mom friends has been hugely helpful. It’s so nice to just add in friends to the mix who are going through what you are going through. It’s kind of like getting a new job as well. I remember when I transitioned into being a wealth manager, I made new friends who were in finance and I’m still friends with some of them to this day. And it’s just like putting on a new hat, a new identity. Making friends in the area of that new identity can be really helpful because you’re gonna have challenges come up and those people who share that identity with you are some of the best resources. And if nothing else, just great sources of connection that you can really experience. At least that’s been, um, that’s been my experience particularly with motherhood.

Number seven, defining what success and failure look like to me. I don’t buy into the, I’m failing as a mom or I feel like I’m such a failure because that thought never serves me. And when it comes up, I know that my brain’s just sort of, um, kinda overreacting, being dramatic and it’s tying a mistake or something I did to my identity. And I never wanna do that. So I like to separate out my identity from my actions. And if I did make a mistake, okay, where did I miss the mark? Do I need to repair what happened here? Knowing that I am a good person, knowing that I am good inside, knowing that I want to tell myself I’m a human mom who is good and who is human, which means that I will make mistakes. But separating out the actions and those mistakes from my identity has been enormously helpful in motherhood.

Number eight, taking walks outside. Oh my goodness, thank God for walks outside. I take several walks outside a day and I have for the last several years shout out to my puppies, Penny and Benji, who really make this part of our family routine. No matter what, we go on three, they get three walks a day. And I would say that I participate in anywhere from one to three of them depending on what we have going on. Most of the time it’s at least two walks a day and it makes such a difference that fresh air, there’s really nothing that you can substitute for it. So if I’m feeling like I’m in a funk or I just notice that I need a break, getting that fresh air is so, so, so helpful.

Number nine, I limit any sort of negative mom media. And this includes accounts that I think are really well intended, but that focus a lot on the sarcasm and sort of the, the downsides of motherhood. And again, I don’t think it’s anything they’re doing that’s harmful or bad, it’s just not helpful for me. I don’t show up happier. I don’t show up more empowered. I only validate whatever painful story that I am telling myself about how hard this is. So I like to curate my media more deliberately, and that includes excluding any negative mom media really.

Number 10, meal planning. This may be one that you have been in the habit of for a while, but not me. I, um, previously just didn’t find the need to plan meals ahead of time. But with a family, just planning dinner for Monday through Friday has been life changing. So there’s no decisions in the moment on the day of I just know ahead of time I can prep it a little bit earlier and dinner is ready for everyone and it really makes, um, my life better and I think our whole family just feels healthier for it.

Number 11, I process and allow negative emotions. Now, I’m not perfect at this . I still have that human brain that often wants to resist negative emotions, but I try most of the time to go into my body and to allow them to not make them mean something has gone wrong. So for example, if I’m feeling angry, I go into my body and I allow anger. I don’t react to it. I do the processing feelings process that I teach and inside Grow You. And I name my feeling and I describe it. I open up to it, I breathe through it. It is just a skill that requires some repetition. It’s not hard, it’s just not what we are taught. So if you are in the habit of reacting to your negative emotions or trying to resist them, oh no, this shouldn’t be here, I shouldn’t be feeling this way, that will really get in the way of your emotional wellbeing. And so I really try my best to process my negative emotions.

Number 12, I drink water. I, for the longest time, struggled with a good process that fit my lifestyle with respect to water bottles because I didn’t want to use the plastic bottles, but also I didn’t like having to wash my bottle all of the time. So what I landed on was I’m just gonna get a bunch of water bottles that I like, those tumblers, the 40 ounce ones, and make sure that they can all go in the dishwasher so that I use one a day. And if I have five to 10 of them, I know that no matter what, there’s always gonna be one available. And it’s worked beautifully and I’ve really stayed more hydrated because of it. And it makes a big difference. It really does. So drink your water.

Number 13, I go to sleep. Oh my goodness, this has gotten harder for me because, um, I love that time the kids go to bed and it’s just a little bit of, of, um, alone time. And what I’ve found is that sometimes that’s okay, but other times I need to go to sleep. And when I decide that ahead of time and I prioritize the sleep, I never regret it the next day. I never think, oh, I should have stayed up later. So prioritizing sleep has been really helpful to the extent that I can.

Number 14, I put my phone and other screens away if I’m feeling overstimulated or overwhelmed. We tend to see this in our own kids that screens can really kind of, um, overstimulate them. And yet for our own stimulation, I think we don’t notice it as much, but it’s there. It’s true. When we feel overwhelmed and then we retreat to take a little break by scrolling on our phone, we are not actually doing ourselves any favors there. It’s just making it worse that overstimulated brain can’t take a break and can’t get too calm in a relaxed state, which is the healthiest place to be. So when I notice that I’m feeling overstimulated or overwhelmed, I put my phone down and I make sure the other screens are away as well. And it really helps me get to a more relaxed state.

Number 15, I journal. I keep a journal by my bed with a pen and I use the journal prompts inside Grow You as well as the Mindful Journaling process. And it has made a huge impact in my life. I am happier, I am able to navigate challenges. I am able to live into who I want to become in my future instead of creating more of my past. And I’m so grateful for journaling as a practice because I know that journaling done the wrong way can have a negative impact. So if you just start writing about your problems, you’re gonna focus on your problems and create more of that and create more of the feeling that you’re experiencing. Frustration, anxiety, overwhelm. But when you journal the way that I teach, it’s completely different. It really helps you feel so much better about your entire life and then you show up differently. You take different actions and you live from your highest best self.

Number 16, I give myself validation. I practice self-validation. It’s made a really big impact in my life because I am definitely a recovering people pleaser and I have always kind of sought out that external validation. And I found giving myself validation and approval has made it so much easier for me to be myself, to live authentically, to not be so worried about what other people think and to approve of myself. And then I feel more grounded. I feel healthier. I feel like I can enjoy my life more when I am giving myself that praise. And it can be as little as, wow, I did a great job cooking dinner tonight and I just tell myself that it sounds kind of silly if you’ve never done it, but I promise you, self validation can really change the way that you see yourself, the relationship that you have with your yourself and therefore the relationship you have with other people. Because when you treat yourself differently, you end up treating other people differently as well.

Number 17, I ask for help. If I need help or I want help, I ask for it. I don’t shy away from that. I don’t have any drama in my mind about needing to do it all or that asking for help is weak. And even if it is weak, it’s totally fine for me to be weak. Sometimes I just don’t have any of that drama. If I want help or need help, I ask for it and it makes a big difference. I think that people are so willing to support and help in ways that we often block and don’t see because we’re unwilling to ask for it.

Number 18, I don’t glorify busy. In fact, if you’ve been listening for a while, you’ve heard me talk about this or maybe you’re in Grow You where I teach it, I get a little bit embarrassed if I’m feeling busy. I don’t want to be busy, I don’t want to do more. I want to do less. Um, I still want to be ambitious and get a lot done, but not from busyness. I want to have lots of white space. I want to, um, notice if I’m feeling busy and make real changes so that I can manage my mind in a better way. So I don’t think of busy as a good thing. I don’t think of it as the norm. I don’t think of it as a way that I have to live by. Instead, I think of it as sort of a bad thing and that helps me stay out of busy.

And finally, number 19, I believe that I’m healthy. Did you know that healthy is a thought? It’s an opinion, it’s an interpretation. I choose to believe I am healthy. When I make being healthy part of my identity, I live into it. So if part of your identity is I’m unhealthy, ask yourself why. What’s the upside to focusing on that and choosing that thought? Why not decide that there may be some habits you’re in that you want to change. For example, I want to reduce my sugar, but I never let that impact the identity that I carry for myself, which is I’m healthy. I think that this has really made a difference in being able to lose weight and I don’t wanna say lose weight quickly, like as as if that’s the goal, but just not even have any drama about it. After my pregnancies, I just know that I’m going to lose the weight because I’m someone who is healthy and who loses weight. And I just believe that there’s no reason for me to believe that. That’s still just a thought. It’s my thought, it’s my interpretation. But because I believe it and repeat it to myself, I know I’ll make it true.

So for you, what is your relationship with the word healthy? Do you think of yourself as healthy? Are you looking externally to determine whether you’re healthy? Are you looking at charts or data or blood tests or what you eat or don’t eat? Or the scale to determine your thoughts about you to determine your identity with respect to healthy? Did you know that you don’t have to do that? You don’t have to use food or the scale or any of your habits against yourself. You can take those actions and think about them separately from your identity and you get to decide. You can just turn inward to yourself and decide on purpose that you want to think that you are someone who is healthy. And I promise you, when you have that identity as someone who is healthy, you don’t go out and binge a bunch of Oreos, you actually take much greater care of yourself because you want to live into that identity. So I don’t see any downside to you thinking I’m healthy. And if that feels like a big stretch for you, go to, I’m becoming healthier or I’m becoming healthy, I’m on a journey to better health that is going to feel so much better and more empowering than any reference to being unhealthy, which I just don’t see an upside to. All right my friends, check in with yourself on those healthy habits, take with you from my list what works, and leave the rest. I will talk with you next week. Take care.

If you loved this podcast, I invite you to check out Grow You my mindfulness community for moms where we do the inner work together. Head on over to to learn more.

Enjoy the show?