I can get overwhelmed very easily. Getting the kids ready for school, trying to plan kid activities for the morning, making dinner with everyone around me screaming, putting kids to bed, thinking about the next day. It can be a lot and when Andre is home with me during these times I can sometimes take that stress out on him.
So a couple of months ago we started 30 second hugs. I don't always drop what I am doing at the moment for the hug (that would easily stress me out more) but when I am at a natural stopping point while noodles are boiling or I'm prepping lunches, I walk over to Andre and go in for a hug. Once I'm there I begin counting to 30 in my head. And as I continue counting, I lean in a little more and I can feel some of the stress release. It doesn't take all the stress away, but even 50% of the stress leaving my body is incredibly helpful and allows me to get through whatever I'm struggling with a lot easier. And, not only will I feel better, but since one of Andre's love languages is physical touch, we both end up benefiting from the hug.
The thing I've learned since starting this is that I absolutely have 30 seconds to give myself a break and my husband an extra expression of love. So when you don't have time to get yourself 20 minutes of alone time (although sometimes that is 100% necessary!) or don't want to spend the next 10 minutes super frustrated/feeling guilty for feeling frustrated just take 30 seconds. That's sometimes all it takes.
And just in case I needed more reason to keep this up, here is what shows up when you ask Google how many hugs you need a day:
This is the fourth time we've attempted No Spend September and while it did not go according to plan, I'd still say it was one of our most successful! As a basic overview, from September 1-30 we limit our spending to groceries (once every two weeks - which is our normal schedule but we try extra hard not to have little trips to the store in between our scheduled days), bills and gas.
Our past attempts at this have had a wide range of success. Our first year we rocked it and saved over $350. The next year we made it about half the month and the third time we lasted about 3 days. This time though, we were committed. Committed because we've failed before and were ready to succeed but also because this was our first month as a one income family.
So this past month, we didn't rent movies, we didn't eat out as a family and we only added extra grocery trips for milk, eggs or bread. However, in reviewing our final spreadsheet of our September finances, it said we spent $300 extra. $300 during a month that we limited ourselves in our spending. And although this seems like the opposite of success, here is what we were able to do with this $300:
- Host friends and family for two weekends
- Throw a fun first birthday for our youngest daughter
- Attend multiple baby showers for the special people in our life
- Have a (pre-planned) lunch with an old colleague
So again, the success. The reason I call this a success is because had we rented our typical four movies a month + another movie purchase ($40), gotten takeout twice ($80-100), gone to the grocery store for "just a few snacks" once a week in between big trips ($80-100) or bought those tees or leggings that we just "had to have" ($50) we wouldn't have been able to as easily do all of the things listed above.
We know there are going to be expenses that come up - car repairs, new shoes, baby showers - and the things I've learned this month has given us some great motivation to keep spending our money wisely.
Hi, I'm Rebecca
I’m a wife, mom to 5 kids, former choir teacher, Christian and advice giver? I can honestly say I never expected to be the one giving advice when I so frequently ask for it, but the advice I’ve received is so valuable and must be shared! Here are some of the things I’ve learned so far!