Jessica's Friday Five

Jessica's Friday Five: A tough one to write

Published 2 months ago • 2 min read

Hi Reader,

This past Sunday morning, my wonderful mother passed away. My dad and I were both by her side, and it was all at once peaceful, beautiful, and devastating. She lived an incredible life, raising me and my brother around the world after she and my dad met each other while they were both serving in the US Navy. She fought multiple myeloma, a type of cancer, for many years and I'm so glad she is no longer in pain. As we've gone through the process of losing her, I have learned much and will be sharing those reflections (mostly on how to support those going through hard times) in the coming weeks here in this newsletter. But it's putting a smile on my face today to get to write to this community again - as I've shared before, Friday Five is the highlight of my professional week and it's an honor to get to share these with you. Let's get into it.

  1. Hospice Nurse Julie: When my mom entered hospice care, the intake nurse suggested to me that I check out this TikTok account (she's also on Instagram) and it's hard to overstate how helpful it was for my dad and me. Nurse Julie explained the ins and outs of the medications we were administering, helped us understand what's normal, and it was because of her videos that I was able to recognize the signs and let my dad know that my mom was experiencing her final minutes so that he and I could both be there.
  2. Giving 100%: Grief is exhausting. I have experienced a different level of tiredness this week - whether it's the emotional work, the incredible backlog of catching up when you pause life to be with someone you love, or the avalanche of administrative tasks when someone passes; it's a lot. I appreciated this note from Ben Meer, "If you wake up and only have 20% in your tank on a given day, and you give 20%, then you actually gave 100%." Whether it's because life is tough or just because you're a human being, here's a gentle reminder that your best looks different day-to-day. That's normal, true for all of us, and totally OK. You're doing great.
  3. Checklists: While managing so many moving parts in the last month with my mom's health decline, one thing that consistently helped me was having checklists. For example, packing at the last minute to run to the airport was so much easier with a packing list that I made years ago and have been updating regularly as needs change. I would have forgotten so much without it. If you want to get my editable family packing list, it's free right now in the Joyful Mama Joyful Kiddos bundle.
  4. Carseat Trade-In: If you've got an old car seat lying around, now's a good time to ensure it gets recycled at Target. They are taking them now through April 27th. They give you a 20% coupon for another kids' item, which you can either use yourself or pass off to a parent or future parent who might put it to good use.
  5. Productivity Trick: I posted this productivity hack on LinkedIn from someone else that also works well for my own effectiveness at work and home. Do you do this, too?

Thank you for being here.

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Jessica's Friday Five

by Jessica Eastman Stewart

Five practical tips every Friday for making your life more joyful and easy. A wildly popular email newsletter with thousands of readers.

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