Thursday, May 27, 2010

How Guilt Motivated Me

This weekend I went on a much needed date with my husband.  We had not been on a date alone in 6 months!  Sad, but true.  On the rare occasion we do go out, my kids love babysitters.  They actually beg for babysitters.  My kiddos are very social, active and thrive in new environments and with new people.  It  isn't surprising that getting a new face in the house is a treat.

I don't know why I felt so jealous when I heard the extreme giggles as we left for our date and shut the door behind us.

I thought about my children several times on our date, always knowing they were well  cared for and having fun.  This certain babysitter is by far, their favorite!

When we arrived home and opened the door, I was struck by that same feeling of jealously as I heard those contagious giggles again.  Had they been laughing this hard and having this much fun for the entire 3 hours we were gone?

As I read to them that night and put them to bed, the jealously turned to guilt.  I thought back over the last few weeks...maybe months of my interactions with them.  They have not giggled like that with me.

I have not played with them much.

All my children want to do is play with me.  They just want my attention.  Lately, I have been pre-occupied with everything else, but them.  I am home with them two days a week.  On these days, I lug them to the gym for a quick workout so I can maintain my sanity throughout the chore filled day.  When we get home from the gym, I attempt to do the laundry, keep the kitchen clean, organize closets, water the garden, keep up with social media for my coaching business, make phone calls, write bills and pick up toys and art supplies 30-40 times a day.  The entire time I am crossing things off the list I have two whiney and mischievous kids doing everything to get my attention, and I am annoyed by them.

The baby sitter just played with my children, and they giggled.

I listened to my guilt, and today we did nothing but play.  We played from 7am to 1pm without interruption.  I did not touch the computer, I did not go to the gym, no laundry, no dishes, no phone calls....No whiney children!!!!

My children giggled all day.

I know it is unrealistic to do nothing everyday, but today it is just what we needed.

I used to think guilt was a wasted emotion.  Maybe so,  it depends on how it serves you.  Does the guilt just keep you living in the past,  or motivate you to change your present behavior?

I thank my guilt for motivating me to take a break and enjoy my children.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Some Moms just don't get "IT"

I took my kids to the park today. It was a beautiful day, I had just finished working out at the gym, my kids were behaving, and I was full of Mama Mojo.  I happened to be wearing my "Mama Mojo" T-shirt today that my husband had made for me as a Mother's Day present.  As I was playing with my kids another mom came up to me and very negatively asked, "What is mama mojo?".  I was a bit taken aback by her tone, but was happy someone was asking about my business.  As cheerfully as I could, I dismissed her bluntness and replied, "It is my business name,  I am a life coach for moms."  Again, in her direct and blunt manner she asks, "What don't moms know, and what do you have to teach them?"  I wanted to just walk away, I knew this mom either wasn't getting it, or had limited social skills; neither which I had time for trying to watch 2 kids on the playground.  But...I went against my better judgement and I decided to give it one last attempt.  "I am not a parenting coach, I don't teach moms how to be a moms.  I support them in having more joy and creating happiness in all areas of their lives."  She again challenges me,  "What do moms have to be unhappy about?"  Are there really moms who aren't happy being moms?"  Sigh....  Now I am hooked, I want this woman to understand.  I tell her, "It is not that moms aren't happy being moms, it is that some women give up everything they previously enjoyed when they become moms.  They loose sight of their goals, confidence, passions. They may feel stressed anxious or confused."  She looked at me puzzled and said, "Interesting...sad, but interesting."  Then she walked away.

I had never had this type of reaction before.  Sometimes when I tell people that I am a life coach for moms they may ask questions about coaching.  They may be curious about how I help women, or the types of clients I support.  I have never been challenged whether there were actually moms who are not happy.  Ummm....This stumped me!

I watched this mom at the playground with her child.  She was a natural.  She was in tune with her boy, she was lost in playing with him, she was calm and loving.  She was the type of mom who would have made me feel very inferior during my "dark period" of early parenting.  I would look at moms like this who eat, sleep and breath "motherliness" and feel like I didn't measure up.  They are out there.  There are plenty of moms who get all of their joy and satisfaction out of being a mother.  I am not one of these people.  I love my children and they give me great joy, but they are not my only source of happiness.  I really do think you are one type or the other.  You either live to be a mom, or you try to live, despite being a mom.

Decide which you are and own it!

Stop feeling guilty about not measuring up to the mother goddesses around you.

There is nothing wrong with needing more to life then being "mom."

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Relaxation at the Grocery Store

Who ever thinks as the grocery store as relaxing?  Well, today...I did.  I went to the grocery store by myself, for the first time in months.  I had no responsibilities other then getting the groceries.  It was the first time in a long time that I was not only alone at the grocery store, but ALONE!

My schedule is one of jammed packed responsibilities.  Every waking moment of the day I am either working, or taking care of my children.  I do not schedule enough time with my spouse, with friends, or for myself.

I quite enjoyed myself today walking in slow motion up and down each aisle.  I didn't even bring a list.  I didn't have to herd children in my hot mama mini van.  I didn't have to threaten anyone to sit down so I could buckle them.  I didn't have to break up any fights.  I didn't have to monitor what was being thrown in my cart.  I didn't have to correct 2,342 times to stop touching things.  I didn't do anything but shop for my groceries.

It was a perfect date with myself!

In addition to being blissfully alone,  it struck me how calm my mind was during my field trip.  On my drive home I reflected on why my thoughts were so quiet.  I think it was because I was focused on ONE THING.  Not only am I almost never alone, but I am almost never only doing one thing.

My field trip left me feeling like I want to work on two areas of my life right now:

1) Scheduling more dates with myself (even if it is to the grocery store).
I don't have much flexibility with time, but I can ask for what I need.  Perhaps it is a walk alone with my dog or a 10 minutes to water the garden.  Whatever it is, it will be with just me...and my thoughts.

2) Stop multi-tasking!
This one has always been hard for me.  Since becoming a mother, I never have enough hands, enough time in the day or can ever get it all done.  So why try?  I am going to start fully focusing on the moment...whatever that may be.

What about you?  When is the last time you were on a date with yourself or had a quiet mind?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day is what you make it

My Mother's Day wish

My 37th birthday fell on Mother's Day this year.  I had high hopes and expectations (this is never good).  My husband kept asking me what I wanted to do for my big weekend.  I responded the same each time...I do not want to parent all weekend.  I don't want to correct, herd, put kids in time out, take toys away or be responsible in anyway.

My desires turned out to be the best thing I could have wished for as my kids were compete PILLS this weekend!  They were both whiney, irritable and generally uncooperative.  Every idea or activity we tried implement, they bucked the system.  I have to hand it to my hubby, despite the awful mood of the house, he remained true to his promise to be the primary care-taker daddy this weekend!

This morning (the day after Mother's Day) I never saw him get ready for work so fast and be so happy to be leaving the house!

Did anything sour your Mother's Day?

Even though my kids did not behave the way I envisioned how children are supposed to act on Mother's Day, I still managed to have a good weekend.  I did not let my children's mood rub off on me.  This is a good lesson learned and one that I am not always able to do!

Perhaps your Mother's Day went south because of your pouty kids or your spouse did not live up to your expectations.  Maybe you were fed up with all the visiting and, buying and taking care of everyone else.  Whatever it was, I hope you were able to find some time to yourself, to appreciate and honor YOU!

If not, you can always do a re-do!

My favorite moment (despite my irritable kids)

I have to say my favorite moment of the weekend was my mineral bath my hubby planned for me (in my children's bathtub).  I was excused from the bedtime routine and placed in a bath full of mineral flower petals.  There were candles, a bottle of chilled Choco Vine, (red wine and chocolate that is absolutely delicious) and my daughter's Hello Kitty boom box.  I cranked up the Dixie Chicks, sang at the top of my lungs, and indulged in my fattening chocolate wine...all by myself with no interruptions!  This may not seem like anything special to you, but to me...with a 3 and a 5 year old who are extremely high maintenance kids...this was pure HEAVEN!!!! 

I was proud of myself for not only surviving one of the worst "kid" weekends we have had in a long time, but actually blocking it all out to create some special time for ME!

What were some of your blissful moments (with or without kids)?

Any disappointments that you want to share?

One Happy Mama,