Monday, October 11, 2010

No Really, I love Mondays!

A guest post on Owning Pink

I recently came across this post on the blog, Working Moms Against Guilt, and it spoke to me. I too, look forward to Mondays. Sunday blues? Not me! I rejoice on Sunday night -- not because I am that excited to go to work, but because nothing I do during the week is ever as hard as being home with my children.
I love my children. 
They are the biggest source of joy in my life and they make me feel complete. But…hands down, being a mom is the hardest thing I do, period. I love Mondays because it is a “break” for me. I get to drive to work in the car by myself. I don’t have to break up fights, reach for spilling juices or take unexpected potty breaks -- I just drive. I get to have my own identity all day as Heather, not Mom. I don’t have to count, re-direct and brace myself for every transition -- I just do it.  I even eat lunch while sitting down -- tasting the food, chewing and swallowing.
I could never be a stay-at-home mom. Not because I don’t value what they do -- on the contrary, I think what they do is way too hard. I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I wanted to enjoy it, but I didn’t. After my second child was born I stayed at home for almost a year -- it didn’t work so well. I was never so tired, negative, short-tempered, and frustrated in my life. I regret to say that I watched the clock most days, feeling like bedtime couldn't come soon enough. I was not fully present, because I was completely depleted. I felt like it was all I could do to maintain each day. Mothers of young children who stay at home have the most difficult job in the world. Many do it, and love it. Many do it and don’t love it. Many wish they could stay home, but can’t. 
Present and balanced
After I got past the guilt, and admitted that I didn’t enjoy staying home full time with my children, I was instantly happier. I went back to work part-time. I need this balance of productivity, recognition and separate identity in my life. I am a better mom for it. Now when I am with my kids, I am attentive, patient and calm. I look forward to coming home to my kids after a day of work. They have 110% of my attention in the evening. I am excited to see Friday come so I can soak them up all weekend -- but I am always ready to see Monday come!
Are you a stay-at-home mom? Do you work from home, or do you work outside the home? How does your work-home-children arrangement feel to you? How do you view Mondays, Fridays…any days with your child?
In support of ALL MOTHERS,
Heather Sobieralski
Life Coach for Moms

Friday, October 8, 2010

It does get easier, I promise!

It does get easier, I promise!

When I gave birth to my first child, I was in complete and total shock.  I knew I would be tired, I knew the demands would be intense, but I was totally unprepared as to how overwhelmed I would feel for years afterward.  I didn’t think my days and nights could possibly get any more difficult… until I had my second child, and I nearly lost my mind! 

My children are not quite two years apart and when you have two babies at home with zero family support in the area, the days and nights are quite long.  For years I felt like I was a character in the movie, ‘Groundhog Day’, where the characters kept waking up every day to the same day…day after day, with no escape.

I would complain, I would cry, I would find strength again.  My friends and family who were willing to listen to me would always tell me, “It will get easier.”  At the time, I wanted to believe them, but I just couldn’t see to the other side.  I thought this was something that you tell new mothers to make them feel like they can get through one more sleepless night and one more ‘perceived’ physically impossible day.

And then slowly, little by little, it did start to get easier.

I remember monumental days that we would shed another complex ritual. With each shedding, my husband and I would feel like we were one step closer to having the family we fantasized about when we took the plunge to become parents.  I remember the glorious day I gave away my breast pump, tossed my breast pads and wore a regular bra again without the fear of leaking.  The day we recycled all the bottles, and the day we gained the 6 feet of our house back from giving away the excersaucer, bouncy seat and swing was right up there too.  The day I passed the baby isle in the grocery store and didn’t buy diapers, and the first road trip we took minus the pack-n-play, stroller,  high chair and a 60 pound diaper bag for all the “just in cases” were equally as liberating.  With the shed of each of these responsibilities came more freedom and enjoyment for us as individuals, and as a family.

We now travel light, all in underpants that reliably stay dry.  The kids get in and out of their booster seats sometimes by themselves, I pee and shower alone almost always, and I get a good night sleep several times a week.  We still can’t go out to eat without incident, I still don’t trust my younger one around my dog and yes…I still wipe butts several times a day.  But little by little, we are getting there!  In fact, I am enjoying my children so much these days that I just want to freeze time.  I am appreciating all aspects of motherhood-the good, the bad and the ugly.  I am also for the first time not just ‘getting through the day’ to make it to the next more manageable stage.  I am appreciating the right now, just as they are.

I know many women greatly enjoy their child’s infancy and toddlerhood.  I have many friends who grieved the many examples I celebrated.  For those women, may you find new joys in your child’s new stages.  But, for those who feel confined, stressed and overwhelmed as I once did, I now stand on the other side and definitively say, “It does get easier, I promise.”

Friday, October 1, 2010

What in the world is a life coach for moms?

I was asked by the wonderful women of Working Moms Against Guilt to write a post about how a life coach could help working moms.  Here is what I wrote for their empowering blog...

Working moms spend so much time helping others, whether it's a coworker looking for a mentor or our kid struggling with homework. What if we sought a little help to get our own lives on the right track? I asked WMAG reader and life coach Heather Sobieralski to give us an idea of what a "life coach for moms" might do for us. Here's what she shared. -- Susan

What in the world is a life coach for moms?

Imagine… once a week, for an uninterrupted hour, getting to talk on the phone about your dreams, frustrations, goals and passions. You have created a special time just for YOU: to reflect not only on what is working in your life and what is not, but to come up with a plan for how to improve it. The person on the other end is a supportive and non-judgmental woman who understands the many physical and emotional demands of the working mother.
What is life coaching? 
Coaching is becoming increasingly more popular for busy moms as they attempt to navigate through their “undoable” lists of responsibilities, and are understandable coming up short on happiness. A life coach is a partner who offers support, encouragement, accountability, motivation, a mirror and lots of effective questioning to get a person moving (and keep moving) in a positive direction. The sessions, topics and goals are client driven. The coach does not give opinions, advice or believe they are the expert. Coaches value the client’s ability to come up with their own answers and action for growth.
Are life coaches trained? 
A life coach can be anyone who has a passion and natural talent for helping people with no formal education, to a highly educated, credentialed and formally trained professional. Most coaches specialize in a specific area or niche (such as moms). There are wild varieties of styles and techniques between coaches and coach training schools. It is standard for life coaches to offer a complimentary or trial session to potential clients. Introductory sessions are a great way to explore different coaching personalities and to decide with whom you feel most comfortable.
How is coaching different then counseling or therapy? 
Coaches work with mentally healthy and high functioning people who want to move through “normal life stuff”. Coaching is very present and future focused. It is common practice to hold coaching sessions on the phone.
Who are my typical clients? 
My clients range in ages and life stages. I support first time moms who are trying to recover from the shock of motherhood, parents of young children who have neglected self-care, moms of teenagers who are finding the stress of parenthood all consuming and “empty nesters," feeling like they need to find a new life purpose. The only typical thing about my clients is that they are committed to making time to work on themselves!
What types of issues prompt people to contact me? 
So many mothers get consumed with being “mom,” that they forget how to be a woman. This hyper focus results in a loss of identity and passion. I often hear my clients say that they don’t know who they are anymore, they feel like they can’t get everything done, they feel distant from their partner, they feel guilty for not being home with the kids or stressed because they aren’t working enough. They know some changes are in order, but don’t know how or where to start. Clients may also contact me because they feel like something is “missing." They are going along with their days functioning fine, but have lost their zest for life.
How do the sessions work? 
All sessions are done on the phone, in the comfort of your own home, office or car (I have had clients call on their lunch break)! This flexibility allows me to support moms nationwide. Packages are offered at varying levels of frequency and price ranging from individual weekly sessions to group coaching support. All packages come with unlimited email support between sessions, pre-session reflection and a session summary. Interested in learning more? You can contact me for a 30-minute complimentary session at (301) 717-7731 or