Thursday, December 29, 2011

I am not DOING anything new for the New Year!

I am a "doer," not an "experiencer."  This is good trait for assessing what is not working, completing goals and for general productivity. is NOT so good for experiencing life and simply being wherever you are and with whomever you are sharing the moment.


When I reflect back on 2011, I remember spending a lot of time wanting, longing, wishing and planning. Wanting a bigger house, more clients, a bigger paycheck.  Longing for my husband to stop snoring, my kids to be calmer and sleep more.  Wishing for my dog to stop shedding and for the many piles of laundry, toys and crap all over my house to go away.  And planning about how I was going to "fix" all of it.


I had my moments.  Those sweet Hallmark moments-even days-when everything was flowing and effortless. I was thankful on those days.  But not all the days/weeks/months in-between.  On all the in between days I complained and made a plan on how to "fix it" and lost my appreciation.  I feel like 2011 was a year for discovering what I didn't like, setting goals and looking toward the future-but missing what was right in front of me.

I have felt this imbalance for the last couple of months and have done a ton of reading and reflecting around the ideas of mindfulness and the power of positive thought.  So... for 2012, I am not taking on any new projects, making a plan on how I can get more of something or fix a problem.  I am entering this New Year with fresh eyes and a new perspective about what I have all around me-that has always been there-and that I have been missing.

I am going to practice mindfulness (yes, it takes practice) and be very aware of my thoughts-and the power they have over my mood, health and overall perspective of life.  I am going to do less, experience more and find my happy calm spot. I won't be perfect.  I will find myself all in my head again- forgetting what I am doing in the moment.  I will hit a patch of negativity and complaints I am sure.  But, when I do- I will do so without judgement, but with a curious eye and wonder of how I can bring it back to the present positive moment.

What are your plans for the New Year?
Will you be doing something new or cutting something out?
I would love to hear about it!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Holiday stress? Do less!

Can your holiday season really be stress free?

For the past few weeks I have been inundated with tips and tricks from magazines, newsletter and blog posts promising a stress free holiday if I follow their simple steps.  And you know what? I don't buy any of it!  As a mother of young children the holidays are going to be stressful if you try to do everything you did pre-children.  It is the same concept as losing weight-there is no magic diet.  To weigh less, you must eat less. If you want to minimize stress, you have to do less.  


So for what it is worth, here is one more stress free holiday tip:

Do less!

1) Make a list of everything you "have" to do.

2) Write a statement describing what the holiday season means to you (your values may have changed since becoming a mom). 

3) While reviewing the list, ask yourself if each item relates to your holiday values. Do you want to do each item?  Does it give you meaning or enjoyment?

     -If yes, great-keep doing it.
     -If no, scratch it off the list.

4) Whatever you scratched off, give yourself permission to be guilt free about it.

5) If something is really important to another family member-ask them to take it on.

6) Whatever you decided to keep-enjoy it to the fullest knowing that you don't have to rush through it to scratch something else on your list.

In using my own advice, I no longer send holiday cards or bake more than 1 kind of cookie from scratch.  I decline invitations to events that I really don't want to attend and I don't really care if my gifts are beautifully wrapped (I actually buy a lot of gift cards).  So call me a Scrooge if you like.  All I can tell you is that I make sure to plan the holidays in a way that is meaningful to me and my family-not a list of things to do.  I can honestly say, the holidays are not an increase of stress for me-because I am clear about the things I want to do and the things I have left behind.  If I miss these tasks when I am in a less demanding stage in my life-I will invite them back.

Are you up for revising your holiday "to-do" list in a way that creates meaning and joy instead of stress?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Are you talking to me?

"Your kids are so well behaved.  I didn't even know there were children sitting behind me until I got up to leave."  

Wow....are you talking to me?  

This is the compliment my husband and I received last week while we were out to Red Robin (you know the restaurant with the big red bird and unlimited fries).

This was not a fluke.

We receive the same compliment a few weeks ago while we were out for a "fancy" family dinner to celebrate our 11 year wedding anniversary (after we had to cancel our getaway weekend-long story).  When my husband went to the restroom a man approached him and said, "Your children are so well behaved, how do you do it?"  As we were leaving we saw this same man and his wife getting into their car.  My husband immediately spotted the car seats in their vehicle...and I felt a connection with them.  I remembered those days...wondering if/when we could take our kids out and they would actaully behave.

My husband and I cocked our proud peacock feathers and gushed over our kids on the way home-just beaming from this compliment.  We had come a long way! I was thinking of this couple-out for a night out-looking at our well behaved children wondering what the secret was.

The secret is there is no secret!

It takes time to teach kids to behave.  Some kids get it faster then others and some parents have more patients and tolerance. Our kids were not always so well behaved and I remember often looking at other families wondering how the hell they got their kids to sit, be engaged and practice their table manners.  Many a days my husband and I ended up in the car with one of our kids who was misbehaving, while the other half of the family finished their meal. If you could have seen us two years ago in a restaurant you would have either been highly annoyed that we were sitting near you, thought we were incompetent parents or felt sorry for us.  Whatever your opinion, we were a mess!  It was not because we weren't setting expectations, or following through with rules-it was because our children are very active, don't like to sit and are not real big fans of eating.  Period.

It wasn't just at restaurants, it was going out in public in general.  There was a time when I had enough of the humiliation, defeat and driving home with a face full of tears.  For about an 18 month time frame, I put myself and my children on house arrest.  I wouldn't take them out to eat or even to the grocery store together by myself.  My younger child is a wild child.  He would wander from me, couldn't sit in a chair (or high chair),  needed to touch everything and just wasn't catching on to the rules.  I spent so much time addressing his behavior that there were times that I had my eyes off my 3 year old for so long that it could have been a safety issue.

So I quit. 

I heard opinions such as, "How are you going to teach him if you don't expose him?" "Set the rules and if he breaks them-leave the store."  "You just aren't being strict enough."  Gee, thanks!  How about YOU take both kids to the grocery store and let me know how much food you actually bring home!

We continued to model appropriate meal manners at home.  We practiced safety rules at the park and using our indoor voices, staying with your mommy and listing to directions when we had to go to the doctor's office or were invited to a friend's home.  But it was a rare occasion that we went out to eat or to a store for something other then a one item pick up.

It took a looooong time, but he got it.

Now my kids are 4 and 6, and we get compliments about both their behavior.  Don't get me wrong, I have my fair share of discipline issues (especially with the wild child).  I still have my eyes on him at all times or destroys something or hurts himself-but we are getting there.  My approach worked for me and I wasn't influenced by other peoples' opinions on how I should be raising my kids.  My approach isn't for everyone, but it was MY approach and it worked for me.

So often we get caught up in what we think we should be doing or what the "experts" are telling us to do and it is not genuine to who we are or what feels comfortable to us.  Parenting is damn hard work, but it is even harder if you are doing it in a way that is inauthentic to you.

What are you struggling with now?  

What opinions are you receiving that don't quite feel right and what is your "gut" telling you to do?  

What can you do to implement a plan that is more comfortable to who you are?

What additional support do you need around this area?

Friday, October 28, 2011

New! Bring Back My Mojo Workshop

 Bring Back My Mojo! 

Not quite feeling like yourself since becoming a mom? 
Are you ready to feel great again? 
Come to Charm City Kids Club to connect with a group of like-minded women who are ready to laugh, get real, and support each other with the most common struggles of early motherhood. 
Through discussion, self-reflection and inspiring activities, you will learn realistic strategies to maintain your sanity and reconnect with YOU while enjoying in this crazy journey of motherhood! 

These 6 sessions will be held from 11:00am - 12:00 each Friday 
Starting December 2, 2011 and ending January 6, 2012 

12/2 — Becoming Mom: Your pregnancy and birth story 
12/9 — Letting go of GUILT, anger and resentment of self and others 
12/16 — Accepting changes you can’t control and changing what you can 
12/23 — Self-Care is not a luxury! 
12/30 — Who am I in addition to “Mom?” Creating your new identity 
1/6 — Getting clear on what you want: Setting goals and intentions 

Space is limited! 
$150 for all 6 sessions, and only $125 if you register before November 11 
Includes a 58 page ebook of activities and self-reflection AND… 
Free use of the Play Town for your child during the group session ($48 value)! 

If you would rather come without your child or your child is too young to use the space, you will be given 6 vouchers for future use. 

For more information or to reserve your spot, please contact Heather Sobieralski at (301) 717-7731 or 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Run Mom, Run!

Is Running a Busy Moms Answer to Fitness... and Sanity?

I always liked the idea of running, but I have never been very good at it-or enjoyed it at all.  My experience of running is signing up for the high school track team because of the cute boys.  After I found myself on the B-String for sprints and taking quite a dramatic and humiliating tumble on the hurdles…it wasn’t very fun anymore.  So, I found myself on the opposite side of the field surprisingly skilled at the shot put and discus (even though at the time I was 5’2 and a buck 10).  Now, a bit more voluptuous, and a lot less concerned about cut boys, I find myself having an itch to be a runner!

I have tried over the years to like running, but it hurt.  It hurt my boobs, my pelvis and it hurt my ego. I have always been a relatively active and athletic person, but the running-I just couldn’t get. 

I became a mother for the first time almost 7 years ago, and have yet to find my fitness stride as a mom.  I would get on really good routines of going to the gym for a few weeks at a time and then someone would always get sick, schedules would change, the kids would complain about the gym daycare or I would lose my motivation. 

I have been thinking about running for quite some time now, and met the perfect person to help me over the hump!  

I was talking to a mother of one of my daughter’s friends.  She is not only a runner, but also a freelance writer about running and has a very popular blog called misszippy1.  I had talked to her about running on a few occasions until finally told her that what I needed was a running coach-someone to help me get started, teach me the right way and keep me accountable.  Well what do you know…misszippy1 is a certified running coach!  I signed up right away.

Miss Zippy (Amanda Loudin) took me shoe shopping, went running with me to watch my stride and sends me weekly schedules to follow.  My first week I was assigned to run 5 minutes/walk 1-minute 3x.  It is 5 weeks later and I'm up to 3 miles!!!  I live in Maryland, but Miss Zippy has clients from all over.  She breaks in newbies like me, modivates experienced runners to get past funks and trains people to prepare for marathons.

I am just not tolerating running, I am LOVING IT!  I have never had an exercise regimen that was so easy-easy in the sense that I put my 3 running days on the calendar, but don’t have to do them at a certain time of the day.  I can put my shoes on and run out the door or drive to the park for a change or scenery.  I am also feeling so empowered by my progress.  I run in the sun, the rain and have spent entirely too much money outfitting myself in preparation of the snow too!

I have found a new passion that is good for my brain, my mood and my body.  I only wish I had started 7 years ago and brought the babies along.

Were you a runner in your pre-mom days?  Do you find the joy of running now or have your ever thought about it?  Do you have your own fitness routine that works for you?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Would you rather be a mermaid or a whale?

At an entrance to a gym there was a picture with a thin, and beautiful woman.  Underneath the picture,  the caption read, "This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?"

I suppose this did not sit well with the anonymous author of this letter.  But here is one damn good answer to that question!

"Dear people, whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, seals, curious humans), they are sexually active and raise their children with great tenderness.

They entertain like crazy with dolphins and eat lots of prawns. They swim all day and travel to fantastic places like Patagonia, the Barents Sea or the coral reefs of Polynesia.

They sing incredibly well and sometimes even are on cds. They are impressive and dearly loved animals, which everyone defend and admires.

Mermaids do not exist.

But if they existed, they would line up to see a psychologist because of a problem of split personality: woman or fish?

They would have no sex life and could not bear children.

Yes, they would be lovely, but lonely and sad.

And, who wants a girl that smells like fish by his side?

Without a doubt, I'd rather be a whale.

At a time when the media tells us that only thin is beautiful, I prefer to eat ice cream with my kids, to have dinner with my husband, to eat and drink and have fun with my friends.

We women, we gain weight because we accumulate so much wisdom and knowledge that there isn't enough space in our heads, and it spreads all over our bodies.

We are not fat, we are greatly cultivated.

Every time I see my curves in the mirror, I tell myself: "How amazing am I ?! "

How about you?  Would you rather be a mermaid or a whale?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Bring Back My Mojo!
Not your ordinary Mom’s group
This group is full!  
Ditch the diaper bag, take a break from the kids, and come to Greenberries to connect with a group of like-minded women who are ready to laugh, get real, and support each other with the most common struggles of early motherhood.
Through discussion, self-reflection and inspiring activities, you will learn realistic strategies to maintain your sanity and reconnect with YOU while enjoying this crazy journey of motherhood!
Join our focused meet-up group targeted toward creating more joy for the MOM!
6 sessions will be held from 7:30-9:00 every other week
Starting October 6th and ending December 15th

Session 1: Becoming Mom: Your pregnancy and birth story
Session 2: Letting go of GUILT, anger and resentment of self and others
Session 3: Accepting changes you can’t control-changing what you can
Session 4: Self-Care is not a luxury!
Session 5: Who am I in addition to “Mom?” Creating your new identity
Session 6: Getting clear on what you want: Setting goals and intentions

$10 for individual drop-in sessions (pre-registration required)
$40 for all 6-session pre-registration required by September 29th
*Includes weekly pdf. file of activity and self-reflection

Q and A

Q: I am not local to Baltimore/DC, but this sound great!  How can I get involved?
A: If you are interested in doing this workshop via teleconference, please email me with your contact information and what days/times will work for you.  I will create a list and start an addtional group if we have enough interest.

Q: Why is this workshop so cheap?
A:  I have taken a culmination of the common concerns and frustrations from my clients and have written a workbook.  This group will be a pilot of the very first group to use the material.  The cost of this workshop will go up to $150 after this first go around.

Q: Is this group geared toward working moms? Stay at home moms? New Moms? Experienced Moms?
A: Yes, yes, yes and yes!  This group is for any woman who feels like she has neglected her own needs since becoming a mother.  This opportunity is perfect for women who want to reconnect with who they are and are ready to make some realistic changes to create a more joyful life.

Q: What are the exact dates of this workshop?
A: October 6, 20, November 3, 17, December 1 and 15

Q: Can I come to just the topics that interest me?
A: Yes, you can pay a drop in fee of $10 a session or pay $40 in advance for all 6 sessions.  Pre-registration is required either way.

Q: Will I receive any materials or written information about the workshop?
A: Yes, you will receive an electronic version of the workbook so you can go at your own pace.

Q: Can I purchase the workbook if I can't attend the group?
A: Yes, the workbook purchased separately is $15.

Q: Can I bring my child/children?
A: This is your time to be YOU, away from your kids.  You will get more out of the group if you give your undivided attention, I do understand that emergencies happen, so babies on laps are welcome.  NO TURBO TODDLERS PLEASE!!!

Q:  I am very busy, how much "extra work" is expected from this group.
A:  On our "off" weeks you can work on the activities from your workbook.  You can read and reflect, or journal.  Once in a while you will have a homework assignment (ex. a date by yourself).  The amount of time you put into this workshop is entirely up to you.

Q: Are there any rules to the group?
A: We can talk more about this as a group, but my 2 big rules are what is said in the group stays in the group and it is a zero judgement zone!

Q: Can we make this like a Mom's night out and have drinks and munchies?
A: Absolutely!  BYOB of choice

Q:  Sign me up, I'm ready to go!  How do I pay?
A:  You can pay vial Pay Pal (I will send you an invoice) or write a check to My Mama Mojo.

If you would like more detailed information, have interest in joining a future daytime group, or are ready to reserve your spot on October 6th, please contact me at (301) 717-7731 or


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Hello Big Yellow School Bus

It has been a LONG summer!  I have been the director, events planner and counselor for “Camp Mommy” for 9 weeks and 4 challenging days. Yup, just the three of us ALL SUMMER LONG.  I have done a lot of soul searching over the past 6 ½ years and have come to terms with the fact that as much as I would like to be, I am not the stay at home type.  I just don’t like it. I have tried the stay at home thing, the working full-time gig and the part-time schedule.  Hands down, I am just not happy when I stay home with my kids. As much as I value a parent who stays home, it brings out the worst in me.  I have embraced who I am and let the guilt go about that one.  In owning who I am as a mother and woman, I found that when I work outside the home for pay, upon returning home I am more present, I have more patience and I value my children in a way that I just can’t muster up when I am home with them everyday-day after day.  

So what the hell was I thinking this summer??!!!

Let me explain…In addition to being a life coach, I work part-time as a school counselor-so I was “off” a good bit this summer.  I only work a handful of days at my counseling job when school is out- and June, July and August are traditionally very slow months for helping professionals. I didn’t plan on making much money this summer and just couldn’t justify sending my 4 and 6 year old to camp when I was home and not earning any money.

Although terrified at the thought of all this time at home, I dove right in to the summer with elaborate camp schedules, sticker charts and even played “school” 5x a week. The kids loved it!  They were buying into the behavior charts, getting a kick out of playing school and were listening to directions more then they had in months.  Then weeks 3 and 4 came and I was exhausted from holding together all this structure.  I am not an organized, “tight ship” kind of person and all this planning and consistency was killing me slowly.  As the days went on, I was less enthusiastic, scheduled school time was sporadic and the fighting and whining began (and never stopped).  When the kids fight, it is the fastest way for me to loose my patience and NOT enjoy my time with them. I muddled through week 5 and 6 knowing that our 2 week vacation was around the corner and at least I would have backup (AKA Big Daddy).  I pretty much used the sticker charts as threats instead of rewards until vacation came because I had no steam left to do it the right way.  The kids had beaten me down!  I was holding on to the thought of a change of scenery at the beach (because we all know the term “vacation” is used loosely when you have young children).  Our trip was a fine diversion, but upon our return we had a week and a half more to go before school and work started back up for good.

These two weeks were so difficult.  Swim lessons were over, most of our friends were on vacation, it was 90+ humid degrees outside, the kids were bored and I just wanted school to come already!  I had an internal struggle going on with wanting to feel grateful that I have the choice to be home with my kids and that I “should” be enjoying them VS just really wanting that bus to come!  My old friend, GUILT came back and I was so sad and disappointed that I couldn't be happy about this time with my kids and have some genuine fun.  But I could not.  

After an earthquake and no electricity for 3 days due to Hurricane Irene, school finally started (3 days latter then expected) this week. I am happy for the structure the school routine gives to my family.  I like knowing that they are in a safe and stimulating environment while I am happy at work.  I can now I look forward to seeing them at the end of the day instead of waking up with anxiety about the upcoming day at Camp Mommy!  I am who I am, and work is a large  part of my identity.  Without it, I am "mom" and this role is just not all fulfilling for me.  And in large dosages,  I just don't feel very good at it.

I know views and perspectives vary wildly on this topic.  I have friends who could never/would never stay home with their children all summer despite their working situation.  I also have friends who cry every year when that big yellow school bus comes.  Sometimes the tears are for the decreased time they will spending with their children, while other times it is due to the fact that they are kissing the slower pace of summer goodbye.  Whatever this transition is for you, if your kids are school age you are entering a different rhythm as September has arrived.

What are you looking forward to and/or what are you sad to leave behind?

How was this summer for you?

Did you learn anything about yourself?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Yup, I got myself a coach!

Enlisting the help of a robust support network makes all the difference in how you experience your journey. -Anonymous

For the past few weeks I have been feeling all jumbled with an unfocused energy.  September always symbolizes new beginnings for me, and this Septmeber I have lots of ideas and visions which will improve the quality of my life-I just need some help getting there.  I have been thinking of my life coach who helped me through a difficult time about a year and a half ago.  Even though we haven't had any contact for many months, I debated giving her a call about half a dozen times to tell her I wanted some coaching to support me through my impending changes.  And as the universe would have it... in my in-box this morning was an email from her!  The power of thoughts are quite amazing sometimes! So, I am all signed up to start coaching with my warm, nurturing and butt kicking coach for the month of September.  

I am super psyched and ready for the challenge of creating a better me!

My encounter with my wonderful coach lead me to think about what makes people pick up the phone or send an email asking for help.  I knew I wanted support, I knew from our previous work together that she was a tremendous help, and I believe in the power of coaching.  You would think a fellow coach would have picked up the phone immediately and scheduled some appointments.  But, like anyone else I had's too expensive, I don't have the time, I can figure it out on my own...bla, bla, bla!  I have heard it all before from other moms and certainly from my own mouth, and you know what?  I simply value my well-being and happiness far too much then to poo poo my right to feel my best.  

 So off I go to tune up my mojo!

Asking for help is hard!  Harder for some then others.  Time after time I listen to stories of other moms struggling with:
Child care issues
Loss of passion

And yet with all of these difficulties, few ask for help.  Somehow we think good moms "do it alone".  This isn't true!  We don't have to women-up and do it by ourselves.  There are plenty of people to help you, you just have to make the commitment to yourself and reach out.  Whether you are in need of a life coach, personal trainer, cleaning person, your partner to pitch in more around the house, a babysitter or a child care swap with a friend...just ask!  Asking for help doesn't make you any less of a woman, it makes you a women who takes care of her needs!   

You deserve to be happy and EVERYONE (no matter how together they seem) needs a bit of support from time to time.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Under water!

I am quite aware my last post was many weeks ago.  I try to keep up with this thorn in my side  blog every two weeks, but this summer... not so much.  If you come here for laughs, mojo tips and inspiration, I will get it together here in a week or so.  Until then, my first priority (after my adoring family, necessary self-care and my rock star clients) is the 17 piles of laundry, shopping for school supplies, starting the year at my new school as a part-time counselor and going through my 300+ emails that accumulated during my two week vacation.  I will be back with some regularity and pep in my step...but probably not for a few more weeks.  Oh..and my next post?  I will be brainstorming a new name and concept for vacationing with young children!

Vacations sure ain't what the used to be!

Thanks for sticking with me

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cleanse Anyone?

Eating clean can be hard.  Throw in a couple of kids, a meat and potato eating husband, a full time job and a chaotic schedule in the mix... it becomes overwhelming.   Like anything else, with a strong commitment and the proper support it is not only possible, but easier then you may think.

I consider myself a healthy eater.  I have a been a vegetarian for 20 years and have recently been moving toward a vegan diet.  I make it a priority to eat clean, non-processed foods, but from time to time I slip up.  I don't slip up inhaling a hamburger, but by letting my sweet tooth and my busy schedule get the best of me.  Before I sat down to write this post, my stomach growled and I knew I had 40 minutes until my kids were counting on me to do an activity with them. In an attempt to squelch my hunger and keep an eye on the time, I didn't take 15 minutes to make something healthy, but I grabbed a few cookies!  Now I am sitting here, still hungry... wondering why I let my moment of weakness get the best of me.

Get my drift?  We have all been there.

What better time to recommit to eating clean then the end of summer?  Have you pigged out on vacation?  Attended too many BBQ? Drank too many fruity drinks in the sun?  If so...I would love for you to join me in this...


A dear client of mine turned me on to Baltimore Health Coach.  Although this company is based in Baltimore, all of their cleanses, classes and workshops are on-line and accessible anywhere.  They have tons of cool programs I am just starting to learn about as I just signed on as a member today.

I have been challenged to take their 7 day cleanse starting August 15th.

Game on!

What exactly is a cleanse?

Cleanses come in all sorts of varieties, but Baltimore Health Coach's cleanse is gentle and doable.  The cleanse I will partake in will eliminate:

  • Sugar & Sweets
  • Flour & Dairy
  • Caffeine & Alcohol
  • Soy, Corn & Gluten

Along with my commitment to the $149.00 cleanse, I will receive 3 weeks of support including:
  •   Menus, recipes and detailed instruction
  •   1-on-1 phone coaching sessions
  •   Group conference call            
              - Call #1: Preparation
              - Call #2: Mid-Cleanse Support
              - Call #3: Completion
              - Call #4: Transition

  •  Optional In-person potluck 
  •  Online forum & Facebook group for Q&A

I am psyched to get started on the cleanse and to jump right into this existing community of health experts.  I think this may be just what I need to keep me moving in a positive and holistically healthy direction.

P.S.  Baltimore Health Coach recommends that anyone doing the cleanse offer up something publicly if they don't complete it.  It should be something uncomfortable if I should have to do it.  He gave an example of publicly announcing I would donate money to a politician I despise.  That didn't really do it for me, but I am having trouble coming up with something that feels inspiring.

Any suggestions?  I am game for some high stakes...because I will complete this 7 day cleanse and LOVE IT!!!

Anyone else want to come along?

Because I believe in this (and I want some company)  I will throw in a 50 minute complimentary session for anyone who joins the challenge with me!

Who is jumping in?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

What exactly is self-care anyway?

When I  refer to self-care I had always assumed that people knew what I was talking about- until recently.  Last week, I facilitated a coaching workshop with a Mom's Group in Baltimore.  As the topic of self-care came up, one of the woman stopped the discussion to ask what exactly self-care was.  She went on to say that it was a topic she had only heard of recently but didn't understand exactly what IT was. Was self-care brushing your teeth?  Getting a massage? Maintaining a health weight?

Yes, yes and yes!

You often hear me (and other helping professionals) talking about the importance of self-care.  You absolutely MUST take care of yourself if you are in a care-taking role. Nourishing yourself first will ensure that you are in the proper physical and emotional space to be the best mother, wife, friend, career woman, daughter and sister that you can possibly be.  Without self-care, you will quickly run out of steam, become "snappy," resentful and down right exhausted. You will lose your mojo!

So let's back up a bit...

What exactly is self-care anyway?

In my mind self-care is broken into two distinct parts:
-Basic self-care
-Soulful self-care

Basic self-care are all the tasks associated with making sure that you are well taken care of physically.  These very basic things that you haven't given much thought about all of your life until you are stretched beyond belief as a mother and find them difficult to fit in. As I think about this list I chuckle, because as basic as they are, many a days I went without as mother of young children.
-Brushing your hair
-Brushing teeth (flossing is optional for your first year of motherhood)!
-Proper nutrition (puffs and mac-n-cheese don't count)
-Exercise (even if it is a walk or a few push-ups and sit-ups)
-Annual pap smears
-Regular dental and vision check ups
-Regular physical exams
-Adequate sleep
-Staying on top of any medical issues

Soulful Self-Care is different from person to person.  This type of self-care is unique to your needs and preferences.  First, you must figure out what it is that feeds your soul.  What makes you feel relaxed, inspired, peaceful and happy?  Having trouble remembering?  Has it been that long?  Think back to your pre-mom days...what did you do with your "me time?"  What do you enjoy so much that you lose track of time? Are you an introvert who finds comfort in curling up on the couch with a good book?  Are you an extrovert who thrives on meeting friends for a night out on the town? Still having trouble?  The possibilities are endless, but try scanning this list and pay attention to any response your body is giving you. What feels good to you?

-Fixing your hair/make-up/wearing clothes that make you feel good
-Team sports/gym/fitness
-Social events
-Date night
-Happy hour
-Learning a new skill/hobby
-Bubble baths
-Volunteer work
-Other ideas???

Whatever it is that strikes your fancy, do it, and do it often.  I know it is hard to fit in, I know there will be guilt associated with taking the time to do it. But it is an absolute must.  You need to frequently step away from your duties as a mother to reconnect with who you are as a woman.  These breaks will give you a fresh perspective on all other aspects of your life and responsibilities.  Make it a priority to fill your tank so you can continue to be the best YOU possible. Motherhood is a marathon, not a sprint, and you need to be in your best, tip- top shape to complete your journey (so you are not completely breathless and collapsing before the finish line)!

What can you incorporate into your life this week even if it is small scale to start?  Put it on the calender and treat it as any other non-negotiable appointment.

Happy YOU!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Come visit me at The Still Point!

For the month of  July, The Still Point Mind Body Wellness Spa is offering 30 minute complimentary coaching session so you can come see what it is all about.  Have you been curious about coaching?  Now is a great time to come check it out!  You can call the spa directly to make your appointment.

Not in the Baltimore/DC area?  No problem.  All phone coaching is 20% off for the months of July and August.

See (or talk) to you soon!



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I am guilty of judging another mom

It happened not too long ago. I was invited to a local Mom's group to facilitate a mini workshop for a Mom's night out.  As the guests were arriving, the room was filled with chatting, snacking and welcome hugs.  In walked one of the most comfortable looking moms I may have ever seen.  She was wearing her baby in a wrap, dressed casually and kind of "crunchy". She was pretty without trying.  I watched her slink around the room smiling and talking to the other moms.  She was so confident in her skin. She was very in tuned with her baby, and seemed to know how to soothe the smallest of whimpers.

She was the type of mom I often  refer to as "Earth Mama". The kind of mom that makes the rest of us feel bad, because they do it so much better.  She was the exact type of mom I wished I could have been to my babies. She was the exact kind of mom who made me feel intimidated and unsure of myself as a new mother. She had it all together and this vision took me right back to my hot mess as a new mom. My eyes stung with jealousy.

I remember thinking to myself in a very judgey sort of way...what is she doing coming to a night of coaching for moms?  She is going to make all the other moms clam up.  Who is going to want to confess their imperfections when there was one of her in the room.  She looks like she could be the one running the group, I could surely learn a thing or two from her...

Judge Judge Judge

After the mingling, we gathered and sat in the circle of chairs.  The women went around one by one talking about what had inspired them to come to the workshop.  Some said the wine, others were excited to get away from the kids...but this mom who had it all completely shocked me.

With tears in her eyes this "Earth Mom" began to tell the story of her complicated and painful situation.   The room was stunned and silent as we listened to her peel back the layers of what had become years of a stress filled and lonely life since having children.

I was embarrassed of my previous thoughts.

I thought I knew better then to judge another mom.

I am always the one who writes and talks about how we are all struggling in some way.  I over emphasis the importance of being kind to each other, and I encourage women to get the conversations going- to be the first one to get real about the challenges of motherhood.  Here I had judged this mom unfairly and incorrectly.  If she were not a part of this workshop, I would have never started a heart -to- heart conversation with her because I thought I knew her type.

Apparently not.

I felt so overridden with guilt that I couldn't go on with the workshop without coming clean to the group about what was going on with me.  I confessed my judgey thoughts to the circle. A few other women in the group had the same perception of this mom and apologized for not offering her help and/or their friendship.  They thought she had it all together and didn't need anything.

We all came away from this experience with a meaningful lesson. This was a powerful reminder that what we see on the outside isn't necessarily what is going on in the inside.  It is not only important for us to speak our truths so others may hear and acknowledge us, but it is equally important for us to ask the tough questions of our friends and fellow moms, so we can support them. 

Don't assume a mom is OK just because she looks like she is.

Don't smile and say your are doing great if you are not.

Don't compare yourself to your perception of another mom.

Take off the masks and get real.

It is only through honesty that healing and happiness will come.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

When you just don't like your kid

When I was a child, my mom often told us, "You always love your kids, but you don't always like them."  I never understood what she was talking about-and never gave it much thought because I figured she was talking about my sister, not me.

I get it mom!

I do not like my daughter right all!  She has been rude, bossy, disrespectful, demanding, whiny and downright a PILL!  She has been all these things- but also acting helpless, weak and needy all at the same time.  It is as if the world revolves around her, and no one else matters.  She wants what she wants, and throws a fit when she doesn't get it.  YUCK!!!

If this kid belonged to someone else, I would think she was a complete brat, and try to withhold judgement about what type of parenting (or lack thereof) that was going on at home.  I admit, I haven't been the ideal parent with her lately, and take my share credit for the negativity in the house.  I am worn down from correcting,  redirecting and modeling appropriate ways of speaking.  So, I am sarcastic right back.  I have been short tempered, and have been praising her brother like crazy (because in my house if you aren't being the "bad one" you work extra hard at being an angel because my kids are incredibly competitive).

I can't help it, I just don't like her behavior.  I angers me! I don't yell at my kids, I never demean them or disrespect them-and I have zero tolerance when they do it to me, or anyone else for that matter.  My husband says he is moving out when she is 16, as he sees this as a preview for ugliness between us that is yet to come.

She is six.

I know this too shall pass, and she is going through some difficult phase that I would rather never repeat-EVER.  But there will be other phases-with her and with her brother.  All I can do now is love her.  Love her through this ugliness, and love myself and my imperfections when I don't respond like I am suppose to.  We will get through this, and I will like her again.  I know this to be true...

because my mom likes my sister (and me)!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bringing back your Mojo Podcast

April Perry, the Co-Founder of The Power of Moms, invited me to a podcast focused on the importance of having an identity and interests other then being "Mom".  Thanks for having me April! Be sure to check out The Power of Moms site for amazing articles, sanity saving activities, and upcoming events such as; retreats and Mom Circle Groups in your area!
Do you ever feel empty, unsatisfied, or like something is missing? Do you feel guilty because you have a good life, but you are always looking for more? Are you under the impression that being a mom should fill and complete you . . . but it doesn’t? That’s okay! You’re in good company.
After having children, many women come to the realization that they need to be fulfilled in all areas of their life, not just the part that answers to “Mom.” Don’t get us wrong, being a mom is great, and we love our kids, but that doesn’t mean we can’t love other things too!
There’s no reason to feel down, drained or disappointed when you have a whole community of moms ready to support you as you become the mother (and person) you most want to be.
Whether you’re a new mom struggling to figure out where your pre-mom self has gone, a mom whose children have become a bit more independent, or a mom whose suddenly discovered that her “empty nest” is feeling too empty, we invite you to join April Perry, co-founder of The Power of Moms, and Heather Sobieralski, of My Mama Mojo Life Coaching for moms, as they discuss what feeds their passions–along with tips and tricks for bringing back your mojo and creating a life you love!

(And one little clarification by April: In the podcast, I was discussing how the development of our specific talents can be helpful to other people, and I listed music as one of my talents that isn’t very serviceable.  Please understand that I was only referring to MY lack of talent in that area.  Musical talents are a beautiful gift to the world.  Thanks!)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Finding Your Definition of Mommy

Finding Your Definition of Mommy

Lately, I have been having similar conversations with numerous moms.  They all have one thing in common- they think they are failing as moms. They feel like somehow they are missing the "mom gene" that makes them enjoy their role as a mother.  I see shame on their faces, embarrassment in their eyes, hesitation in their voices, and they almost always apologize for their "nasty thoughts". As these women are choking on their confessions,  I can't help but want to shout out..."DO YOU KNOW HOW NORMAL THIS IS?"  

Almost every mother doubts herself-and how well she is doing the mommy thing. 

The Perfect Mom

Why do we carry around this unrealistic image of the "Sally Sunshine Mom" enjoying every moment of her perfectly organized, always smiling-Kodak ready life with her adorable (and clean) children?  I hate that woman!  She ruins it for all of us!  But the good news is that I don't think that woman actually exists-or at least I have never met her.  I know women who look like they have it all together, but give them a few glasses of wine and a chance to vent-and all of their insecurities come gushing out!

One thing being a life coach for moms has cured me of is mother envy. We all do it...look at the mom who always looks great, arrives on time with well behaved children in toe, and never raises her voice (and still has time to shave her legs and put on a cute outfit).  We then reflect inward and think...what am I doing wrong?  She makes it look so easy and enjoyable, and I suck at it!  Well... do you want to know a little secret?  That woman has issues too!!!  Many of my coaching clients are these well put together- high functioning women who just can't keep up with the facade anymore.  When they finally let out their hair down and ask for help- they can finally breathe!  These "perfect moms" sometimes hate their husbands,  want to quit their jobs, sell their kids on eBay and move to the Caribbean too!

Creating YOUR Journey

The journey of motherhood is drastically different from woman to woman.  There very well may be the Sally Sunshines of the world, (although I don't know any up close and personal) but this is not the only definition of a mother.  When I dig a little deeper with women, I start to hear a disconnect about what they think they "should be doing" versus their core values as a woman.  The happiest moms I know are the ones who define their roles and expectations based on what is important to them-not the perceived stereotype of a "good mom".  I just betcha you would start enjoying it more if you make the rules according to what is important to YOU!!!

  • What if you gave yourself permission to define motherhood on your terms? 
  • What if you took all of your expectation of what you think a mom "should be" and threw them out the window of your hot mama mini van?
  • What is really meaningful to YOU as a mother?
  • Where do you want to spend your time and energy?
  • What does your new definition look like?
  • How does it feel just thinking about it?
Sally Sunshine sucks, and you ROCK!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mom's Night Out


Join us for a well deserved mom's night out every Thursday, starting on May 12th from 7:00-8:30 at Greenberries, Columbia's upscale, eco-chic children's and maternity consignment shop! 

Come as you are, ready to chat, connect, and be inspired!  May 12th is free!  The rest of the session is only $50, including workshops on May 19th, 26th and June 2nd. Space is limited, and registration is required.

The first years of motherhood are filled with extreme emotions.  Riding this roller coaster of elation, exhaustion, chest bursting love, and frustration (or perhaps some buyers remorse), can make any new mother doubt herself, and her abilities as a mom.  Come connect with other real moms in a judgment free zone. Join in some honest discussion-and learn that you are not alone (even if everyone else seems to be smiling through it)!  

Carve out some much needed time to reflect on what is working in your life, and what is not.  Learn to accept (or maybe embrace) the changes in your life in which you have no control, and prioritize and set goals for those you intend to improve.  Find confidence in your parenting philosophies, and decision to work or stay home.  Having this support during the early years is invaluable in not just keeping you sane, but enabling you to thrive!

Moms' night out will be facilitated by Heather Sobieralski, the founder of My Mama Mojo. Heather is a counselor, a certified professional life coach, and mom of two spirited young children of her own.  She is passionate about keeping motherhood real, stimulating rich and thought provoking discussions, and thinking outside the diaper bag.  My Mama Mojo supports moms to live more joyful, mojo filled lives by offering individual coaching, group support, and workshops.  Reconnect with YOU, and learn to thrive a woman and mom.

To register for your spot, please stop by Greenberries, contact or  by May 16th..