Thursday, March 24, 2011

Getting off track

I have been a vegetarian for nearly 20 years.  Off and on I have tried to go completely vegan, this goal usually lasts about a week before I just give in and resume eating dairy.  During the last few months I have notices my clothes getting tighter and my body putting on some weight, particularly around my middle.  I already eat a relatively healthy diet and the only other thing I could think of was to eliminate all animal products for good.  Over the past several years I have desired to live animal free, but found that I just couldn't sustain it.  I want to be as healthy as possible, and free from contributing to animal cruelty, but I have had a hard time giving up the freedom of processed foods (which all have some trace of egg or cheese in them).  I always blow it about 9 days in and go back to my dairy eating ways.

This time I intend for it to stick!

The good news is that I have maintained a 99% vegan diet for about a month...OK I had Chipotle and I know they have butter in their rice...but I was almost perfect!  My pants are fitting better, I have more energy and my consciousness is clean.  I was am really proud of myself.

So imagine this evening how I am feeling knowing that I consumed 2 munchkins after lunch and 3 oatmeal chocolate chip cookies after dinner.  Damn!

When we get off track or deviate from our goal we can feel defeated and want to give up.  Why can't we just acknowledge we had a moment (or a day/week/month) of weakness, that we messed up and set a new intention?  Before I was even finished with my first cookie, I knew what I was going to do-enjoy every bite and start again tomorrow!

Think about your intentions...

  • What are you working on?  
  • What goals do you have in place?  
  • What structure do you set for when you mess up and don't obtain perfection?  
  • Does it have to be all or nothing? 
  • Can you cut yourself some slack?  
  • Are you ready to pick up where you left off?
  • What level of support do you need?
With you in your journey!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

New! BREATHE:Group Coaching for Moms...

My Mama Mojo is thrilled to offer group coaching!

Teaching moms how to listen to their hearts, quiet their minds, and thrive as women and moms! Tame the chaos, sort priorities, and feel more joy while raising your kids. You'll come away energized, refreshed, validated, and ready to tackle your many roles with new eyes and positive perspectives.

Join me once a week, for 8 weeks and learn to Breathe again with:
l  Tips and tricks for the 7 critical items on the keep-mom-sane checklist
l  A supportive group environment
l  Real and honest dialogue
l  Individual goal setting
l  Specific coaching on the tough questions

You'll get your own detailed Breathe Mom, Breathe! workbook (.pdf format) to follow, with loads of worksheets, tips, lists, and goodies to keep you on motivated.  It will keep you on track even if you have to miss a session for some reason.

Sign up now, spots are limited and will go quickly!  Classes are capped at 12 participants, ensuring that each of you get individual attention and real results. You owe it to yourself mama, and your family will thank you too!

The Details
l  Tuesday 7-8pm OR Friday 10:30-11:30am
l  Westchester Community Center, next to Historic Ellicott City
l  8 consecutive weeks starting on May3rd or May 6th
l  Includes your own Breathe Mom, Breathe! workbook, sent to you prior to your first class.
l  $200 per participant for 8 sessions (includes all classes and materials)
l  All sessions are facilitated by Heather Sobieralski, certified life coach and counselor.

To Register
To reserve your spot, please phone Heather at (301) 717-7731 or email her at to confirm availability.  When you receive confirmation, you can pay via pay pal or check. Upon payment, you will receive your Breathe Mom, Breathe! workbook.

I can’t wait to get started!

Heather Sobieralski, MEd
Certified Professional Life Coach
My Mama Mojo

All materials used by licensed permission, © 2009 by Bethany Vedder and

Friday, March 11, 2011

Faking motherhood

I love being a mom, but I don’t always enjoy the tasks and sacrifices associated with motherhood.  I love my children more then I ever thought possible, but I don’t always like them.  And yes, I have fantasies of running away and never returning.  And you know what…millions of other women feel the same way, so why do we rarely talk about it?
I recognize and appriciate the minority of women out there who are truly gifted at motherhood. These women are gifted in the same way as those who have natural musical, academic, or athletic aptitude. Mothering innately flows from them with ease, joy and passion.  It is their life purpose to care for their children.  These few women will have no idea what I am talking about.  For the rest of us…you know exactly what I am about to dare speak of.
Socially unacceptable
I started expressing my negative feelings of motherhood very early on in my journey (while my kids were still cooking in my uterus).  Unfortunately, about the same time I started expressing these thoughts, I quickly learned that it was socially unacceptable to do so.  Nothing can clear a room or silence a crowd faster then a pregnant or new mom expressing unhappiness about her new “bundle of joy,” or questioning why the hell she allowed herself to be knocked up in the first place.  So what is a new mom with dark thoughts to do?  Well, stuff them of course.  We soon develop the socially acceptable responses that all the other smiling moms have.   You know the ones:
  • I just love being a mother.
  • I am blessed with such a good baby.
  • Yes, I am a little tired-but isn’t it all worth it?
  • I am enjoying every moment.
  • I’ve never been happier.
  • I am happy to get up in the middle of the night just to smell my baby.
  • I’m so lucky that my husband is great with the baby.
  • My children have brought my husband and I closer then ever.
  • I could just breast feed all day.
  • I can’t wait to have another one.
You’ve heard these statements.  You have probably even spoken these untruths.  We learn very early on that we have to talk like the rest of the moms to feel like a “normal” member of the motherhood society.  We look around and see all the shiny happy faces and deduct that we must be some sort of a genetic defect of a woman since we don't feel the same way.  If everyone is enjoying themselves and feels fulfilled as a mother, then we must be missing the maternal gene, instinct, or whatever it is that makes us supposed to "fall madly in love” with our babies and never have a cross thought.  If this is true, then we must not let anyone discover our defect-so we fake it.  This is exactly how the cycle of silence begins.
I want to blast the roof off this secret of motherhood!
It is my passion and life purpose to get people talking about the secret of motherhood disappointment, stress, and lack of fulfillment.  I know what internalizing these scary feelings did to me, and I am bound and determined to educate every woman I can, so they can speak their truth, own their experience, and define motherhood on their terms (despite the plastered grins around them).  I am not the only one on this bandwagon.  I have read just about every book on this topic, and they all say the same thing-the vast majority of mothers with young children are overwhelmed, disappointed, stressed and suffering from adjustment issues directly related to their new roles. Yet, we rarely talk about it.  When data is collected anonymously, the truth come out.  
Recently on a social networking site, a new mom posted about her frustrations and conflicts she was having with her spouse.  I was outraged to see that she was blasted, by other mothers about how she should be thankful for what she had.  This “beat up” mom posted an APOLOGY the next day and thanked her “friends” for shedding new light and a positive perspective for her.  Bullshit!  I was so sadden by this display, and disturbed on so many levels.  
  • This new mom reached out with heartfelt honest, and got slammed for it. 
  • This is one more case of a mom sucking it up and feeling guilty because nobody else dare admit that it sometimes sucks for her too.  
  • It perpetuates the cycle of silence… “I must be the only one” mentality lives on.
  • I full heartedly believe that many cases of postpartum depression can be prevented if new mothers felt supported to feel, own, and speak their truths.
I publicly posted about how brave this new mom was for venting- and bravo to her for owning her experience.  Most importantly, I told her that she owed no apologies and to continue to feel whatever it was that she was feeling.   She was thankful for the support, but I bet she won’t be so honest in her posts or in her future conversations.  One more mom joins the secret smile society.  Not only was I disappointed to see this public display of forced conformity, but it hit a personal nerve with me as well.  I was blasted a while back when I posted a piece titled, The worst parenting advice I ever received, on one of my favorite sites, Sane Moms. I angered another mother who lost her child and thought I should be thankful for mine.  My first reaction was of complete and total guilt.  She was right, here I am bitching about my perfectly healthy baby who is screaming her head off and I am about to lose my fucking mind-and this woman’s house is completely quiet because her baby died.  I was stymied for days and the layers of guilt piled on one by one.  All those feelings of 'what the hell is wrong with me'  came flooding back-until I realized we had two completely different realities.  Neither was right or wrong, but different.  I had no reason to feel guilty, and she had every right to feel pissed by my post.  I am so thankful for what I have, but I am allowed to bitch about what is difficult for me,  and so are you!  Whatever you are feeling is YOUR reality, and nobody can deny it or take it away.  Yes, someone always has it worse, and at the end of the day it is of the utmost importance that you practice gratitude and appreciation.  But in the moment, it is your feeling, your frustration, and your guilt that you have every right to feel, own, and speak it out loud.  It is only when you own these feelings that you can begin to look at what is working in your life, what is not- and start to define motherhood on your terms.
Let us break down the walls of silence and conformity to 'smile through your overwhelm' one mom at a time.  
Will you join me in the advice I give to new mothers?
May you pop that baby out and fall madly in love.  May your transition into motherhood be one of ease and pure bliss.  My wish is for you to “enjoy every moment.”  But if you don’t, you are a real mother. May you have the courage to feel your frustration, the strength to speak it, and the openness to allow others to support you. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

One hell of a week!

One hell of a week!

I have had the kind of week that makes me want to crawl up in a little ball and never come out.  As my rotten week comes to an end, I am reflecting on-and digesting all that has happened, and where to go from here.

What was so bad?

One week ago, I called my OBGYN to hear the results of my lab work. The nurse on the other end struggled to find the words to tell me that I was in full-blown menopause.  Yup, that’s right, my eggs are dried up at the rip old age of 37.  To make matters worse, since I am so young, they have a much more “comforting” term-“premature ovarian failure”.  Gee, thanks…it’s always good to be a failure.  Well, like any 37-year-old premature menopausal woman, I took to my bed and cried for hours. 
I am still not sure what to do with this information.

The next day while I was out of town at a 40th birthday party for my sister-in-law, I received a phone call that my grandmother had died.  The rest of the week was spent out of town, away from my husband and children at her services…emoting all over the place.
As if I wasn’t drained enough from the wacky hormones…

As I came back to town, kissed my husband hello and goodbye before he went on a 5-day trip, I went to work and was told that my position was cut (my part-time counseling job-you know, the one that gives our family the benifits and helps pays the bills). 
Total depletion!

How am I doing?

We all have our coping strategies, some healthier then others.  My tendency is to retreat.  I like to be alone, curl up, eat comfort foods and go to bed early.  I did a lot of these activities this week.  My hibernation however can’t go on forever, and a few days of pouting is about all I can manage before the house falls apart.  When things get crappy and the “poor me” time is over, I ask myself two questions:

1) What do I have control over?
2) What do I have no control over?

If I can’t control it, I allow myself to grieve, and I let it go.
  • My hormone levels
  • My grandmother’s death
  • The loss of my job

If I have control over it, I get in motion to do something about it.
  •  How I respond and treat my hormone levels
  • How I decide to keep my grandmother’s memory alive
  • How I start looking for another job

In any situation or hand we are dealt, we decide our response.  We decide how and for how long we grieve, how and when we pull ourselves together, and our next steps for creating change.

  • I am done crying about my failing eggs.
  • My grandmother’s memory will live on throughout my life.
  • I will get my butt in gear and figure out what to do about this job situation.

What are you struggling with? Did you allow yourself to grieve? How long are you going to pout?  What choices do you have to make in creating some positive change?

With you every step of the way!