Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Grass is Greenest on my Side

I went to church this morning with the girls.  As I was sitting in church behind a nice little family I started to feel sad, envious, and jealous.  I was wishing my life was like theirs and (yet I knew nothing about them!).  They look 'so happy and so perfect' I thought.  Tears started welling up in my eyes quickly.  But then I stopped myself.  I looked around again and thought about everyone's hearts-instead of their beautiful dresses.  I wonder what everyone is feeling or thinking? 
Holidays often bring up a lot of emotions.  Often people miss loved ones that have recently passed, they might wish they had children, or maybe even wish their lives were better.  What I try to remind myself is that I am right where I need to be.  God has a plan.  Even if my life isn't where I want it to be, there's a reason that I am sitting here, breathing here and enjoying this moment.  Today, I will remember that the grass is greenest right where I am sitting.  Anyway, the holiday isn't about me, is it? It's about Jesus dieing for us and it is about recreating our lives-a new beginning.  It's about living in a Christian way-the way that God wants us to live.  Today I thank God for my many blessings and I do my best to be present.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Undo Day

Today was one of those days when I wish that I could have just pressed the 'undo button' and erased all my mistakes.  It just seemed like I was making one mistake after another, losing my patience, not getting things done, saying the wrong things and not being productive, etc.
Everyone has those days but isn't it ironic that when our children make a mistake we tell them "It's OK, everyone makes mistakes and it doesn't mean they are a bad kid" Yet when we make a mistake we immediately have a "bad mom" flag pop up in our minds.  Why can't we be kinder and gentler to ourselves?  Why can't we follow our own advice?  It's human nature to catastrophize things at times by jumping to extremes but it's important to catch yourself and say, "Wait a minute.  This isn't the end of the world."  If we don't stop ourselves, we are likely to get depressed, have anxiety, or use other things (alcohol, shopping, etc.) to band aid our feelings (which of course only makes matters worse). 

Lately I have been journaling a lot.  Journaling really helps me to process my thoughts and recreate my life.  It sounds silly but I actually write letters to myself as if I'm my own best friend (which is my ultimate goal)  It's amazing how nice I am to myself when I pretend to be someone else!! 

Tonight I took the girls to Peace of Pizza for dinner then "car danced" to Motley Crue on the way home (I know... mother of the year teaching my daughter the song 'Smokin in the Boys Room'!)Then I came home and rocked this little cutie in the rocking chair....

and had ice cream with this cutie...

THEN some mommy cuddle time...
then some ME time....

Is my life so bad???? No, not at all!  When I have a day that does not seem to go my way, I remind myself that I'm allowed to make mistakes too.....and it doesn't make me a bad mom!

Monday, March 25, 2013


I love the saying, "You have two ears and one mouth for a reason".  Do I practice what I preach? I try!  But of course listening is an art form and something I always try to improve.
As you know, I like to talk....a lot.  Duh....I'm a blogger!  Maybe I'm arrogant?  I don't know why I like to talk a lot.  I guess I like to share information that I've learned or funny things that make me laugh with others.  When it comes to parenting, I realize how important listening really is.  Listening is the ultimate form of respect.  Think about it.  Do you ever respect people that don't listen to you? I'm willing to bet the answer is no.  The same goes for children.  Not only do we need to listen to them but we need to help them communicate.  Here's an example...
My daughter asked me a few weeks ago, "Mommy, why is your house different than Daddy's house?". My stomach dropped and I immediately panicked trying to think of how to answer this question.  Everything I've read says that I should only tell the kids about the separation based on what they ask since they are so young.  Luckily, I asked Sienna, "What do you mean?" and she replied, "Why does your house have big windows and Daddy's house have little windows?" Turns out she wasn't asking about why Mommy and Daddy separated (like I initially thought)-she was merely interested in the architecture.  BUT if I wouldn't have asked, I wouldn't have known! 
I know this idea is going to be unpopular but I believe that our children are don't listen because we don't listen to them enough.  How often are we too busy trying to do what we plan and what we think they want that we forget to really stop and listen to them?  It's really not complicated!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Witching Hour

Sometimes when I'm getting frustrated because I'm trying to make dinner and Jacklyn's pulling at my shirt wanting me to pick her up I remind myself this....someday when she is all grown up I will be looking back wishing that these beautiful eyes and sweet little hands were wanting me to pick her up and hold her tight...

10 Ways to Make Parenting NOT Fun

1.  Fly by the seat of your pants
2.  Enjoy adult conversation in front of the kids constantly
3.  Work too much
4.  Worry too much
5.  Focus on what your kids are doing wrong
6.  Expect too much from your kids
7.  Expect too much from yourself
8.  Never play
9.  Never set rules/consequences
10.  Rarely ask them questions

Monday, March 18, 2013

Unveil Your Passion Today and Become a Better Mom Tomorrow!

Do you want to put yourself in an extremely dangerous situation? Let motherhood consume you...maybe even define you.  If it does, how do you stay happy when you've lost yourself?  What will happen when your kids are grown?  Whatever your passion-sports, fashion, self help literature, cooking-don't let go of it.  Starting a blog can be a great way to stay connecting to things that you love!  Check out this great interview with a blogger who never lost sight of her passion!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

How Martial Arts Has Made Me a Better Mom

I never had any desiere to practice martial arts until I was 25 years old.  I randomly stumbled upon it and it changed my life forever.  What I thought would make me strong and safe turned into something that gave me the tools to conquer anything I want to do in life...including parenting.
Parenting is one of the toughest but most rewarding things I will ever do.  If I didn't have the tools that I learned from marital arts I really don't know what I would do.  Patience, self discipline, structure and respect are the best qualities a mom can have and my favorite tools for creating a positive environment for my children.  Although there are many times that I forget to use these tools, I am able to be flexible and patient with myself to get back on track and be the type of parent I want to be. I am so thankful that marital arts has made me become a better mom and ultimately a better person. 

This is me receiving my black belt in martial arts in 2007

Monday, March 11, 2013

Too Many Chiefs, Not Enough Indians

Sienna (my 4 year old) has recently been having problems with the other kids I take of during the day-arguing, getting frustrated, etc.  I have been trying to figure out the problem and why this is occurring.  Then I went to a parent teacher conference with her preschool teacher and asked her teacher if she had seen these problems with Sienna at school.  She said no and then asked me if the other kids were 'leader type personalities'.  Then it sunk in with me! Sienna and her friend are both leaders and sometimes I think that gets in the way of playing together.  SO, now I'm on a mission to try to help Sienna to learn to be an Indian (and maybe me too! :)  as well as just accept their personalities and desire to be in charge.  It makes me think...being a leader is great but when is it better to be an Indian? 
Funny thing is I have given one of my very best friend, Nicole, the endearing nickname 'leader' because she is always the one to start initiatives and make things happen when we are together as a group!  She organized our shore house and tends to be the one to send out many of the girls night get together emails.  Being a leader is a great quality, and even though I consider myself a leader as well we both seem to be on the same page (and don't butt heads very often).  I tend to have a lot of ideas and she tends to make things happen with a plan. 
Watching young girls playing is very interesting because they start so young being the one who is the "mom".  I definitely think being a leader is an innate characteristic but it can be influenced by others. Being aware of your child's personality can help you understand why he or she gets frustrated and how to help them communicate effectively with others.

Friday, March 8, 2013

When Your Gut Isn't Enough

Intuition is a funny thing.  It really is.  How many times have you been told as a parent to "follow your intuition!" and you secretly want to scream "I would if I knew what it was". I really hate when people tell me that.  Intuition is a funny thing.  Many people say that intuition is what 'feels right to you' or 'listen to what your heart is telling you'. Jessica Cohen at wrote a great article about being your child's advocate but I still struggle with this issue.  What if I don't know what feels right to me? 
Since gut feelings are based on your prior beliefs and experiences, how do we know that following our gut is the right thing?  Depending on how we grow up, the things the feel 'right' to us may not be in our best interests.  You may have grown up in a house where we should never 'rustle any feathers' so being assertive feels absolutely uncomfortable...and even against our intuition! The fact is that some of the best decisions I've made in my life did not feel comfortable or 'right'.  My head told me to do one thing and my gut told me to do something else.  Making those hard decisions went against everything that felt 'comfortable' to me.
SO, my question to all of you is how do you know when to listen to your heart and when to listen to your brain?  When do you throw away all the facts and follow your heart or is it best to follow the rules?  When we're raising our children we're constantly faced with decisions about weather to trust the teacher, doctor, or even another parent or if we should go out on a limb and not follow their advice.

For me the answer is a lot of prayer and careful consideration-sometimes a pros and cons list.  Talking to close friends helps too.  While it's important to trust others (especially professionals) we must also remember that we are humans (teachers, doctors, and psychologists) and humans make mistakes or make decisions not in our best interest all the time.  If you don't feel comfortable about something-why not ask questions and ask what other options you have?  Often times we see things in black and white instead of realizing that we have many choices.  Sometimes it's best to be logical and sometimes it's best to follow your heart.  One thing I know for sure is that I screw up.....a lot.  I make mistakes and that's OK.  Sometimes I listen to my head and sometimes I listen to my heart but in the end I will be o.k and I'm still a good mom.