Jan 312012

As moms, it’s our job to protect our brood, guide little hearts, create productive citizens, all the while spinning plates and juggling life, as if it’s just another day in the park.  We don’t have to pretend to be perfect, rather a work in progress.  Just as our kids are going through new phases, so are we.  It’s our first time being a mom to screaming infants, wild toddlers & moody teenagers.

We do other moms a disservice by not admitting hard times.  Having coffee with a friend, a mentor, finding time to play tennis, golf, whacking a ball, is enough to set us back on track.  Even the toughest of jobs has a one or two day break; so take one for yourself.  Now, for the Top 10 Mom Confessions…

1) Our house is usually a disaster.

2) We don’t know everything and don’t always like to share.

3) If we never see another episode of Spongebob, Dora or iCarly, I’m sure we’d survive.

4) Playing games with our kids is usually not that much fun.

5) We love taking baths in peace and dream of a hotel room for one (OK, maybe two).

6) We love eating food someone else prepares.

7) We hate sticky things.

8) We occasionally make mistakes / Sometimes we’re wrong (though rarely LOL).

9) It’s hard to ask for help.

10) And drum roll please . . . When the baby’s diaper has a blow out, we sometimes say: Go Get D-A-D!

Hang up the Super-Mom Cape and make your way to the kitchen – as you step over race cars, Lego blocks and soccer equipment that’s set up like a mine field.  Grab yourself a coffee or a hot tea, take a deep breath, and realize you don’t have to be something you’re not.  Don’t create expectations you can’t maintain.  So as you’re taking a bubble bath and little notes are being passed underneath the door – because you told them not to knock – take a deep breath and know it’s happening to millions of other moms out there.  This is nothing new under the sun.  It’s job security and you are set.

Here’s to living the best version of YOU.  Don’t forget to BREATHE!

written for http://www.women.com

 Posted by at 11:59 pm
Jan 162012

Dr. Seuss said it best:

Everyone is Just Waiting,

Waiting for the Fish to Bite,

Waiting for the Wind to Fly a Kite

Waiting Around for Friday night.

Doesn’t waiting seem like a waste of time, a useless place?  Yet, in fact, there are lessons to be learned in the Waiting Place.  Waiting is defined as:  remaining stationary, in readiness or in expectation, to rest in patience.

I enjoyed a girl’s three-day weekend away from the hustle and bustle of life.  There were no techno gadgets, just nature, walking trails, lakes and Canadian Geese.  What a great time to clear my head, think and be.  I anticipated a quiet get-a-way of thinking and waiting in expectation for answers to questions.

But the transition from the “fast-paced-to the “slow-paced” was difficult.  Women are multi-taskers.  We shine best in a storm, when life is in turmoil, when chaos is at its peak, when lives are at stake.  Give us a day to think and wait, and it’s a little un-settling.  It’s in our blood to keep the balls juggling and the plates spinning.

After 10 minutes of waiting by the lake, hoping for a quick revelation to life’s ponderings, my mind filled itself with the infamous “To-Do” list:  buy groceries, fix the car, office deadlines, pay the bills.  My brain was full of logistics.  But as I sat there long enough, taking a deep breath, determined to do nothing but wait, something amazing began to occur; I began to smell the roses, hear the birds singing; my mind began to clear, and like the sun peeking through the clouds, I slowly began to see things differently, about my kids, my life, my goals and dreams for myself.

We hurry through life and forget that “Waiting” (remaining stationary) is a valid step to life’s processes.  It’s where new perspective, new ideas and new attitudes are formed.  Priorities begin to re-arrange themselves.  The important stuff seems to rise to the top and the “not-so-important” falls off the list.

Like death and taxes, laundry and dishes will be with you Always.  Our children won’t be young forever.  They won’t always be willing to hang with us, let us share in their disappointments and victories.

Embrace the quiet, live in readiness and expectation.  Don’t stray far from resting in patience.  For in the Waiting Place, life gains new perspective . . . And Oh, the Places You Will Go!

 Posted by at 11:12 pm
Jan 032012

I visited a doctor’s office the other day and for insurance purposes the questionnaire asked what I did for a living. Never understanding why it matters, I wrote:  MOM.  I used to say Director of Communications or Business Owner and boy did that feel good.  It said everything I needed to say in 2 -3 words to boost my ego.

Now, when I fill in the box with :  MOM – I hear 2 little words in my head:   “JUST A.”  I felt compelled to explain, as if I needed a paragraph to say: I cook for a small army, ya know, planning menus, organizing schedules, responsible for annual budgets.  We’re teachers, accountants, counselors, chauffeurs; we’re public relations, risk management, the CEO of our Household all rolled into one.

For whatever reason, I’ve become my own enemy in viewing the word MOM, as if I had been retired from active duty, been put to pasture, as if staying at home meant doing nothing.  With a title like Director of Something, there’s a value set to it; a monetary figure, a set of skills earned to attain this position.  With the title of MOM there’s no financial figure tied into the equation, therefore motherhood doesn’t reflect the respect it deserves.  After all, who would work for nothing?

While I know that’s not true, I somehow felt compelled to march in a parade, hold my flag high as if to say:  we guide little hearts into adulthood, teaching them to be productive citizens, raising leaders of tomorrow.  Perhaps it’s because our pay rate doesn’t translate in monetary form.  No real salary, pay increase, bonus or vacation days.  While greenbacks are a definite bonus, the benefits of parenting far out way financial perks.

I then realized, why do I care what the world thinks.  I’m not in charge of changing global perception, rather my own.  The problem is with me.  In the end, I know my credentials, my capabilities. There’s no need to post a sign on my car advertising my resume.  What matters is that I’m focusing my attention, my abilities and talents on guiding my children (doing my part) to raise the best individuals they can be, one person at a time.  One day they will be someone’s employee, boss, spouse, parent, friend;  that’s my contribution, my legacy.

So here’s a shout out to all those moms (working at home/ in the office) who will NOT make the Forbes’ Top 100 list.  Your reward is mentoring those trailing a little behind you in life’s journey.  There are no term limits, no set guidelines.   No matter what you write in the BOX OF LIFE, that one-word description can’t possibly DEFINE all the many facets of Who You ARE and what you do. Here’s to Living in Confidence, knowing you are where you need to be, this moment in time.

 Posted by at 5:42 pm