How to Make Your Kid Feel Good

birth story, Uncategorized

I have one lonely daughter. She has four brothers. I used to feel bad for her, but then I talked to the resource teacher at school and found out she had grown up with eight brothers. I think she was the youngest of twelve children, so she also had sisters.

My daughter seems to think that her life would be exponentially better if only she had a sister. I tried, I really did. But for whatever reason, God decided that one girl was enough for me. And I always say that I’d rather have four boys and one girl than one boy and four girls.

Not that there’s anything wrong with having four daughters. I am a bit of a tomboy and I guess God figured I could handle boys just a fraction of a hair better than girls.

Maybe you know this, especially if you’re a Mom of daughters, but school-aged girls come with drama. I had heard about it. I had been warned that it would happen. But up until this year, grade four, I hadn’t heard much drama from my daughter. Other than the high pitched shrieking that happens whenever one of her brothers touches her or any of her “stuff.”

About a month ago, she came home from school at lunch and she told me about a girl in her class who was being mean to her. Even her youngest brother had witnessed firsthand this girl mimicking my daughter in a way that was clearly meant to hurt.

A few days later, another story came home. Same girl. Trying to make my daughter feel bad herself. Trying to let my daughter know that she didn’t belong in her very elite circle of friends.

Ugh. The Mama Bear in me was ready to rise up and fight. To let the mother of the Mean Girl know what her daughter was doing. I mean, if MY daughter had been doing that to someone else, I’d want to know about it!

Rather than following my instinct to blow this all out of proportion, I chatted with a couple of my mom-friends about this. I left it for a few days before I finally decided to:

A. talk to the teacher about it, and

B. write my daughter a letter.

In my letter, I told her how much I had wanted a girl. How, after three boys, I had thought it was impossible that I could give birth to anything other than a boy.

How I didn’t believe the ultrasound technician when she said, “No penis.”

How I had bought a cute little “girlie” sleeper and brought it to the hospital…along with a blue sleeper. Then I decided to tell her about the pregnancy I had had with her. It wasn’t all fun and games. None of my pregnancies were, but hers began with a month of bleeding and passing clots. I had assumed I was having another miscarriage (I had already had two in 2004).

But a miracle happened. At 7 weeks, we saw the heartbeat, despite the bleeding.

My pregnancy continued on and the bleeding eventually stopped. I had a consult with a OB/GYN since I was under the care of a Midwife since my belly was measuring small. I had always measured 1-2 cm over “average.” They sent me for an ultrasound close to the 30 week mark and that’s when I was told I was pregnant with a girl.

I wrote this all out for her. I told her about the emotional rollercoaster I went through during my pregnancy with her.

Then I told her how she and I had had to stay in the hospital a few extra days because she was acting like a premie and sleeping instead of eating. I told her how I had worked hard to force her to eat.

I told her how the Doctor’s had threatened to put her into the NICU if she didn’t start gaining weight.

Then I told her how I had been sent home with the instructions that I shouldn’t hold her. I should just feed her and let her sleep.

Of course, I didn’t listen. I cuddled her and she began to thrive.

I have lots of stories about her that only I can tell. I have the important stories about all of my children. The stories that happened because I loved them enough, even before they were born, to put my physical and mental wellbeing on the line in order to meet their needs.

I made my daughter feel wanted and special because I shared with her the story of my pregnancy with her.

I think I made the best decision, all things considered.

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Life lessons from Pistol Squats

blog, kettlebells, mindset

The pistol squat has always been the sign of ultimate fitness to me. It combines strength, flexibility, and balance. AND it looks very impressive! Squatting on one leg? I admire anyone who manages to accomplish this feat!
This morning, I retested my pistol squat. I can’t train them regularly because my body doesn’t love them (hurts the bad kind of way!). But I still train other exercises that also require strength and flexibility.


When I tested today, I didn’t do so well. Sure, I had already worked out and my legs were slightly fatigued. But I struggled. Going down was easy. I have perfected the pulling down movement quite well. It’s going back up that poses the biggest struggle for me.

I have a weak point right at the bottom of the squat. And the longer I sit at the bottom, the harder it is to start moving up again.

What an analogy to life, right? Going down isn’t that hard. It’s not fun, but once you’ve been depressed before, it doesn’t take much to pull you back under. All you need are some negative thoughts or a difficult life event and there you are, balancing dangerously at the bottom of the pit.

The longer you sit there, the harder it is to rise back up. Because moving upwards requires the right combination of mental energy, emotional support, and hopeful thoughts. Finding that “it will get better” inspiration when you’re in the depths of despair is hard to come by.

I’m not saying don’t stay depressed for too long before you decide to come back to the real world. That would be crazy. Depression isn’t something that you just *decide* away. But the more times you grease the groove going up, the more confidence you have that it will happen.

No matter how often you’ve felt defeated before now, you have managed to survive. You’ve gotten back up. And you can get back up again. You already have the strength. But you will need support. And you’ll need a slight glimmer of hope.

When you can’t do it yourself, ask for help.
#mentalhealth #depression

Redefining Strength as a Mom at 40

blog, highly sensitive person, mindset

I had no idea that turning 40 would be this hard.

I’m sure that some of you who are older and/or wiser will read this and think “It took you this long to figure this stuff out?” Apparently I’m a slow learner.

At forty and a half years old, I feel like I have learned more in the last 6 months than I did over the last five years.

My twenties were about gaining independence and then giving it up again when I got married and made the decision to bond with my husband. It was also the decade that I gave birth of my first three children and I found an inner strength and stubbornness I didn’t realize I possessed.

My thirties felt like a regression. The birth of my last two children and the postpartum garbage I went through left me in counselling. My counsellors pointed out to me that I avoided my emotions. I didn’t want to change a thing about that. Maybe not that I didn’t want to, but I didn’t know how and the thought of dealing with my emotions made me scared as a hog at a barbecue.

Now here I am, six months into my forties. I’ve taken the strength discovered in my twenties with the realizations made in my 30s, and started to write it out. Write through the difficult stuff. Write into the emotions I would rather avoid. No wonder I feel like I’ve suddenly aged 5 years.

Redefining what strength is might be easy for some people. It has not been easy for me. At this stage of my life, this is how I define strength:

Strength used to be about attaining strength goals and pushing my body as hard as I could.

In the last six months, I’ve been reminded to slow down and I’ve been forced to redefine what strength looks like for me.

Strength has been facing my difficult emotions, taking the time to learn how to do this and then to do it…instead of stuffing them down or numbing myself.

Strength is about taking responsibility for my actions and behaviours. Being aware that other people and situations in life may trigger things in me but ultimately I am the one who decides my visible response.

Strength is letting go. Letting go of what is not true to me and realizing the things that were once my dreams and goals no longer fit me.

My inherent worthiness does not lie in what other people’s definitions of strength are. It does not matter how physically strong I am. It is affected by my ability to handle my emotions and take responsibility of my behaviour. My inherent worthiness is at stake when I refuse to let things go, especially those things which hold me back.

Strength is being unapologetic for who I am. It’s not that I’m rude and obnoxious, but refusing to feel guilty for being a quiet, over-thinking introvert when feminist are telling me to rage against the societal norms! 

Strength is listening to my body rather than pushing through pain. Accepting my limitations, and not having to prove anything. I can see other women killing it in the gym or running marathons and be ok with that. Strength is acknowledging another’s accomplishment without letting it dull my own.

The things that define strength for me now have little to do with physical strength and nothing to do with appearance. As my body begins to remind me that I am no longer in my twenties, I’ve had to do the hard work of letting go of my gym and aesthetic goals. These are not easy things to give up, especially because I love fitness. I still exercise, but I’ve had to cut back based on the signals my body gives me. Not letting this bother me is not easy. It requires…strength.

Have you had to redefine strength as you’ve “matured”? 🙂 If so, how has strength changed for you over the years?

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When you’re sick of Emotional Eating

blog, mindset, stress reduction, walking

I’ve written out my story and posted it many times. Basically it’s this – after having 5 kids, I joined a program to “lose the baby weight and get my body back.” I developed a disordered relationship with food then became a Personal Trainer with the goal of helping other Moms get strong at home while also encouraging them to realize that they are more than what they look like. That’s pretty much it.

What I haven’t gone into is my issue with emotional eating. Until now.

This morning, I was listening to a podcast on my walk. Two people were discussing the perceived pleasure we derive when we turn to food for comfort. We think we feel better when we eat our favourite foods, but do we actually end up feeling better? Or worse.

I do this too. Stressed out? Chocolate to the rescue! However, what happens over time is that these attempts to deal with my stress adds weight to my body, but most importantly, it doesn’t make me feel any better!

Although I rarely eat to the point of physical discomfort, it’s the mental/emotional struggle that I go through after I turn to food for comfort. I feel bad about myself, plain and simple.

I have known for a few years now that strict rules around food won’t solve my problem with emotional eating. Restrict chocolate for a month…and then binge when the month is over.

After many months of trying to restrict in order to deal with emotional eating, I realized that I was just making things worse. I needed to take a step back, relax, breathe…and start taking care of myself.

After all, it’s actually not about the food.

Instead of numbing with food, I needed to make friends with myself and my feelings if I had a chance to overcome emotional eating.

This may sound a little woo-woo to some and others are thinking, “ummm yeah, what’s so hard about that?” People who face their feelings and deal with them usually don’t struggle with numbing behaviours.

I grew up stuffing down my feelings. That’s just the way it was. I like to use food to help me NOT feel. Other people use alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, shopping…pick your poison. Nearly everything can be abused in an effort to numb feelings, even the INTERNET. Everyone has at least one story about  numbing themselves. It’s a normal human response when we are unable to handle the difficult stuff that inevitably happens in life.

Instead of beating yourself up when these things happen, acknowledge that you were doing the best you could to take care of yourself, even if it wasn’t the best thing to do.

Emotional Eating was a trigger for me to take a hard look at my life. I was numbing. To stop numbing, I needed to take care of myself.

Make friends with myself and my emotions.

I need to schedule relaxing activities.

I need down time.

I need to let go of expectations I had of myself.

I needed to stop caring what other people thought of me.

When the physical symptoms of stress and anxiety pop up, I know I haven’t taken care of myself and then I need to start saying “no” for a couple of weeks and pull back.

My natural instinct is to give, give, give, and always say yes and be busy all the time. However, I came to realize that doing so was negatively affecting me. I can’t handle that kind of stress and busyness. It leaves no time or energy for taking care of ME.

If you’re an emotional eater (and we all are to some degree), take a look at what you’re trying to numb. There could be some really painful stuff inside of you that you’ve never dealt with. You might need a lot of support to get through it. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or to seek a professional. It’s your job to take care of YOU. That’s not a bad thing, because deep down inside, you are the only one who can change you.

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Jealousy Makes Me Feel Ugly

blog, mindset

I saw this quote posted on Facebook the other day. “Society profits from self-doubt.”

I whole heartedly agree. Self-doubt is something that I struggle with daily. But what is even worse – even more damaging – is self-doubt based on comparison. Or simply in a word, jealousy.

Jealousy is the result of us bringing our self doubt out into the rest of the world and holding it up to what other people are doing and saying and then wondering, “Do I measure up to what you are doing? To the standards you have set for yourself? To the life you are working to create for yourself?”

And then realizing our real lift struggles and insecurities are so pathetic when compared to other people’s successes.

Who do we do this? Why do I do this to myself?

Admitting that I am jealous makes me feel ugly and ashamed. I honestly strive to support other women, not feel angry at them for their success.

I realize that it is not actually THEM I am angry with.

It is the frustration that I feel when I am not fully living the life I want to live. I have brought my struggles and insecurities onto Facebook or Instagram and held them up beside other people’s highlight reels. Not fair. To myself, AND to them.

I remind myself, “what do I have that THEY don’t have?” I start listing things in my mind but then I stop myself. This may seem like the right direction to go in but I still don’t have it right.

What do I have in my life right now that I love? What systems have I worked to put into place that are helping me achieve greater happiness and fulfillment in my life?

Ahhhh, there it is!!!

That is what takes me away from the ugliness of jealousy, the neediness of self-doubt.

What I need is to focus on me and my life. Celebrate my victories, my process. I have plenty to be grateful for and for the rest of the day, I will put away my useless measuring stick which only measures where my focus is.

Tomorrow,I may go through this all over again, but a month from now, I know that this process will be a little easier, a little faster. And a year from now, it will be habit.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

When I write, it can seem to me like word-diarrhea. Is this my self-doubt speaking? If you understand what I’m saying, if you’ve ever felt ashamed like I have because of feeling jealous, if you agree or disagree with my interpretation of jealousy, or if you’ve found another way to work through your “social media jealousy syndrome”, please let me know.

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Like what you read here? Hang out with me on Facebook or Instagram, or check out my website.

swingingkbatleg

Kettlebell Home Workout

kettlebells, workouts

Equipment required:

Kettlebells – one heavier for swinging, one lighter weight for racked squats

TRX (see DIY TRX on my YouTube channel, demonstrated one minute in)

yoga matt – optional, for downdog to plank

 

Here is a home workout you can use in a few ways.

Beginners – if you have been properly learned the kettlebell swing, then swing. If not, stick with a kettlebell deadlift, focussing on hinging at your hips and keepig a flat back.

Round 1 – X 20 kettlebell swings

Round 2 – X20 kettlebell swings, X5 each side front racked squat (FRS)

Round 3 – X20 kettlebell swings, X5 each side FRS, X10 TRX rows

Round 4 – X20 KB swings, X5 each side FRS, X10 TRX rows, X10 downdog to plank

Round 5 – X20 KB swings, X5 each side FRS, X10 TRX rows, X10 downdog to plank, X10 each side reverse lunges

 

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If you are looking to increase the difficulty of the workout, you might want to consider doing 3-5 rounds of all five exercises.

X20 kettlebell swings

X5 each side Front Racked Squat

X10 TRX rows

X10 downdog to plank

X10 each reverse lunges with kettlebell (see picture)

 

One more way to increase the difficulty –

X20 each one arm kettlebell swings

X5 each side front racked squat and overhead press (thruster)

X10 TRX rows or chin ups

X10 each push ups

X10 each jumping lunges

 

Please leave me a comment if you do this workout, which version you chose to do, and how it went. 🙂 Feel free to pass on this workout, giving credit to Kettlebell Mom (Facebook & Instagram).

 

Happy Working Out!

china

I’m Not the Good China

blog, mindset, parenting, postnatal

Thank Goodness I’m Not the Good China

I’m not the good china. I’m the everyday dishes. The Corelle. In the plainest pattern you can find.

china

What exactly do I mean?

Let me start by telling you about a discussion that came up in a group I am a part of on Facebook. These women are all in the fitness field or connected to it in some way or other and this group formed under the guidance of Jessi of Remodel Fitness.

Her goal for the group is to create a safe place for women to express themselves, share their struggles, and in return receive support and encouragement from other women. I have learned a lot from these women and have been challenged in my thoughts!

This week, one woman wrote a post about how some women leave us feeling “less than.” We feel fat. We feel disgusting. We feel weak. And good gravy, we just want to look like them and BE them!

She contrasted that with women who leave us feeling empowered. Like we’re good enough. Like we’re able to conquer the world!!

What was the difference between these kinds of women? Or…was it just us, the way we perceive them with our imperfections. Our baggage.

I left my reply: “I see strong, empowering women as being real. They show up and say, ‘this is who I am, take it or leave it.’ They don’t care if people don’t like them because they like themselves.

“Model-type of women are usually just a facade. They are only a pretty face (or only show that!!!) and have attained a certain look to meet an outer expectation. They’re not truly themselves in the public eye, imo…they don’t give off an air of confidence and self acceptance. You can’t get past their purposefully crafted exterior.”

But it’s the reply that followed mine that helped me make sense of it all: Jenny wrote, “for models, their body is their office. They have to show up to several “go-see’s” and hope they’re picked solely on the basis of what the designer wants to show,” and, “It was a huge perspective shift for me to see these women not as ideals of societal beauty but more as professional anorexics who have a career only until their bodies give out.”

Wow. My heart ached just a little for these women who use their bodies as their office. Their body is their livelihood.

I have been struggling a bit with my body image these days and to I combat that, I basically spew body positivity stuff all over Facebook and Instagram. It helps me and I hope it will help others because I know I am not along in my struggle to accept my body as it is.

I’m not the good china. I am not a model who needs to maintain a specific look. A body that is only available at limited times because a high level of upkeep is more important than living life.

No, I am the everyday dishes. The Corelle, the Mix and Match of leftover dishes that haven’t broken.

I am just me. I live in my body every day. When my kids are sick and I don’t get a good night’s sleep, I know that pushing through a workout isn’t what is best for me.

I enjoy life as the everyday dishes. I eat birthday cake two days in a row because it’s my kids birthday and birthday’s only happen 7 times a year in our house. 🙂

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I eat chocolate every day because I love it. When I hug my kids, make them food, clean up after them, and wade through their messes, I’m the everyday dishes.

The chipped, stained, but sturdy and available, everyday dishes.

China gets tucked away, protected behind glass doors, only used for special occasions. But I don’t. I’m here every day, enjoying life and moving in my strong, everyday body.

And that’s a great thing.

walking

The Problem with Walking

blog, stress reduction, walking

Walking has a problem. It really does. People walk every day. They walk without thinking about it. Some people walk more than others.

Some people walk for health benefits, others walk as little as possible.

Between elevator and car.

Park as close to the store as you can so you don’t have to walk as far. But they can still walk where they need to go.

However, walking CLEARLY has a problem.

Walking isn’t sexy.

You know what’s sexy?

Crossfit. Triathalons. Marathons. Even 5 Ks.

Squatting your bodyweight. Powerlifting. Handstands. Chin ups. Yoga on the beach in a bikini.

These are all sexy fitness activities we celebrate, applaud, and hold in high esteem.

But walking? When was the last time you had a friend who was relatively active post a “walking selfie” of themselves and said, “Just had an epic walk. Set a Personal Best on my walk. #walkingwednesday #PReveryday ”

Walking is for older people.

Walking is for pregnant and early postnatal women.

Walking is for 12 month old children.

But for the rest of us, walking is not really note-worthy. Who brags about their walks? (present company excluded if you know me at all).

Because when it comes to fitness and fat loss, no one thinks that walking is good enough to be a part of a fit lifestyle. Walking alone isn’t going to make a difference when you’re trying to lose weight. Or is it? And will it?

walking.JPG

I argue that walking should be something you do every day, if at all possible. The main reason that I walk every day is not because it makes me feel sexy and slim, but because it helps my mind and body process stress. It’s also the time where I get my best ideas. My creativity is stimulated when I’m outside walking.

Walking doesn’t help me achieve my fat loss goals. Nor should it. The real result of fat loss is not whether you’re burning enough calories but how many calories you’re taking in. How much sleep you’re getting. And how you’re managing your stress.

There’s a whole other world of information on the link between stress, lack of sleep, hormones, and belly fat, especially as we age. I recommend you visit Metabolic Effect if you’re interested in learning more about that. ME seems to be on the cutting edge of research in the stress, sleep, hormone, and belly fat department.

Walking is also a great place to start for those new to exercise. Most of us can walk and have the ability to walk around the block. It’s simple to start and it costs hardly any money. And if you decide you eventually want to run, don’t forget the benefits of walking, your first fitness feat.

In today’s culture where we’re usually burning the candle at both ends (ie. stressed, time crunched, and sleep deprived), walking is one of the smartest ways to help reduce your stress while still achieving health benefits.

Even though walking isn’t sexy, it doesn’t mean that you can’t include it as part of your healthy lifestyle. Walk whenever you can. Walk instead of taking the car. Walk in winter. Walk on the beach. Teach your children that walking is good for our bodies and for the environment.

Walking isn’t sexy, but it does have it’s benefits.

 

 

This is not just another Pinterest fail

blog, mindset, parenting, Uncategorized

We all love a good Pinterest fail.

Birthday cake that will scare your three year old? Post it side by side for the world to see.

Did your your pizza cause an oven disaster? Pinterest fail.

Crafty fail? Did something end up in a phallic shape, perhaps?

Share your failure with the world! At least THEY’LL get a laugh out of it even though it was a waste of your precious time.

Pinterest has more than birthday cakes, good food, and crafts. Pinterest is also a place where we can go to create our dream boards. Maybe a board with pins of your dream body.

There are lots of fitness pictures and workouts on Pinterest. Some good, some not so good. But really, how many women actually have 6 pack abs? Do you know how hard it is to get visible abs, especially for a woman?

It IS possible. Some women don’t have to struggle too much to get there. And for some women, it can be a personal goal worthy of their time and effort.

But for the rest of us, Pinterest-worthy-six-pack-abs is not in our cards.

But Moms like me just don’t have the time and energy at this time in our lives to focus on getting six-pack abs.

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This is me. On the left, in case you weren’t sure.

This body has carried and nurtured five children, can you tell?

Currently, my body spends it’s days working to provide for those same five children. I make them meals, I clean up their messes, I buy stuff for them, and I try my best to raise them up to be responsible adults.

My kids are 7, 9, 11, 13, and 15 years old. These are very important years for them and for me as their Mom.

The time I spend with them now is more important than the time I spend working out or making úber-heathy meals.

Eating food with them is a bonding experience. It is important to show them there are no “bad” foods, just foods to eat less of and foods to eat more of.

It is a time to encourage them in sports. When they’re in the game, I’m on the sidelines cheering them on. From my lawn chair.

The time I have with my kids, the memories we make are more important to me than how my body looks.

My body gives me the opportunity to be HERE with them right now. And I’m glad that I can be here for them, cheering them on, listening to them complain about school, reminding them to practice their piano, driving them to sports, and cleaning up their messes.

Is it Pinterest worthy?

No, it probably is not.

But do I care?

Nope.

My body is not just another Pinterest fail.

It is a freaking awesome vessel for a Mom who is doing the best she can to love and nurture the five freaking awesome kids she has been blessed with.

 

Come hang out with me on Facebook at Kettlebell Mom or Instagram.

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When Mother’s Day Is Disappointing

blog, kids, mindset, parenting

If the words, “Happy Mother’s Day” don’t leave you filled with joy and gratefulness…you’re not alone.

There are many ways that Mother’s Day can be especially painful.

Children without mom’s due to mental illness or death mourn in their own ways.

Adult children who’ve lost their mother’s -whether years ago or recently – feel an obvious void on Mother’s Day.

Mother’s who have lost children – whether they have died or are missing or are wayward- grieve in a way I can’t even begin to imagine.

Women with empty arms who have dreamed of becoming a mother and yet their dreams remain unfulfilled.

What about the Dads who are trying their hardest to fill the role of missing Mothers in their children’s lives – we acknowledge you. Not because you’re just as good as a Mom, but because you see your child’s need for a Mom and you do what you can to meet those needs in your own fatherly way.

Today, I want to talk about a somewhat socially unacceptable view of Mother’s Day. I could talk about being a motherless daughter because I have half a lifetime experience as a motherless daughter on Mother’s Day.

Rather, I want to address the new Moms and the challenges they face and how Mother’s Day might look for them. Because this is how it used to be for me.

To the moms who are marking their first, second, or even fifth Mother’s Day. The Mom who is sleep-deprived and working around the clock. The mother who has learned to take their child’s temperature with a touch of their lips. The mother who cleans up multiple messes, multiple times, every single day. The new mom who has been to so many doctor’s appointments during pregnancy, postpartum visits, and new baby visits.

The mother who used to be an independent woman, but in the process of becoming a mom, has perhaps lost her identity and struggling to figure out who and what she is.

You’re doing the best you can to take care of your little one(s), so much so, that maybe you’re left thinking…

Is THIS what Motherhood is all about? Is it constantly feeling exhausted? Taken for granted? A soft, squishy place for all kinds of bodily fluids to be released upon?

In a word…Yes.

And that is what makes you as a Mom irreplaceable and invaluable.

No one truly knows what you all do for your family.

No one knows how hard it is to do your job so selflessly.

No one understand the kind of exhaustion you feel as you get up day after day after day to do the same thing all. Over. Again.

Does it get better?

I’ve been a Mom for 16 Mother’s Days now and my perspective on Mother’s Day has changed. Fortunately.

I used to expect breakfast-in-bed, flowers, wonderful gifts and cards. Both from my children and my children’s father. I thought my Mother’s Days would be spent being pampered and praised while I relaxed. I assumed that the past 364 days that I had worked tirelessly without pay would finally be rewarded.

But no. I still had diapers to change. Meals to clean up. Breakfast or lunch to make, or both. THE CHILDREN STILL FOUGHT. What. In. The. World?!!!

Sigh.

It has taken me about 14 years to realize that if I maintain those kind of expectations, I will always be disappointed. Did I really want to spent my day miserable and grumpy since THEY – the people I take care of 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 12 months a year – didn’t acknowledge my entire, unspeakable worth?

Nope. I didn’t want to spend Mother’s Day miserable and resentful anymore. The process of letting go of being motherless on Mother’s Day had already happened a few years ago…now I began the process of letting go of the desire for a “perfect” mothers day full of honouring, peace, and even regret on their part.

Over the past two years, during my every day life as a Mom, I have accumulated some knowledge that I would like to share with you, especially new Mom’s. I hope that what I share with you will not only make Mother’s Day easier but every other day just a little bit better.

  1. Release the notion of what Motherhood should look like. Ultimately, this is you living your own unique life. Your life will always look different than what other women post on social media. And that is o.k.  Someone once said, “Don’t compare your behind the scenes life with someone’s highlight reel.” Post that where you can read that every single day.
  2. Find your safe place where you don’t have to be afraid of being open and honest about your struggles and your feelings. You need a place to express your inner thoughts, whether that be with a trusted friend, your sister, your husband, a group of like-minded women, or a journal or blog where you can be completely open. There should be no need to carefully share your edited version of motherhood with someone who doesn’t really get it. As Brene Brown writes, find someone who has earned the right to hear your story. If the struggle gets too hard, please see your Doctor and get help as soon as possible.
  3. Be honest about what you need. Don’t lie to yourself. Don’t try to keep it from your partner or extended family. Don’t be a martyr. Do you need 5 minutes in the bathroom to yourself?  Make those arrangements. Need to go for a walk by yourself? There’s nothing wrong with asking for 20 minutes by yourself.
  4. Make a list of your priorities. My list was short. I wanted the dishes to be done at the end of every day. And I wanted the bathrooms to be cleaned once a week. All the other house cleaning, even laundry, was put on the back burner.
  5. Look for the little things to cherish. Some days this will be much harder than others. Look for the little things that warm your heart, laugh, or smile. You know that one little three second smile they give you? Make it last for three hours. Squeeze as much out of those moments as you can.

In all honesty, it will take becoming parents themselves for your kids to fully appreciate all that you’ve done for them. That’s how it was for me to fully appreciate what my Mom had done for me and I know many different parents who’ve said the same thing.

Rather than being disappointed that Mother’s Day is just like any other day full of dirty diapers, laundry, making food, cleaning up, breaking up fights, and playing taxi, doctor, and nurse, release the expectations you have of Mother’s Day. Enjoy the little things when they happen every day you have with your kids. Savour those memories.  And realize that these years will not last forever.

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Celebrating the craziness of 5 kids. Their ages: 15, 13, 10, 9, and 7.

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My website: Kettlebell Mom.