Sunday, April 3rd, 2016

let them play with their toys a little longer….

Our weekend trip to Target always has the kids wanting to look at the toys and negotiate their way through what could they possibly get with their allowance.   Today was slightly different.  As they did their normal walk down the toy aisles, I heard a mom saying “But you’re almost 12 years old don’t you think you should stop buying this stuff”.   What she was referring to was an aisle full of Little Pet Shops, Shopkins, Monster High gizmos etc. as her daughter was looking at them.  The comment made me stop and almost want to turn to my 11-year old and say “yes, I will buy you anything in the toy section”.   When did being almost 12 mean you had to stop playing with toys.  I actually love it when my daughter,  who has already started developing that “tween attitude” is up in her room, on the floor surrounded by dolls, pet shops and little animals.   It’s not like this girl was looking at baby toys or something for a toddler – why pressure her to move on from wanting to play with mini pets for a few more years.

dreamstime_xs_49092844In a world that is constantly “on” with information from the internet and social media, maybe having them playing with old fashion actual toys is not such a bad idea.  Don’t get me wrong we live in a very techy home – with way too many devices and I do think technology is great but if I can stop my kids from being submerged in it then that’s a win.

What’s wrong with wanting our little ones to remain kids as long as they can.  To play with their Matchbox Cars, Legos, Calico Critters and dolls.  To have quiet time in their rooms while their imagination takes them and their toys to magical places.   Their time as a kid is so short that we should really be encouraging them to enjoy it and not try to end it too soon.  Next time you see them playing in their rooms why not take a break from whatever you are doing and join them on the floor for a few minutes.   It will lighten up your day and theirs!

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

6 kids have this to say about the U.S. elections…

We all know that our kids listen to everything we say and often their opinions are created from a combined view of what they hear at home and what they see on television or online.  Now, I really try to avoid getting into politics on social media but how can we not avoid the political scene happening in the U.S. right now.  One encouraging aspect of it is that our kids are starting to pay more attention to the upcoming elections, who is in the running and even asking questions about what the difference between the candidates are.

In a recent carpool I was doing with 6 kids in the car – all girls ages 10-11 and my 7-year old son, it was fascinating to hear their views.  Firstly, they started the conversation completely on their own with one kid asking, who would you vote for in the elections.  These are the responses:

I would not vote for Donald Trump he is crazy.

I hate Donald Trump, what’s wrong with him.

And….his hair is weird (that was my 7- year old son)

I would vote for Hillary because we should have a female president.

But don’t you think our first female president should be a good female president?dreamstime_xs_27169053

Well, I think she is awesome and all women should vote for her.

I was born outside of the U.S. and we’re Muslim so if Donald Trump wins we would have to leave.

Really?  Is that really true?

Yes – she’s right – that’s what I heard as well.  If you are not from the U.S. and you believe in Islam you have to leave.

No one likes him, I don’t understand why is he on TV all the time and who are all these people voting for him?

I still think we should all vote for Hillary, she is going to be great as a president.

I don’t think she is and I will only vote for a female president when there is a good one.  We should vote for Bernie Sanders instead.

Yeah, my mom is a Republican but now she has to vote for Sanders because there is no one else.

Republicans don’t care about everyday people.

I don’t know about that but I don’t think our country is ready for a female president (this is from a 10-year old girl!!).

Okay, you guys are all boring me, who wants to go for ice-cream (my 7- year old again…).

Yes!!!  Ice-cream …..

And we are back to what 10 year olds would normally talk about – friends at school, having a sleepover and what are you doing for your birthday.

Here’s the thing – does this 5 minute conversation with 10-11 year old kids really sound so different from what we actually hear on the news everyday!   Do you know what your kids would say?  As our kids are becoming more intrigued and interested in the elections should we be talking to them about it more?  Should schools be playing a part in this?  Or do we keep politics at home like we are supposed to do with religion?

Why not ask your kids tonight what do they think about the elections, what have they heard, do they talk about it with their friends.  Here’s a tip – don’t say anything just let the conversation happen between them (obviously, that’s if you have more than 1 kid). Trust me,  it will be a dinner conversation you will always remember.

 

 

 

 

Monday, March 7th, 2016

never too late to take a different road…

No matter where you are in the world – summer is either coming to an end or spring is about to start- either way a new season is starting and the world around us is to starting to change once again.  This could be a perfect time for you to consider what you really would want to be doing in life right now and what is stopping you.  The road you are on could be steady and safe and filled with family, friends and love. But, is there something you have thought about trying but didn’t have the courage to do it?   A career change?  A start of a new fitness program? Maybe even starting a blog?  Have your friends all told you that you were really good at something and you could make a business or career out of it? What is stopping you?  We so easily fall into our routine and it’s predictable and keeps up moving from one day to another.  When did we stop living life to the fullest, full of all the adventure we wanted.  Waking up with excitement of a new day and new beginnings – stepping out of routine.

If you can’t make the big change right now, why not start small. Research what would you need to do to adapt the journey you are currently on.  Is there anything you can do while still continuing on your current path?   Sometimes that’s all it takes, the first step on that new road.IMG_0396

I know of 65 year-old woman finishing her Masters,  stay at home moms who have become fitness consultants and a corporate executive with a love for nature, started volunteering at a park. Small or big steps – you can always change the road you are on.  Supermoms, take the risk, have the courage, look at the road ahead and decide do you want to stay on the current course or venture off to a new horizon.

 

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Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

learning to say no…

Are you one of those people who tend to always explain your actions – why you shop a certain way, why you have to say no to something, why you threw your kid an over the top birthday party, why you don’t want to go out with the girls on Thursday night….  Have you ever asked yourself why do you do this?  Why do you have a need to justify your actions?  I’m not a therapist and I would not do justice to any theories that I am sure exits as to why you have a need to constantly be explaining your actions.  Instead, this blog post will simply be about why just saying no is a great thing to do.

Saying NO can be very liberating and there should not be any guilt associated with it not do you have to explain why you can’t do something.  It does not matter whether it is a school activity, car pooling, looking after someone’s kids, hosting a play day or doing a group activity – if you do not want to do something you don’t have to and that’s it. No reasons need to be given to anyone.  The result is you will start creating time for yourself.   Time for you to just be.  When did you last have time to just be?  Just remember that saying no to many things you don’t actually want to be doing, allows you to say yes to the one thing you really want to do.  Why not start making a list of all the things you have wanted to do but told yourself you don’t have time for.  You will now have that time!IMG_3820

You don’t owe anyone any explanations – your time belongs to you and people will have their opinions of you regardless of what you do or don’t do.  We tell our kids to be confident and steadfast in decisions they make and to not base their decisions on what others think – well, shouldn’t we do the same thing?  Those little people in our lives are always looking at how we behave and they mirror what they see.  Being strong and determined in the decisions we make and allowing time for ourselves is being a positive role model for them.  So, Supermoms, I encourage you to let your cape fly in the wind and continue making decisions that make you feel liberated, free and more like yourself. Trust me, you will not regret saying no!

 

Friday, February 26th, 2016

soulmates or peanut butter & jelly?

Soulmates – for some this may create visions of Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle,  that person you are destined to meet, that fate will create the circumstances where you will see each other and so on…  Now, don’t get me wrong I am a sucker for a romantic comedy and I think Meg Ryan is great but we all do know that’s just a movie, right?

After reading up on this term ‘soulmates’, what seems to be a common thread is this concept of one person making you feel completely whole and having this eternal lifelong bond with them.   Probably like a ying yang thing.  Now, I know I probably sound like a cynic but if you’re meeting someone out of college or during college who you love enough to marry – would you know that they make you feel completely whole?  At the age of 22 do you really know what completely whole feels like?  Or, is it more what you think it feels like at that point in your life?  Here’s another thought, if everyone truly loves differently and every relationship is unique than wouldn’t what a soulmate is, mean something different for everyone?  Shouldn’t there be a definition or term for each type of relationship?

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So, as we wander through life with our significant others I will put it out there that yes,  we definitely know that the person we are with is perfect for us.  We wouldn’t want to be with anyone else.  I knew that when I met my husband 20 years ago and I know that now but I’m not sure I would have said my husband was my soulmate when I first met him. I’m not sure in the 20 years we have been together we have ever used the word.  Maybe that’s it – maybe the word has become too overused and very commercialized- I mean doesn’t every dating site use it?   Here’s a suggestion, why don’t you get your creative Supermom juices flowing and have some fun with your significant other in describing what would you call your relationship with each other.   Are you the ying to their yang?  Milk and Cookies?   Macaroni and Cheese? Choose something that just means you are meant to be together whatever that means to you and however that looks to just the two of you.  For me and my guy, it’s simply Peanut Butter & Jelly.

 

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

Alpha Moms – are they crazy or are you one of them?

Those moms, yes those moms – walking around school smiling, knowing every teacher and most of the kids by name.  At every soccer game with extra water for the kid who forgot.  Baking for teachers and volunteering in class each week.  They are on every PTA committee, teachers can rely on them for help, they do fundraising and even agree to host neighborhood porch parties.  Their kids are busy with music and sports and schedules.  Does any of this sound familiar?

I think I first noticed them 3 years ago.  Walking around with that air of having it all together – school, kids, marriage, home etc.  You start questioning yourself – Am I supposed to be doing more? Are my kids going to lose out because I can’t bake and be at every PTA meeting?  I often have a conference call during soccer practice!   And then the mean, judgemental, guilty mom kicks in and you tell yourself they are obviously bored stay at home moms with nothing to do and they need to be this type of crazy Alpha Mom so they can feel better about themselves.  Yes, definitely mean!lionpicture

Now, fast-forward to present day and my confession that yes, I have become an Alpha Mom or some form of it.  As soon as I left my full-time job and started my own business my type A personality needed more structure and something to do.  I dived into being the most involved mom – websites, agendas, processes and proposals was just the start and it continued. Everything had a schedule including my kids’ lives from 7am until bedtime and of course not only was I at every soccer game with extra water and at every school meeting but I also became the chair of the PTA and hosted the porch party.  It took a while but the realization hit – this was not good thing!  Being an involved, on-time, organized mom was great but not at the expense of it taking over every part of my being.  Remember moms – don’t forget about YOU!

So, the question is are you an Alpha Mom or not?  Labels can be dangerous and the term Alpha Mom is evolving and morphing as all of us,  stay at home moms and working moms strive for that balance of being the best. This includes being part of our kids’ lives, having meaningful moments with our families and remembering ourselves.  Yes, being involved and having everything running smoothly is great, but it should not consume us.  Realizing all of this is when your Supermom kicks in –  knowing what you can do and what you should step away from.  My opinion is we are all some degree of a “Crazy Alpha Mom” and you know what, that’s absolutely okay!

Monday, February 8th, 2016

5 superpowers moms would like to have

Thinking about the name of my blog which focuses on all moms being superheroes everyday, I thought about asking some moms if they could have an actual superpower what would they want.  Here are the top 5.  Feel free to add what you would want your superpower to be.

1. Flying: it is amazing how many moms all want to fly.  This was the most popular super power – I guess we are all so tired of traffic and it taking so long to get from one place to the other.  Or, maybe its just the price of airline tickets!!Super Momma

2. Being in 2 places at the same time.  What I am hoping moms are thinking is that they could be having some down time at the same time they are getting through those to do lists we all have.

3. Endless energy.  Nothing more needs to be said about this one…

4. Being able to twitch our nose like in “Bewitched” and make anything happen.  When one of my friends mentioned this I had a laugh and then agreed that would really be great.

5. Super human strength.  That would be amazing!

What was interesting is that some superpowers were never mentioned like being invisible, x-ray vision, super hearing or sight.  The main powers moms were looking for was to help them manage their busy days.  I wonder if I had to ask some dads the same question what would they say. Definitely an idea for another blog – stay tuned!

Monday, February 8th, 2016

a letter to my son as he heads off to college

My Dear Boy

When I hear you talk about going to college and wanting to be an Engineer I am so happy and proud of you.  To think that you have set these goals for yourself without any pushing or persuading from me or your Dad.

You want to go to NYU and I think that is great, it is only 6 hours away.  You promise me that you will be home every weekend.  My heart is already breaking and my eyes fill with tears as I think of not having you at home every day.  Not having you to make breakfast for, to take to sports practice and to help with homework.  Not having you who cares about me when I have a cold and try to make me breakfast in bed.  Not having you to say good night to and to leave a kiss on your forehead.

Without you around the house will be empty and quiet.  I will miss your laughter, your stomping feet when you’re angry and your smile as you walk through the front door after school. I will miss your negotiation skills when you want something and most of all I will miss you still wanting to cuddle next to me.

The only consolation I have is that I will still have 11 more years of looking after you before you take those first steps to college.  After all you are only in First Grade.  Keep dreaming your big dreams my baby boy, I am here for you and I always will be.

Love always,

mom

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Monday, February 8th, 2016

making friends as a grown up is like peeling an onion

We’ve all given our kids advice at some point or another on making new friends.  Letting them know it’s okay to go up to someone and ask them if they can join in a game or just saying hello to kids when you move to a new school.  It seems easy enough for us to tell them what to do and most often than not, it works.  What happens when it’s about us making new friends in a new place.  This has happened to me twice – moving to Texas and moving to New York.  In both places I didn’t know anyone and being someone who likes being with other people I had to put myself out there.

As parents we do have an advantage – meeting people through school and parents of our kids’ friends.  There is that first feeling of being a bit out of place and memories of middle school may come back.  But, you have to say hello just like you told your kids.   The next step is moving from just saying hi on the soccer field or PTA meeting to really creating a friendship.  It’s almost like trying to find out who would you click with.  For me, I was lucky to have connected with great people and made some amazing friends.   It does take time to really get to know someone and so, as a grown up it may take a bit longer to really find those new friends.  It’s kind of like what one of my newer friends told me this morning at breakfast, “meeting someone new and getting to know them is like peeling an onion, you just have to do it one layer at a time”.

So, if you’re new to the neighborhood or starting a new job – step in and start peeling the onion.

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Monday, February 8th, 2016

it’s not always about improving yourself

Renee Trudeau is someone I truly admire for her insights on self-care and life.  She recently published a newsletter talking about what self-care is not and one of the key things that stood out for me is that self-care is not about constantly trying to improve yourself.  http://reneetrudeau.com/2015/02/self-care-not.html

We set these goals and expectations for ourselves whether it’s how to look better, eat better, be more physically fit etc. etc. etc.  While these are great activities to have in our life,  we also need to just be comfortable with who we are right now.  I am the first to admit that I am constantly feeling like I need to lose more weight, be a better mom, go to the gym more, make healthier meals and make sure I keep my family’s life in order.  It definitely is all about making things better all the time and it is exhausting.

As moms, as women, as people we should start taking time to just be.  Just accepting ourselves for who we are.  Not only will this bring us more inner peace but imagine the role-models we can be for young girls who are constantly trying to change themselves.

In the words of Renee, “you are not a self-improvement project….. it’s about meeting yourself where you are with a soft and open heart” – this is my new mantra.

BeFunky_heart-floating-away-showing-loss-of-love-and-broken-heart_fJB1jZv_.jpg

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