Archive | April 2009

How To Make Up Your Mind To Succeed by Lisa Mendell

By Lisa Mendell

I was reading the article How To Make Up Your Mind To Succeed in Reader’s Digest as I was waiting to get my hair cut and a lot of the points made perfect sense – what you would call “common sense” advice.  One point that stuck with me was

Mind-set is key to finding success for yourself and your children

It also explains the difference between a fixed and a growth mind set, and why the latter is better for us and children. The web site brainology.us explains the growth mind set in more detail and shows that we are all born with this, as it’s what makes us able to survive in the world. To read the article, as well as find other tips on sucess and how failure can be a positive thing, visit http://www.rd.com/your-america-inspiring-people-and-stories/how-to-make-up-your-mind-to-succeed/article126730.html

I never thought about failure making us stronger, but a lot of people have proven it true, including Harry Potter auther JK Rowling. Who would have thought?

Working Mum’s Network by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

Working Mums’ Network by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 

By Sandra Beck

 

It was definitely harder to set up play dates with the workings Mums. It was less ‘see you at Club’ and more ‘let’s check the calendar’.  However, I found that the time pressure seemed to put the friendships on fast-forward. When I ‘clicked’ with someone, we quickly progressed to ‘come to my house on Saturday afternoon’ – rather than shyly circling around each other ‘see you same place next week, I chocoguess’.

 

My closest mum friend is a lady from my company. We briefly spoke when we were both pregnant with our second. She went back to work quite quickly – but her occasional phone calls were always a treat. Our kids went to the same nursery for six months – and constantly nag us to set up play dates. When we do get together, the kids go and do something destructive in the corner, while we drink strong coffee and share scandalous office gossip. She was disarmingly frank about the challenges of working motherhood – we don’t need to feel defensive of our choices around each other. 

 

I like to think of my working mum friends as an underground network. We don’t have clubs, schedules, groups or premises. We sometimes go for six months without speaking – but pick up seamlessly where we left off.

 

We’re not visible as a group.

 

Occasionally sighted but only in pairs. Communicating electronically with late night emails and the occasional one liner from a palm top computer. I’m sometimes amazed where my friends networks go – hierarchy gets forgotten when you have children the same age. I wouldn’t be without them. They’re an invisible net of support – feeding me crucial information when I’m out of the office, generously sharing childcare anecdotes when I’m in the office. We watch each others backs – we always hear about it if a mum gets discriminated against, or when a working mum does well. Mummy mafia? Perhaps…

 

www.motherhoodincorporated.com

www.sandrabeck.com

 

Working Mum's Network by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck

It was definitely harder to set up play dates with the workings Mums. It was less ‘see you at Club’ and more ‘let’s check the calendar’.  However, I found that the time pressure seemed to put the friendships on fast-forward. When I ‘clicked’ with someone, we quickly progressed to ‘come to my house on Saturday afternoon’ – rather than shyly circling around each other ‘see you same place next week, I chocoguess’.

My closest mum friend is a lady from my company. We briefly spoke when we were both pregnant with our second. She went back to work quite quickly – but her occasional phone calls were always a treat. Our kids went to the same nursery for six months – and constantly nag us to set up play dates. When we do get together, the kids go and do something destructive in the corner, while we drink strong coffee and share scandalous office gossip. She was disarmingly frank about the challenges of working motherhood – we don’t need to feel defensive of our choices around each other. 

I like to think of my working mum friends as an underground network. We don’t have clubs, schedules, groups or premises. We sometimes go for six months without speaking – but pick up seamlessly where we left off.

 

We’re not visible as a group.

 

Occasionally sighted but only in pairs. Communicating electronically with late night emails and the occasional one liner from a palm top computer. I’m sometimes amazed where my friends networks go – hierarchy gets forgotten when you have children the same age. I wouldn’t be without them. They’re an invisible net of support – feeding me crucial information when I’m out of the office, generously sharing childcare anecdotes when I’m in the office. We watch each others backs – we always hear about it if a mum gets discriminated against, or when a working mum does well. Mummy mafia? Perhaps…

www.motherhoodincorporated.com

www.sandrabeck.com

 

What’s Cooking? By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck

 

 

It’s ironic. Cooking is meant to be the ultimate domestic goddess occupation. Why is it that the aftermath makes my kitchen look like a hovel?

 

I’d lovingly plan, chop, sauté, and present the food attractively. The kids would push it around their plate. “It’s a bit spicy for me” my som would comment “and today I don’t like peppers. Can I have just bread instead?”. My effort would have earned me the sound of ‘scrape scrape scrape’ into the bin, and a kitchen full of dirty pans and chopping boards at the point of the day when I just needed to lie down.apples

 

Then I found it. The cheapest, scruffiest part of my kitchen armory, costing less that a decent saucepan. I love it so much I’d kiss it, if it wasn’t generally full of scalding hot stew. It’s my little secret shortcut – the ‘wife’ I’d love to have. “Come by for dinner tonight” I can now boldly say. These days, I’m not inviting people to watch me sweat in the kitchen, keeping toddlers away from the hot oven by pushing them back with my feet. It’s the working mother’s best friend – the slow cooker!

 

I’ve learned to plan my meals in advance. It saves money and it helps me eat healthier. Most of all it means I can cook on auto-pilot without using any of my scarce spare brain capacity. When I’m up in the morning, I know what’s meant to be for dinner. I can start the ‘Slocker’ (as we affectionately call it) straight away. I’ll put some chopped onions and celery in there with a teaspoon of oil, and leave it on ‘High’ for forty minutes while I go upstairs to dress the kids. I’ll come back, chuck in some tins of tomatoes, tins of beans and a few flavorings. I turn the dial down to Low, and leave it for the whole day. I arrive back home ten hours later to the homely smell of fresh three bean chilli. Pure comfort food.

 

It does take a bit of trial-and-error, it’s true. I wish my model had a timer, because sometimes the food can taste a bit ‘stewed’. In particular, meat needs to be sealed in a frying pan first. However, I’ve discovered something about my kids’ tastes. They just LOVE bland and mushy.

 

www.sandrabeck.com

www.motherhoodincorporated.com

 

 

What's Cooking By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck

 

 

It’s ironic. Cooking is meant to be the ultimate domestic goddess occupation. Why is it that the aftermath makes my kitchen look like a hovel?

 

I’d lovingly plan, chop, sauté, and present the food attractively. The kids would push it around their plate. “It’s a bit spicy for me” my som would comment “and today I don’t like peppers. Can I have just bread instead?”. My effort would have earned me the sound of ‘scrape scrape scrape’ into the bin, and a kitchen full of dirty pans and chopping boards at the point of the day when I just needed to lie down.apples

 

Then I found it. The cheapest, scruffiest part of my kitchen armory, costing less that a decent saucepan. I love it so much I’d kiss it, if it wasn’t generally full of scalding hot stew. It’s my little secret shortcut – the ‘wife’ I’d love to have. “Come by for dinner tonight” I can now boldly say. These days, I’m not inviting people to watch me sweat in the kitchen, keeping toddlers away from the hot oven by pushing them back with my feet. It’s the working mother’s best friend – the slow cooker!

 

I’ve learned to plan my meals in advance. It saves money and it helps me eat healthier. Most of all it means I can cook on auto-pilot without using any of my scarce spare brain capacity. When I’m up in the morning, I know what’s meant to be for dinner. I can start the ‘Slocker’ (as we affectionately call it) straight away. I’ll put some chopped onions and celery in there with a teaspoon of oil, and leave it on ‘High’ for forty minutes while I go upstairs to dress the kids. I’ll come back, chuck in some tins of tomatoes, tins of beans and a few flavorings. I turn the dial down to Low, and leave it for the whole day. I arrive back home ten hours later to the homely smell of fresh three bean chilli. Pure comfort food.

 

It does take a bit of trial-and-error, it’s true. I wish my model had a timer, because sometimes the food can taste a bit ‘stewed’. In particular, meat needs to be sealed in a frying pan first. However, I’ve discovered something about my kids’ tastes. They just LOVE bland and mushy.

 

www.sandrabeck.com

www.motherhoodincorporated.com

 

 

What is Your Parenting Style? By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Inorporated

By Sandra Beck

 

 

          Attachment parenting – just for hippies?

Attachment parenting recommends that, for maximal emotional security, the child co-sleeps, breast-feeds, is carried in a sling, and in all possible ways not forced to be separate from their family adults before they initiate it themselves. Impossible for a working mum? Nicola Horlick – the London fund manager mother of 5 – practiced co-sleeping and breast-feeding. She said that after a long day at work it helped her re-bond with her babies during the night.folwer

 

          Routine based

Reassuringly well planned routines can give you some predictability. You know the baby will sleep for 2 hours at a certain time, so you can plan to do some work or a business phone-call. Routines promise unbroken nights – always a boon for overstretched parents. However, it can all go out the window if your childcare does it differently to you. A little bit of flexibility can save a lot of sanity.

 

          Child centered parenting

Will you ever get out of the house?

 

          Listening to your mom

You might have turned out OK – but bear in mind that many health recommendations have changed.

          .

          Internet parenting

You can get some great, realistic, modern advice from the internet. However, unlike a book, the internet is written by many different authors – some perhaps not so scrupulous about ensuring accuracy, others who recall what they did with their own kids, but jumble up ages and stages – so advise you to to do with you 3 month old what they did with their 8 month old.  Your kids risk becoming little guinea pigs for incompatible theories.

 

          A bit of everything

Your baby doesn’t sleep. You read a book with a snazzy title like ‘Sleeping through in three days’. With messianic zeal you fix the blackout blinds and massage your baby’s tootsies. Four hours later crying mummy is still going back and forth to a crying baby. The next day you buy a new book and decide that you will carry your baby everywhere in a little papoose, perhaps with some womb noises to reassure him.

 

          Just doing your best

It’s what it all boils down to in the end!

 

I find that if I have given my best, done all that I could do, no matter what the outcome – even if I did throw nappies at the dog to get him out of the kitchen, I did my best and that is – as we all need to agree – enough.

 

www.sandrabeck.com

www.motherhoodincorporated.com

 

Smokin' Hot Mama by Susan A. Haid, Lilys Truth

Smokin Hot Mama's Unite

Smokin Hot Mama's Unite

Over the past 46 years of my life, I have learned a thing or two about myself. There has been nothing extraordinary about me or my life circumstances. I am an ordinary woman who has lived an ordinary life. Well, except for the part of me that talks to dead people. But hey, other than that one little thing, I’m just a normal gal. That is another story for another time. In spite of my otherwise conventional life, I have come to a place where I can fully accept myself…all of me…the good, the bad, the ugly, the normal and the not-so-normal.

Although this might seem to be a natural evolution of maturity, it is actually a profound transformation that forever changes everything. What I now know is that a little bit of “crazy” can be a good thing, a very good thing indeed.
You see, when I started to live freely without self-judgment, then I started truly living. I no longer care about the full figure I am wearing at midlife. Instead, I can see my own beauty, even if society cannot. I wear clothes that are comfortable, flowing and lovely. I no longer worry about dieting. I concern myself only with joy, health and balance. Happiness certainly must be correlated with health and longevity, but I don’t need a scientific study to prove it. If I happen to die a premature death, I die a happy person. So there you are.
Later in life, I have taken up belly dancing, opera singing and painting just for the fun of it. I don’t expect to be very good at these things but I do have fun. At this point in life, having fun is, well, just so much more fun than being good. And I love that I don’t have any rules to follow…hmmm, when did the rules get to be so important anyway?
When I am with other people, I don’t care about anything other than just having a good time. In fact, my bottom line has become all about the fun factor. I now choose to be around people who can laugh and be merry, who are lighthearted and joyful, and yes, who can party like there is no tomorrow. Although it may be irreverent, I can laugh at almost anything. After throwing a party, I chuckle at the number of wine bottles in my recycle bin.
I love to be with people who are accepting and free-spirited. I seek out friends who have no need or desire to view the world through the eyes of judgment and control. I believe in progress through conscious awareness but not through moral condemnation. The one thing I still need to work on is my acceptance of self-righteous, condemning people; I avoid them like the plague and have not found my peace within their presence as of yet. In fact, these folks irritate me more than anyone else, at least for now. In spite of my overall Zen demeanor, these types still cause me to bristle. But my new, enlightened strategy is to find a way to joke about it. My current irritations are great fodder for some very funny stuff as you might imagine; humor really does diffuse the irritation.
I engage in conversations freely and openly, no longer worrying about what I might say. I am authentic and true to myself. I try to laugh as much as possible whenever and wherever possible. I am serious by nature, but I am learning the art of living with grand humor. I have learned to laugh at myself, and OMG, I am hilarious.
It no longer matters to me that my kids are not the most well-behaved children on the block or may not get the best grades. What matters to me is that they are learning through their own experience and cultivating their own brand of wisdom of which self-acceptance is a part. In liberating myself, I have unwittingly liberated my children. This alone is profound and very blessed.
I don’t worry about morality because that is just another form of judgment and control. Instead I live by my one cardinal rule which is Compassion. My life became very simple and unencumbered when I finally let go of all my silly judgments and rules. I didn’t suddenly become wildly reckless and outrageously irresponsible as a result. I have become instead deeply loving and accepting of all people and all ways of living. This also helped me see the world quite clearly. Mostly, I can feel my own joy, and it feels really, really good.
In my past life, I had a perfect body, a gorgeous face and lots of attention from men (not to mention a whole boatload of repression). Today, what really tickles my fancy is that it is no longer the men who tell me that I’m sexy, it’s the women. I have had many women blurt out that they think I’m sexy, and I can assure you that there is nothing about me that meets our cultural standard of “sexy.” I am full-figured, fine-lined, stretch-marked, saggy, baggy and perfectly, ecstatically, joyfully happy. I have thrown my head back and laughed out loud more than once when told by a woman that I am sexy. However, what these women are sensing is an inner sexy that has nothing to do with superficial appearances.
I am wearing the look of genuine warmth, joy, peace and acceptance, and these attributes are monumentally magnetic in a world weary of surface appearances, masks and games. In telling my story, I am telling the story of liberation, acceptance, true happiness and lasting beauty that never ages, needs Botox or loses sex appeal. At midlife, I am one smokin’ hot mama.
If I am fortunate enough to become a smokin’ hot granny, I hope I am that ridiculous old gal who wears a rhinestone-encrusted cowboy hat, an oversized t-shirt and thigh-high vinyl boots when she dances for her lover. I hope I break a few ribs with extreme, insufferable, side-splitting laughter. I hope I have a few too many glasses of cabernet and way too much chocolate. I hope I love everyone I meet with shameless, furious, passionate abandon. I hope to become an eccentric old bird who didn’t waste a moment of her life on the things that don’t really matter. If I get my way, I have about 40 smokin’ hot years left, and there’s no good reason I can think of for turning back now.
Does this mean I am going to ride off naked into the sunset on a Harley? Maybe it does. And from now on, when you hear me counting calories, I am just figuring out how hot it’s getting in here. Oh, and can you pass me a fork? I’m digging in…