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Me Time—What’s that and where can I get some? by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

As working mothers we work hard every day to maintain our household, care for our children, and maintain our relationships with our husbands and friends. But what do we do for us?  We are so busy caring for others we forget to care for ourselves, to take a little “me” time.

“Me” time, what a concept!  It should be a daily occurrence, a time we set aside for ourselves.  Set out and plan a block of time, even just 15 minutes, for your “me” time each day. Use this time to meditate, take a walk, take a hot bath, or even just a power nap.

Sit down and make a list of some things you’d like to do for yourself and how much time you need to do them.  Make it a point to schedule in at least one of these things into each day. “Me” time can be shared too, get a group a friends together and take a walk or call a friend just to chat.

I have made it a point to do something to improve myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually each day.  I start my day by writing down what I will do for me in each of those categories and at the end of the day I can review this and see just how much I was able to accomplish. This can be a real boost to the ego! 

I think you will find as I have that just taking a little time for yourself each day can work wonders in improving your outlook on life and your attitude.

I hope you enjoy reading these blogs as much as I enjoy writing them! Should you have any questions about Motherhood Incorporated either as a client or as a mom looking for work, please email me directly at sandra@motherhoodincorporated.com or you can check us out at www.motherhoodincorporated.com and www.sandrabeck.com.

Picture Perfect: How I Overcame the Perfectionist in Me by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 

What could be more discouraging than expecting the impossible?  Most of us would agree that it would be unreasonable to ask an infant to put the toilet seat down when he is done, yet we hold ourselves to equally absurd standards.  We expect the impossible of ourselves when we equate success with perfection.

 

I love art, now.  Drawing, painting, or just crafting in general are a source of great personal joy and quality time with my children.  When I was a child, art wasn’t on my list of favorite subjects.  It wasn’t that I didn’t like the process of coloring or enjoy the visual feast of a gallery, I just found it difficult to be excellent at creating a piece of artwork.  Math, science, spelling, history, those were the subjects for me.  There was only one way to do it – the right way. swing

 

Thankfully, while in college I became determined to overcome this mindset.  One day while I sat on the back porch enjoying the afternoon sun, I began sketching from a picture in a history book.  It was a portrait of a Native American man in a full headdress.  His eyes were serious, his face marked with the lines of old age, and a challenge to sketch to say the least.  I wore the eraser thin and became increasingly frustrated with my inability to transfer the image to my sketch pad.

 

Then, in a stroke of rare genius, I decided that I was just going to let it be wrong.  I watched in amazement as the portrait unfolded.  The eyes, though imperfect carried the same grave sense of humanity that first inspired me.  I can confidently say that the resulting sketch is still my best, and is complimented regularly by the budding young artist in my family. 

 

Fine art hanging on your wall isn’t the only benefit to letting go of the little things.  Here are a few more advantages to embracing the imperfect in our daily routine:

 

– Less stress

 

– Extra time with family

 

– More confidence

 

        Freedom to be yourself

 

www.sandrabeck.com

www.motherhoodincorporated.com

 

Tips To Honor Yourself by Lisa Mendell

By Lisa Mendell

You need to get rid of any self-doubt you have. Turn the negative into positive thoughts- instead of telling yourself you aren’t worthy or good enough, tell yourself that you are good enough and worthy. For more tips go to http://www.beliefnet.com/Inspiration/2009/07/How-to-Celebrate-Yourself.aspx?source=NEWSLETTER&ppc=73053&utm_campaign=Inspiration&utm_source=NL&utm_medium=newsletter These tips will help you to celebrate yourself and the great things you can accomplish.

In Good Company – Finding the Time to Relax with Friends by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 I have a group of girlfriends I’ve known since high school.  We used to go out on the town together, but now that we are all busy working moms, we’ve become lunch buddies.  We gather around a picnic table with sack lunches and kids in tow every Friday afternoon.  Friday is ladies lunch out.  How I look forward to Fridays.Color caps and gerbera

Ladies lunch out has become a lifeline full of laughter and fun for all of us.  We enjoy the food and fresh air.  Our kids run and play together, while the mommy crowd catches up with the ins and outs of  daily life.  I always return home refreshed with my children ready for a long nap.

I’m fortunate to have close friends nearby and available during the week.  If that’s not the case in your situation, there are other opportunities available to help take the edge off of work-at-home isolation. If you have kids in the house, check for a local moms club.  Moms Club International has over 2,000 chapters in the US.  There is a small annual fee to join, but it is well worth the investment.  My local chapter has been a great source of support.  You can find them on the web at www.momsclub.org.

Book clubs are great, if you enjoy reading.  Between the trips to the library or bookstore, and the meetings themselves, you’ll have plenty of excuses to get out of the house.  I recommend finding a casual club, so you won’t feel pressured to finish the book.  The goal here is relaxation, so leave the stress in the office.

If you like to exercise a membership to a local gym is a fantastic way to reduce stress, stay healthy and meet new people.  The club I attend is very flexible.  I enjoy the company of the women in my classes, and there are classes available just about anytime you could imagine.  No matter what you choose to do, get out and socialize on a regular basis.  It is sure to leave you happier and more productive in the long run. 

www.sandrabeck.com
www.motherhoodincorporated.com

Not-So-New Year's Resolutions: 4 Steps to Goal Setting Success by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

 June at last!  May is without a doubt my least favorite month of the year, and it’s not just the dreary weather.  Mayis the month when I usually realize that I’ve already lost sight of the goals on my resolution list.  That is until a friend of mine insisted I participate in a little goal writing exercise during our girls’ night out.  The small group of women let out more than a few groans at her suggestion, but we figured why not give it a try?  It was then that I learned a few simple steps to bring any goal within reach.planning-ahead

Make It a Priority

Before you begin setting your goals, take a few minutes to list out four or five things that matter most to you, such as family, career, health or spirituality.  Taking a look at what we truly care about will help us set attainable goals in areas of our lives worthy of the effort. 

Be Specific

Once you have a list of the most important things in your life, set specific goals to improve in those areas.  For example, don’t set a goal to spend more time with friends, instead set a goal to call a friend once a week, or invite a friend out once a month for coffee.

Write It Down

Writing goals down doesn’t just solidify them in our minds, it serves as a much needed reminder.  When my friends and I took the time to write down our goals that evening, I didn’t think too much of it.  It was only later, as I stumbled across my list while thumbing through my notebook, that I realized the advantage of such a practice.  I encountered my list of goals many times throughout the year.  When I took a look at that sheet of paper, my zest to achieve my goals was renewed.

Celebrate Success

When you have made progress on one of your goals, reward yourself.  A pat on the back, or night on the town for your hard work is incentive to keep heading in the right direction.  Personally, I find that a good piece of dark chocolate does the trick on most occasions.  Setting goals with a group of like-minded friends makes celebrating our successes that much more enjoyable.

www.sandrabeck.com
www.motherhoodincorporated.com

The Self Care Equation for Busy Moms

By Shannon Penrod

Okay, so here’s the deal.  When was the last time you skipped a meal?  Or stayed up too late?  Or even put off going to the bathroom until a more convenient time?  Guilty as charged?  Me too.  And from the sounds of it most of my friends who are Moms are equally guilty.  Here’s the $64,000 question: When was the last time you allowed your child(ren) to skip a meal, stay up to 2 am or asked them to wait an hour to go to the bathroom?  If you’re like me it never happens.  Sometimes a meal is delayed, sure…but I beat myself up about it.  Sometimes I let my son stay up too late (by an hour!) When I do he and I pay for it the next day and I remind myself that we are never doing that again.  middle-endIf my child tells me he has to go to the bathroom I never, ever ask him to wait longer than it takes for me to drop everything and locate the nearest restroom.  So how come I don’t do that for myself?

What would my life look like if I took care of myself the way I take care of my child?  What would happen if I had a ritual of stopping everything a full two hours before my set bedtime (snort!) and devoted that time to taking a leisurely bath, reading wonderful stories, getting a full body massage with lotion and in general preparing myself for a good night sleep?  I think I might actually be asleep before midnight, I might actually sleep better and as a result I might be a happier more productive person.  Hmmmmm.  What if I made sure that I had food and drink on a regular basis, to the point of carrying a snack with me when leaving home?  Maybe I wouldn’t be so cranky when the doctor’s appointment goes long or traffic is heavy.  Hmmmmm.  What would happen if I considered the major food groups and the colors of the rainbow when I plan my own meals like I plan my sons – wait, that would require planning my meals…hmmmm.

I schedule play time for my son.  I make sure that his schedule is balanced between work and play, I schedule quiet time, outdoor time and play dates…because I love him and want him to be happy.  But it occurs to me that by not doing these things for myself I am also teaching him that when you grow up, you don’t have to take care of yourself anymore.  Uggggh, that is a punch to stomach.  I thought I was teaching him the opposite, that he is worth caring for.  But you can’t give away what you don’t have.  Ugggggh, another punch to stomach.  I want my son to feel loved and worthy of being taken care of – whether it is self care or care that comes from someone else.  If I am really committed to teaching him this lesson I have to module it. 

So I offer a challenge to all of us, all the moms out there, the self care equation for moms.  For the next month let’s all treat ourselves to the care that we treat our children to.  If we start to put our needs on the bottom of the priority pile, let’s stop and consider if we would ever do that to our children.  If we wouldn’t do it to our children, we can’t do it to ourselves.  If it wouldn’t be good for them – it’s not good for us.  If you aren’t sure, consider “If I let my kid do this how would their behavior change?”  It’s laughable.  I had popcorn for dinner three nights ago.  Imagine feeding your kid popcorn for dinner and then expecting them to behave like a reasonable person!  So for the rest of the month let’s have the same rules apply to us.  Who knows we all might feel better, more rested, happier and more productive.  Keep me posted as to your progress; I need to know if it’s just me!

Critical Factors for Raising an Empowered Child: Teaching Children About Authority; A Lesson in Self-Knowledge by Susan Haid, Lily's Truth

by Susan Haid

What do we teach our children about authority?

What do we teach our children about authority?

There are several simple but critically important keys for raising empowered children. We can give our kids the tools they need, starting at a very young age. These tools will empower them throughout their lives as they grow, yet they are core values that will evolve more fully as time passes. Let me first state that by core values, I am referring to values that develop and mature from within the child and are not imposed upon the child from the outside. The point is to nurture the growth of concrete navigational equipment that is rooted from within the child and stems from the child’s own personal life experience. This will result in a powerful form of self- knowledge, otherwise referred to here as “authority,” that is ultimately deeply empowering because it is the result of actual life experience. There is no better teacher than experience itself.
There are 17 basic fundamental concepts to begin with. In this article, I will be addressing the first key concept which is “authority.” For kids, this can be a confusing subject depending on the information they are given. The bottom line, if we are to cultivate empowerment within a child, is that we must support our children in developing their innate understanding of themselves, who they are, what they think, what they feel, and what they believe. By this, I mean that we must help our children to understand themselves from the inside out first, rather than imposing concepts upon them from the outside. We must help our children not only to understand but also respect what they think, feel and believe about their life experiences. As parents, we must help our children learn to trust their feelings, instincts, thoughts and reactions. If we separate our kids from this basic and often protective information, we have unwittingly initiated their path of separation from themselves and their consequent ability to move through life in a way that is constructive and healthy.
We must become very good listeners who can listen without judgment. First and foremost, we must listen to, honor and respect the thoughts and feelings of our children. Why is this so important? You see, as a child tells us their story, our listening without imposing judgment or giving advice acknowledges the individuality of their experience and validates and values their thoughts and feelings. This allows the child’s own discovery process to unfold. This allows the child’s problem-solving abilities to develop. And most potently, this allows the child to remain fully connected to their innate and natural abilities to trust their own feelings, ideas, instincts and consequent decisions about their life experiences. This supports the development of a core value system that will be difficult to challenge because it comes from within and is based on personal, real world knowledge.
How important is this key concept of self-knowledge and authority? It is critical. By supporting kids in developing self-knowledge, we help them cut through the confusion. Confusion is based in having to weigh and balance who they truly are with who they feel they are supposed to be. There is only one true answer. In addition, often along with the development of self-understanding comes compassion, and what more valuable “core value” is true and abiding compassion?

As parents, we can give our children the confidence to trust themselves in any situation by nuturing their innate ability to choose what is compassionate for themselves and others. This eliminates the possiblility of selfish, self-serving behavior yet honors each person’s right to choose for themselves. This also leads to the development of inner clarity so that abusive people and situations are seen for what they truly are.

This is true authority. It has absolutely nothing to do with the concept of power, and this is the type of guidance our children need to live healthy, happy, fulfilling lives.

For more helpful information about building authority within children, visit http://www.lilystruth.com where you will find more exciting and supportive details.