Mommies are Humans Too

balance business cobblestone conceptual

“Mom I need you”

“Mommy I’m hungry”

“Mom can you help me with my shoes?”

Mommy, MOMMY, MOMMMMMYYYYYY

I hear that about 30 trillion times a day. If you’re a fellow mom, I bet you do too.

Now let’s switch gears. When talking to others, instead of introducing myself as “Robin”, I tend to say, “Hi, I’m _______’s mom”.

AND 9 times out of 10, whether I’m with my children or not, they become the sole focus of my conversation.

With that said, I believe it’s safe to assume that my children take up 99.9999% of my time both physically and mentally. But, is .000009% enough energy to allocate to myself? Probably not.

Make that Definitely not.

And…..that’s where we as moms need to make a change. No, we shouldn’t slack off as parents, or spend less time or energy on our children. We love them more than anything and want to make these years memorable. But in all honesty, we can’t forget who we are as people. Our roles are not singular.

This brings me to the main point of my post. When do we as moms (or dads!!!) stop remembering who we are, what we enjoy, what our hopes and dreams are……and put all of that aside to be known only as “so and so’s mom/dad”?

This topic is a difficult one and a sensitive one, but nonetheless, important. It’s something I have been truly struggling with over the last year.

HOWEVER, you and I alike, do not need to wallow or give in and think, “well, being a mom is the only important job in my life”, because IT’S NOT. So, I challenge you (as I challenge myself) to start by making a list of all your hopes and dreams. Sounds corny, I know. But it really isn’t. These dreams, or goals, could be as small as making time to eat breakfast in the morning or as large as a big career change. Then, after making this list, get together with a friend, family member, colleague, professional, or anyone else you feel comfortable with, and map out how you can get started working towards these goals. It doesn’t matter if you only make one ounce of progress, as long as it’s forward progression, it will help you. Good luck friend, I know we can do it!

xo Robin

PS- I’d love to hear from some of you as to what your ideas

and dreams are & what your plans look like. I’ll be sure to post mine too!

 

Challenge Day 8

Today’s original challenge said to make a meal plan for the week. Since I prefer to do any weekly  planning on Saturdays, I decided to skip this day and go right to Day 9. I mean it’s my challenge, so why not customize it?

Ok, so challenge day 9’s task was to think of a good memory and share it with family and friends. This is something I like to try to do often, especially with my kids. Today I had some extra down time with all three girls, (due to a 2 hr delay) so I decided to talk to them about my grandparents. My dad’s parents were very special people, who took care of me practically every day while growing up. They taught me how to play the keyboard, take care of a garden, play card games, listen to classic music, read literature…. You name it, we did it. There wasn’t one important event in my life that my grandparent’s missed, no matter how trivial it may have seemed. February is also a very special month because both of my grandparents’ birthdays were in the first week. Therefore, my daughters and I began with me asking if they knew whose birthdays are coming up. Of course they replied with “groundhog day” and “mine” and again with “mine” lol. I replied that although all of them were correct to a degree, it would have been both my grandparents’ birthdays very soon. Unfortunately they recently passed away and we can’t share it together, yet, I thought it would be nice to honor them with some music, food, and card games. The girls and I were limited on time, but listened to a few Beatles songs, as my grandmother loved them. Her favorites were “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Let it Be”.  Dancing was of course part of this morning celebration. and serendipitously, my eldest told me that “Let it Be” is the song for her dance recital. Words can’t describe the smile that broke out across my face.

Next, was breakfast. I explained that my grandfather was English and loved a traditional breakfast. In fact, he usually ate two or three. One at 5am, another around 7am, and a light breakfast snack around 9am. Since I have picky children, we couldn’t have eggs, sausage, oatmeal, or scones with tea, and instead settled on toast with jelly.

toast-toaster-food-white-bread.jpg

Finally, I didn’t have enough time to teach my eldest how to play the infamous cribbage- a card game my grandfather and I played daily. (I honestly don’t even know it she would understand if we DID have the time lol) Nevertheless, we had about 25 minutes left before the bus came, so the four of us played “go fish” (I played for my one year old, who kept trying to throw the cards underneath the coffee table). During the game I told the girls how my brother used to play this game all the time with my grandparents, and how he used to have a meltdown if he wouldn’t win. Not surprisingly, my 4-year-old did the same thing shortly after….

pexels-photo-278965.jpeg

Overall, today was a great time. I consider myself an old soul. And I absolutely loved today’s challenge. It reminded us to slow down and take time out of our crazy lives to think about our memories. We laughed, we cried, it’s bittersweet, but in the end…..it’s all good. Because each one of these little moments is what makes life so amazing.

xo Robin

Sniffles and Storytimes

pexels-photo-754178.jpeg

This past week I’ve barely left my house. Each day has consisted of cuddles, lots of tissues, baths, humidifiers, nose-sucking (thank you NoseFrida), and attempting to sleep a couple hours at night between the kid’s coughing fits. First it began with the younger two who had nasty colds, coupled with double pink eye. Then on Thursday, the oldest developed an awful barking cough and fever. So needless to say, we have had our share of sickness the past week. (By the way, my largest child, aka my hubby, is now too coming down with the dreaded cold. Oh Joy.)

As a mother, the hardest thing to do is see your child suffering. Just know that we all feel helpless sometimes. For me, I just make sure to provide the girls with lots of mommy cuddles, chicken noodle soup, books, movies, and warm blankets. (Not to mention sanitizing the entire house in between lol). As exhausting as it has been, I’m thankful to have these three precious little souls in my life. To be their mommy {and nurse}, to watch them look up and hug me in those times they need me most, really puts things in perspective.

If you told me 10 years ago that at 31 I’d have 3 girls, a rural home, and have left my corporate job for wiping noses & baby behinds all day long……I would have laughed hysterically at you. Some days I still have to laugh at myself- but mainly because I’ve got a princess sticker on my shirt or I just realized I went to the store with my wallet still in the diaper bag. Truth be told, throughout the hardships, we have to be thankful for every day with our little ones. As we all know, they grow up too fast, and even if I’m suffering from some cabin fever this week, I’ll take sniffles and story times any day.

pexels-photo-701014.jpeg

xo Robin

 

Mindfulness & Our Children

pexels-photo-574282.jpeg

Mindfulness is a concept that has been around for thousands of years, yet seems to be getting much more attention as of late. Adults (and I’m sad to say children as well) are more stressed than ever, and more connected than ever. Despite all this “connection” we are faced with greater anxieties, bullying, mistreatment, and I truly feel that the younger generation isn’t taking full advantage of the beauties of life. But what can we do about it?

That’s where mindfulness comes in. Google dictionary defines the term as, “1. The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. 2. A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”. #2 is what I’m talking about here, now. If we can find little ways to help our children accept and process their feelings and situations in the present, I believe this will help them when faced with difficulties such as bullying (whether it’s cyber or in person), empathy, anxiety, or any other challenge whether it be in the classroom, with friends, or on the sports field. Studies have shown that when we teach our children to slow down and soak in the surroundings, rather than whiz by them and try to change or confront every little thing, they experience the following:

  1. It boosts their self-esteem & emotional awareness (ie: knowing that something like anxiety will pass, and feeling confident in dealing with tough situations)
  2.  It encourages positive behavior. This means we will have kids who understand and feel empathy, happiness, and like they are in control of their thoughts / feelings.
  3. It decreases feelings of aggression, and promotes conflict resolution among their peers.

Now, on to the “doing” part. I’ve just begun my journey with my 3 children (and myself) to achieve mindfulness, but here’s what we are working on:

  1. Use sensory tools. My 4-year-old daughter has a speech delay, so she sometimes learns best when using visuals to express herself. I made up index cards with different feelings on them, then asked her to point to them throughout the day. When she was having a tantrum and couldn’t calm down enough to tell me what was wrong, I laid out the cards on the floor, read them to her (loudly as she was crying), and asked her to point to the ones that showed how she was feeling. As expected, she pointed to the mad and sad ones. Simple right? Well, then I asked her to turn the cards over. On the other side of each card was an activity. On the mad one, I had written, “draw a picture of a pizza pie, then pretend to smell the pizza, and blow on the pizza. Repeat the smelling / breathing on the pizza 3 times.”. To my surprise, my daughter walked over to her art table and did it. Yes, I helped her draw the pizza, as she was too upset to focus, but once we started the breathing, she was able to calm herself. Afterwards, I asked her what she was feeling, and she said “happy”. I told her it’s ok to feel mad and sad sometimes, as long as we can deal with it and get back to feeling happy.
  2. Take it slow. Rather than trying to create little soldiers of mindfulness {lol}, I just started asking questions randomly throughout the day, such as, “Do you hear how sweet that bird’s song is?” or “look at how many clouds are in the sky today”. Other days I’ll ask, “how does that make you feel?” while reading a story, or “why is this your favorite blanket? Is it the color or because it’s so soft?”. To children, I’m just asking basic questions. But what they don’t realize is that I’m actually making them slow down and look, smell, feel, touch, what’s going on in the present moment.
  3. Express gratitude. I recently saw a pinterest post on creating a gratitude journal for children. I loved the idea. I don’t know about you, but my kids spend way too much time complaining about what they don’t have, instead of being thankful for what they do have. I’ve asked my 7-year-old to write one thing daily, while my 4-year-old and I work together on hers. Then at dinner, we have the option of sharing our journal entries. We don’t remember to do it every day, but we are getting there. Here’s the link I used if you’d like to print one out too: http://enjoythelearningjourney.com/gratitude-journal-for-kids/
  4. Get outside and experience nature. I can’t stress this one enough. I’m noticing that being outside will most likely be a theme through most of my blog posts, but it’s a suggestion which is so important. For children, animals, and adults alike, nature creates a calming place for self-reflection, learning, calming, and improving health. This one is easy for our family, as we love to go kayaking, play at the playground, and go on hikes.

sand-summer-outside-playing.jpg

I hope this post has a bit of resonance with your own lifestyle, and if not, that’s ok -everyone is different. It’s just my personal opinion that we need to raise a generation who is more accepting, loving, and mindful of themselves & those around them. My hopes for the future are that I raise 3 tiny humans to become kind, compassionate, confident women that can positively contribute to the world, and create their own happiness.

 

xo Robin