Category Archives: Motherhood

Don’t Raise a Humpty Dumpty

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We all know the nursey rhyme:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again

Yet, how many of us are raising our own Humpty Dumpty? Some of us don’t teach our sons to be responsible for their actions and when they face a challenge, we rush in to rescue them.

It hurts me to watch my son stumble through a difficult situation in his life, but I help him through it with candor and care.  When he understands the consequences of his behavior or decisions, he is in a better position to handle more challenging and serious situations in life.    If we made every decision for him, the only thing he would learn is to depend on us to solve his problems.

Humpty was not an unfortunate egg, he knew the risks of sitting on the wall.  He chose to sit there anyway. However, when Humpty took a fall, it was the king’s horses and king’s men who tried to put him back together. Why were they responsible for Humpty’s poor decisions? Humpty took a fall and someone else had to clean his mess.

As moms of boys, our job is to guide our sons to make the right decisions in life. When we teach our sons to respect our boundaries, we help them to respect the boundaries of others. When we teach our sons to practice self-control and self-discipline, we help them to better manage their lives.

It is difficult to watch our kids make mistakes but if we trust that we have raised them to be critical thinkers, we need to trust them to make the right decisions.

How are you helping your son to make good decisions in life?

 

 

 

Mom, Can You Live Without Words?

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I hate to admit this but I used to talk more than I listened. Ok, I still struggle with this issue but I’ve gotten much better. Most of what I’ve said that’s gotten me in trouble has been innocent in nature but has come across as malicious or mean. I’m reminded of the 30 Rock episode when Liz Lemon goes to her high school reunion and assumes everyone will still be mean to her just to find out she was the “mean” girl.

Here’s some of the things that has gotten me in trouble:

1. I once said something inappropriate to a priest. I won’t go into detail, but let’s just say that God has stamped my forehead with “Do Not Return”. Before you judge me, I am Catholic and I thought I had to correct him about something.

2. I complimented my husband’s co-worker about his lovely daughter (she was his wife). This was misconstrued as me being catty or a “hater”. Seriously, why would I envy her for marry an older man? Check with me when you’re 50 and he’s 70 and we’ll see who’s really a hater.

3. I asked a woman about her due date just to find out she wasn’t pregnant.

I’ve tried to blame these and other “foot in the mouth” incidents on everything from “mommy brain” to wine. The truth is I was probably half paying attention to the situation or what the person was saying to me. I also used to be so uncomfortable with silence that I felt compelled to fill the void with talking.

I am much better now and I make sure that I give people my full attention but most importantly, I’ve learned to appreciate silence. I’ve learned to value communication by speaking less and being an active listener.  I’m teaching my sons the importance of listening more and speaking less and I continue to do my best to be an example.

Do you have an experience to share about talking too much? Enter the Shut Your Mouth video contest for a chance to win $1,000.

Also check out the movie A Thousand Words with Eddie Murphy and Kerry Washington, which opens in theatres, March 9th. I plan to see the movie because I think I can relate to learning how to stop talking to truly communicate.

This post was written as part of a compensated campaign through Blogalicious’ bLink

Mom, 10 Ways to Get Your Swagger Back

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We're already one month into 2012 (feels longer, doesn't it?) and are you sticking to your goals and resolutions?   Maybe it's time for you to get a makeover to give yourself a boost. If you're still rocking mom jeans, have the Jennifer Aniston "Rachel" haircut, it may be time to give yourself a new look. You can only feel your best when you are devoting time to look your best.  Mom, if you're having a hard time giving to yourself, it's time to get your swagger back.   What's swagger?  To walk or behave in a very confident way. 

These ten tips are from my Free Workbook 2012 Mom's Best Year Yet

10 Tips to Get Your Swagger Back:

1. Stand Up for Yourself- Stand up for your rights and your beliefs.

2. Take Control- Choose to be the driver, not the passenger in your life. Instead of letting life happen to you, live your life with purpose.

3. Start Your Day Right- The first 15 seconds of you day determine how your day will go. Get everything off to the right start by getting into a positive mood right from the beginning of the day. Plan your day the night before and develop a morning routine.

4. Accept Compliments  Just say, “Thank you” instead of dismissing the compliment.

5. Strive for Excellence Instead of Perfection-  No one is perfect.  Start to see mistakes as learning opportunities instead of failure.

6. Focus on THE BIG PICTURE-Keep the bigger picture in mind as you attempt the trials of life. It will keep you from getting caught up on the smaller issues that distract from the important ones. 

7. Prepare Yourself- Life does surprise you but there are some things you can prepare for. Ensure you properly prepare yourself for the challenges you face.

8. Ask For Help -Stop trying to do it all. Strength comes from seeking help from others when you’re struggling. Draw from the expertise of others when you lack the knowledge you need.

9. Get to Know Yourself- Delve deep and find out who you are. You’ll be better able to point out and work on your weaknesses. Your strengths will give you confidence.

10 .Try Something New- Break out of your mundane routine. Wear a new color, try a different hairstyle, get a mini makeover.

 

How to Get Your Son on the Honor Roll

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Great video on tips on helping your son to make honor roll. Too often, we set unrealistic expectations of our sons and express our disappointment with their academic performance. Dr. Tartt does make one controversial recommendation which is to pay your child for their grades. What are your thoughts are children getting paid for the grades they receive?

 


 

Mom, Your Strength is Your Weakness

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Recently, a friend told me that his mom was so through a difficult period in her life. While I sympathized with her plight, he said, :"She's strong. She'll be alright."  His response disturbed me for two reasons:

  1. His mom was putting on a front and was not allowing her son to see her hurting.
  2. Does his lack of empathy extend to other women in his life?

I can relate to how his mother was acting. I grew up in a culture that believed that women had to be strong in the face of adversity. I learned to have a great disdain for any signs of weakness or vulnerability. While publicly I chastised vulnerable women, privately, I envied their ability to show their emotions and weaknesses. I learned to let go of my way of thinking when I became a mother. I knew that my sons needed me to show them my human frailty in order to see me not as super mom, but as a mere mortal. I am not unshakable and I will not do my sons the disservice of making them believe that I do not hurt. I don't want them singing my praises as a strong black woman, I want them to know that I do fall apart but use my challenges, disappointments, losses and hurts as a learning experience for all of us.

The best way for me to teach my sons empathy, is to demonstrate it but also to allow them to see me in my weak moments. I do not divulge intimate details about my life or share private matters but I do let them see me cry and break down. It's not fair to let them assume that I can handle anything, because the truth is I can't handle everything. I need faith, prayer, God and support from friends and family to get me through the hard times. I want my sons to be able to extend a comforting word or touch to someone in need.

The best gift I can give my sons to not let them think I am so strong that I can not fall or fail.The best gift I can give them is to teach them to have compassion for others.

Are you putting on a strong front for your son?

 

Mom, Take Care of Yourself

As moms, we often put the needs of our children before our own needs. We put off or delay our basic needs in order to accomodate the needs of others. This TED Talk is about being healthy for yourself and for your family.


 

Mom, Go Take a Nap!

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"When you can't figure out what to do, it's time for a nap."-Mason Cooley

Mom, it's time for you to take a nap. I know you're busy taking care of your family and home, updating your Facebook profile and tweeting about your daily activities, and pinning on Pinterest but seriously, you need rest. I should know because I need a nap. My family needs me to hae enough rest otherwise they don't want to deal with me. Even the baby insists that I take a nap.

Did you know that Eleanor Roosevelt used to take naps before speaking engagements? Now, if a First Lady had time to take naps during war time, what's your excuse? Maybe you're worried your family won't be able to function without you for 15-20 minutes.  Is it that you're so controlling, you don't want to delegate any work or responsibilities to anyone else?

You need a power nap. I'm sure you can make time to take a nap.Twenty minute naps are a great way to get rid of the afternoon slump and the evening meltdowns. These naps will help you feel vibrant and ready for action. By devoting 20 minutes to uninterrupted sleep, you allow your brain and body to function at their full power. If you have small children at home, instead of rushing to do chores or work, when they take a nap, take your 20 minute nap. You’ll feel a burst of energy and be able to have fun with your children.

Ok, you've read enough, it's time for you to go take a nap. Happy resting!

What Will Your Son Remember About You?

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One of my favorite books is Mitch Albom's For One More Day. The book is about a down and out man who gets to spend a day with his deceased mother. Throughout the book, he realizes what he thought and believed about his mother wasn't always true. The book makes me think about my relationship with my sons. I know that my oldest son knows about 75% about me and the rest is assumptions and anecdotes from family.

Everyday with our children are snapshots in their memory bank. Unfortunately, like an unsteady hand holding a camera, they don't usually get the whole picture. Our sons may see you give your ex a dirty look, but missed when you had to call him to remind him to spend time with your son. He may see you yelling at him, but miss when you check up on in him when he's asleep. He may see that you missed his school event but miss where your boss berated you for wanting to leave work early.

We can not control everything our son thinks about us, we can help them to see us in a more accurate way by being honest with them about what we can and not do. We can talk to our sons about our values, share our insights and experiences.

 

Free Workbook-2012 Mom’s Best Year Yet

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Hey Mom! It's All About You in 2012

In order to instill core life values in your children, you must first learn to live by them. You can not teach your children to be their best, if you are settling for a mediocrity in your life.

Be the mom and woman you were meant to be. If you've let yourself go, now is the time to get unstuck and move forward to a better life. You can live the life you want without making any compromises or taking shortcuts.  Isn't it time you got your needs met and stop your resentment, regret, and guilt. Your family can not read your mind. If you don not state what you want, they will never know.

This free workbook is designed to get you thinking bigger about 2012.

Download 2012 Mom's Best Year Yet

 

 

10 Ways to Be an Epic Mom

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Whether your son is 2 or 16, your relationship with him will grow stronger if you learn how to interact with him. Here's 10 tips to being an epic mom in 2012.

1. Look for opportunities to praise your son- Sure he has selective hearing and you probably have to tell him or remind him to pick up his clothes 50 times, but make 2012, the year you praise your son for the things he does and catch him being good!

2. Give him space- It's time to land helicopter mom. Let him go and let him grow. Your son doesn't need you to rescue him.

3. Show your son you trust him- Providing that he hasn't given you any reason to doubt him, let your son know you trust his decisions and opinions.

4. Have "Me Time- Have guilt-free fun! The more you give to yourself, the more you can give to your kids.

5. Understand your son-It's one thing to know him but understanding him is like having a portal into his brain. Understanding him also means respecting his quirks and style.

6. Take interest in his stuff. I don't like Naruto but you best believe that I've learn the names of the characters. The same way I learned many Pokemon and their powers.  Learn the players of his favorite sports team, learn about his favorite author or book. Learn about his favorite superhero.  Need help? Use Google or Wikipedia to research. Here's the caveat with taking an interest:

  • Don't be a know-it-all. Give him the opportunity to tell you a little more.
  • Don't ask too many questions.

7. Learn when to talk and when to listen- When he's sharing something personal: It's time to listen. When he's broken a rule: It's time to talk.

8. Learn teen slang and lingo- Learn it and know it ,but under no circumstance are you to use it in public: in person or online. Please don't be a n00b.

9. Laugh often- Boys find humor in things we find gross, like . It's ok to laugh if he's not offending someone or being disrespectful.

10. Stop yelling so much-I know it's easier said than done, but your son isn't going to cooperate because you're yelling, he's going to cooperate so you'll stop yelling. Yelling isn't effective, nor does it gain you more respect.