WHAT I REALLY WANT TO SAY

“I speak my mind¬†because it hurts to bite my tongue.”

FullSizeRender 8

Disclaimer: This is not a personal account of my life to date, but a compilation of many conversations with parents behind closed doors.

Political correctness. It’s what this country has ingrained in us. It’s what we can or can’t say on social media, in a text, an email or to someone’s face because it’s not “socially acceptable” or in fear of ticking someone off. Our tone can be misconstrued, our intent can be misread, and so many times we let things go in fear of the backlash.

We have all faced our set of challenges along this parenthood highway. We’ve met people in all facets of our life that we really wish we could speak our mind to but didn’t. We’ve bit our tongue countless times and let it sit on the back burner where we brewed about it for days. In a perfect world, people would take criticism well, advice to heart and suggestions would be appreciated. Before reading further, know that I do believe MOST people are good in this world, but this is for all the parents who shut their mouths when they really wanted to say…

HEY PARENT: Your kid is a jerk and you have no idea. And if you do, shame on you. You have no clue the damage they have done to my child. And by the way, you are a jerk just like your kid. I’m tired of you acting like you are interested in what I’m saying until someone else comes along that’s more important, has more money, throws better parties or can do something for you that I can’t. Too bad, just like your child, you lost out on a great friend.

HEY TEACHER: I know you are just a person like the rest of us and have good and bad days, but please don’t take it out on my child. You are with them 75% of their day. They look up to you, admire you and even on their worst days might be desperately seeking to gain your approval or encouragement because they might not get enough at home. Listen to my kid when they come to you with a problem and help them if they have the courage to approach you. Build them up, especially if you know they struggle.

HEY COACH: I won’t suck up to you like everyone else. I won’t drink beers with you and get close to your family to benefit my child because one of these days my child will have to prove themselves without your help. And they will flourish. Please treat all your players equally, and for God’s sake, be a good role model. Encourage, inspire and motivate. Not by yelling, demeaning or punishing my child. Remember positive words go a long way on and off the field. Stop the mind games and watch my child soar.

HEY FRIEND: Stop judging me for the decisions I make. You have no idea what’s going on inside the walls of my life. I am doing the best I can but you might not know I’m in the middle of a health scare, having marital problems, dealing with a severely depressed child who’s struggling with an addiction, or at risk of losing my job. People don’t post this stuff on Facebook so you might not be aware of what I’m going through. Be supportive, be kind and ask me to meet you for coffee. (PSA: Before my friends start texting me to meet at Starbucks, no I’m not going through any of this right now but thanks for thinking of me. Remember it’s a blog.)

HEY HUSBAND: Don’t tell me I look “FINE” ever! Always tell me I’m beautiful and love me more every day. Understand that I’m really tired at 10pm, physically, mentally and emotionally. Don’t try to talk to me on the phone about finances when I’m checking out at Costco. Throw a load of laundry in the washer if you see it piling up and once in a while surprise me with dinner on the table when I get home from a long day. Better yet, hire a sitter and plan a date night mid-week. But mostly, just be there for me, being a mom is hard and is seriously underrated on the job index.

Life is too short not to speak your mind. Life is also too short not to share our experiences with others, the good AND the bad. There is always a way to soften your words to get your point across, but never apologize for your feelings, especially when it comes to your happiness or the well-being of those you love.

HEY READER: Have a good day, you’re awesome. ūüôā

 

 

 

DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY

FullSizeRender 6

You can’t change the past, but you can ruin the present by worrying over the future.¬† ~Anonymous

It’s human nature to worry. When we become parents worry soars to a whole new threat level. Little did we know, that worry would become ingrained in us from that day on for the rest of our lives.

In the beginning our worries are relatively small. We worry our baby isn’t eating enough or gaining¬†weight. We worry¬†they aren’t sleeping through the night, rolling over, crawling, walking or talking as quickly as the¬†other kids in our mommy and me class. When they’re older the issues get bigger making our worries greater every year.

Yes, for some people faith gets them through tough times, others it’s family and friends, those support systems we can’t live without. But that deep, dark fear, that immense pang of worry when our baby is sick, when our toddler falls and hits his head on the playground, when our daughter is bullied in middle school, when our teen doesn’t answer his phone and is out past curfew, and when they move away and go out on their own. Daily fears can build up and consume EVERY, SINGLE part of our life.

And suddenly everything in our world is affected. Our relationship with our spouse, our co-workers, our parents, our friends and most of all, our children. Worry will always be part of parenthood, but have you ever thought how constant fear and worry about the future affect your life today?

The dictionary definition of worry is “to give way to anxiety or unease; allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.” A few synonyms for worry are strain, stress and tension. Some antonyms; calmness, content and peace.

Think about it. What sounds better, stress or calmness? Tension or content? Strain or peace? Pretty simple huh? Not really. But if you think about, worry can ruin your relationships. Worrying constantly about your children will inevitably consume your adult conversation with your spouse, when you should spend that time “dating” each other and connecting as adults. Worry can ruin your relationship with co-workers if you show a lack of trust or have issues delegating tasks. Worrying constantly about your kids can make you a helicopter parent, a nag, a “NO” parent, a perfectionist, a genuinely not fun person who has zero chance to score a Starbucks date with your teenage daughter.

As much as I can’t erase your worries as a parent, we can learn to manage them. Keep in mind I don’t have a Psychology degree or MD. I’ve just been a mom for the past 17 years. I don’t know everything but I do have a few tricks to a worry-free or worry-less life.

  1. BREATHE. Have you ever gone through an entire day without taking one deep breath? Yeah, me too. Sit for a minute, in carpool line, at your desk, in the bathroom, at a stop light, and just breathe, deeply.
  2. BUSY. Especially in the darkest moments of parenthood, don’t hide. Don’t lock yourself in your room or disconnect from those around you or the activities that you love, stay busy. Bonus your laundry and dishes will always get done.
  3. PRAY. If you’re at all religious praying can ease your mind and warm your heart. If you’re spiritual or meditate take some time to yourself.
  4. EXERCISE. Nothing helps clear my head better than a good workout. I’m not a fitness guru, sometimes I go for months and never lace up my sneakers except to sit on the sideline to watch a soccer game. But I have heard exercise increases something in your brain that makes you feel better. That’s as scientific as I get.
  5. SLEEP. Everything seems like it’s falling apart after 3 hours sleep. Hit the hay. You’ll feel better in the morning and can tackle problems with a clear head.

Moral of the story, worry less, live more. Stay present, stay calm…today. Yesterday may have been awful, tomorrow may be plain dreadful and 2018 may be your worst year yet. But you are here today, how will you choose to live?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This land is my land, this land is NOT your land

Alex bike for blog

Dear Kids, the world I grew up in is not yours…let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time there was a boy who rode his bike for miles and miles after school down winding streets, through woods, stopping at 7-11 for candy on the way home well after dark. Now he sits in silence gazing at a screen with X-Box remote in hand, talking online to random “friends” who he’s never met. He spends hours watching “You-Tubers” or “Googles” the answers to his homework online.

Once upon a time there was a girl who played dress-up, “House”, board games, hide and seek and kickball in the back yard. Now she Snap chats to keep her 500 streaks up, spends an hour editing a post to attain the most “likes”, and hides behind a screen as she texts hurtful words or comments because they’re “anonymous”.

I was that little girl playing dress-up 30 years ago, your dad was that little boy riding his bike through the woods. We were those kids that lived without fear, grew up with our neighbors and had dinner with our families at night. Nothing was perfect back then, we all had struggles and tragedies, we loved and lost, we had hope and defeat.

But today for you and your friends, this world is not our world, nor will it ever be. You are growing up faster than we ever did, struggling to balance a technological life with reality. You are witnessing first hand acts of terrorism, acts of evil…things we only saw in movies when we were your age. You must be wondering why bad things happen to good people, why there is so much hatred?

There has been more than our fair share of “bad” lately. Our country is divided on so many levels, evil acts are terrorizing people all over the world.¬† People are tweeting, “Love will win”, “Love conquers all”. All good thoughts, and I truly hope love does win and conquer all.¬† But in reality how do we make that happen? How do YOU make that happen.

I don’t know the answer to that question. But I can tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to put down my phone and lap-top, and stop watching the news. I hope you decide to do the same. I’m going to stop tweeting about love and go out in the world and do it. I’m not going to ignore the homeless man that comes to my window. I’ll make eye contact with people on my walk, smile and say hello. I’ll strike up a conversation with someone who looks like they’ve had a rough day, finding a way to put a smile on their face.

So go out and make someone’s day. Always be respectful, empathetic and kind. Chat with your friends face to face instead of Face Time. Let your voice be heard and stand up for someone in need and for something you truly believe in, even if you face ridicule or embarrassment. Show love and kindness to those who have hurt you, those that annoy you, those that anger you. Everyone has their own cross to bear, don’t let yours weigh so heavily that you can’t see into the hearts of others.

And if you start today and do this every day, then maybe, just maybe my land will be yours again. Remember, you can make a difference. Write this quote down on a sticky note and put it on your bathroom mirror. “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” ~Mother Teresa

I love you guys,

Mom