Monday, August 29, 2016

School for kids, work for mom


Dear Mommies,

It's that time of year when the kids go back to school. It can be pretty stressful before the school year even starts. The kids need the nicest backpack, the cutest shoes, the sweetest iPad cover. And can we talk about the drama of buying jeans?

As moms, we are always going to make our kids look good. And do good. We want them to excel. We’re going to give them the encouragement, resources and opportunities to shine. We then blend into the background while our little ones take flight. Rarely do we mothers push themselves forward. Pushy show moms, aside--we don't take center stage.

We’re happy to stay in the shadows with our yoga pants and messy pony tails. We don't want our pictures in the school yearbook. We'd prefer to hide. But maybe this is the year, we should be recognized. Just a little bit, other than the obligatory thanks from teachers and staff. Maybe this year we should dress as nice as our kids for the first day of school.

A very wise man once questioned the purpose of high school graduation parties. He asked why, a child who just turned into an adult without trying, is rewarded with a party? This celebration comes after 4 years of the child doing something that’s just barely considered work. The party, this man argued, should be for the parents.

As mommies we have a tendency to underestimate the amount of work it takes to raise a good child. (It’s easy to raise the bad ones—you just ignore them).

Recently, a salary data service estimated that moms should be paid $65K a year (more, if you have more than two children) to compensate us for what we do. It’s not just bottle and diapers. It’s work. Waking them up. Putting them down for naps. Feeding them, teaching them to feed themselves. Dressing them and trying to teach them to dress themselves. Coaching them through the walking and talking phase. Taking care of boo-boo's. Getting them to doctor appointments, soccer practice, piano lessons, and parties.

You should be proud of the work you do. Because you do more in one day than many people do in a week. So when anyone who asks if you have a “real” job, always respond: Yes, I’m raising children.

Relax mommies, you’ve got this!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Headaches & Life Lessons

Is this you during your migraine?

Dear Mommies,

Ever had a headache that felt as if there was someone with a sledge hammer pounding on the inside of your skull? Or a migraine that felt like you were hit by a truck? Ever had severe headache pain?

Headaches—the serious kind--can drop us to our knees. Make us nasty, irritable, and just plain non-functional. We can become awful to everyone around us. Often we're rendered useless, crawling into bed and hoping the world will go away. 

Head pain is different than other kinds of pain. It's not like carpal tunnel or joint pain. Headaches are right where our brain is positioned and where most of our senses are located. Take those out and we’re pretty much debilitated. 

The way we handle head pain is also a predictor of how we treat life’s problems. Do we whimper and whine? Hide? Go right for the extra strength pain killer? Or just muscle through? No one way is the only way. In fact, depending on the “headache” we may do all three.

There are three things that we should do with each of life's problems:
1.    Vent. Talk through it. Make sure you don’t end up in a kvetching session or a blame game. Honestly communicate your issue to someone who isn’t involved. And seek advice.
2.    Don't become part of the problem, or make the problem worse. It seems counter intuitive to bang your head against the wall when you have the mother of all headaches, but that’s what we often do. Rushing into action can make a problem worse. Give it some time and thought before you rush in to fix it. There's nothing wrong with sleeping on it.
3.    Do. Sounds simple, but once a solution is in place, work through it. Even on your worse days you're still the mommy and there are kids and laundry and dinner. Sometimes just doing a simple task can take your mind off your headache. And help you realize, no matter how bad, no pain lasts forever.

Relax Mommies, you’ve got this!