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MamaBlogger365 – Every Day is Mother’s Day by Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller

My Mom
Elizabeth
Nice, loving,
Hardworking, moneymaking, caring,
Very nice to people
Mom
Happy Mother’s Day 2011

This was the card my ten-year-old son gave to me the day after Mother’s Day. He had written it in school, of course, as the teacher has them do every year, but had forgotten to give it to me, as I knew to be the case.

I was just as pleased to receive this on Monday afternoon. The adjectives I knew came straight from his heart, and I was pleased to see how he saw me. It was nicely balanced between the characteristics of the traditional mom and those of the modern mom. My Monday was much more relaxing than my Sunday, and I soaked it all in.

Mother’s Day started at 7 a.m., when I was awoken by my alarm and repeatedly went to my twelve-year-old daughter’s room to wake her up for her softball games. It was a lovely 70-degree day with sun and a breeze; it was warm enough to wear shorts and cool enough to wear a sweatshirt. I scored the full fourteen innings of the double header, during which my daughter’s entire team played great.

At home, my husband went food shopping, tended to the younger kids, and then took my eldest daughter to her softball practice. We finally met up at the latter practice, where I opted to stay and bask in the sun and other mothers’ company while he took the younger ones home.

Once home, I took a nap while dinner was cooking. (The previous day had been even busier and I had opted to order dinner out that night instead.) After dinner and coffee, I got to work on a 3,000-word essay that was due Monday morning. I finished that up around 2 a.m. and slept until 10.

It is my freelance writing job that has taken me away from my blog lately. I take what jobs I need to pay for our growing sports bill and the gas to get to all the games. I opt to work at night so I can concentrate better and free up my days to do all the things we do.

The kids like to look over my shoulder. “What are you working on today, Mom? How much are you getting paid?” I like that they take an interest in how I make a living. I think that my husband and I set a good example to them of how a couple can and should cooperate as equals, sharing in household and family duties, while budgeting according to the family’s priorities.

The kids need me less in some ways, but more in other ways. They force me to toe the line on a daily basis. Comment too much on my almost-14-year-old’s Facebook page and she tells me to stop it. Fail to comment for a few days and I get, “Why didn’t you say anything about the drawing I posted?”

Mostly they just need me to wash their uniforms for their daily games. On Friday I neglected to do the laundry and Saturday was yelling at them because they couldn’t find their uniforms. Right before game time I found them on the bottom of the laundry basket. I took them all with the appropriately colored shirt minus the proper logo.

The dryer stops. Gotta go fold that right away because this mommy doesn’t have time to iron.

Every day is Mothers’ Day.

Bio: Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller is a regular contributor to Mamazina Magazine. She blogs at The Divine Gift of Motherhood.

Support MamaBlogger365 and help the Museum of Motherhood secure a permanent home in 2011!

Photo credit: Happy Boy And Mum by Peter Griffin

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MamaBlogger365 – Creating a Work-Life Balance by Diane Lang

Regardless of whether you’re working because you have to or because you want to, we, as mothers, all face similar challenges in establishing a balance between work and home. But Diane Lang has some suggestions and ideas for modern moms seeking ways to ease the stress and relax that push/pull of work and family life while still holding onto a sense of self.

1. Career vs. Job — Do what you love. Imagine you have a job where you work as least 40 hours per week, and then add an hour commute each way; that’s a lot of time to spend doing something you don’t like. If you’re a parent then you have two jobs. Parenting is a 24 hours, 7 days a week, no holidays or vacation time job. So, you’d better like your job outside of the home or it will make a very stressful, unbalanced and unhappy life.

The happiest/balanced people will tell you they have a Career. They enjoy going to work because it’s their passion. The first step you need to take to create a balanced life is find out your passions and strengths. Take a personality test if you need to and ask yourself some questions:

  • When you were a child what did you love to do?
  • If money wasn’t an option what would you love to do?
  • What causes flow in your life? Flow is when time stands still, when you’re so involved in your activity that you don’t even notice what is going on around you.

2. Personal and Professional Growth — To remain balanced, we need a mix of both professional and personal development. The happiest people are always growing and learning in both areas of their lives. If we stop growing both professionally and personally we becomes stale and stagnate which can lead to depression.

3. Are Your Basic Needs Met? You won’t find any balance if you’re not taking care of yourself. This involves taking care of basics such as: sleep, eating healthy, exercise, etc. The other part is self-care. We usually feel unbalanced because we give a 100% to our work and then a 100% at home to our family but what about ourselves?

For me self-care is a necessity; I schedule in “me” time. I schedule in daily activities that will be two-fold. I will be putting myself first and also doing things that cause happiness. This includes: gratitude checks ( morning and night), exercise, reading, etc.

Write a list of activities that you love to do that involve your strengths/passions. Then schedule yourself in your daily calendar. What keeps me motivated to add self-care is my child. A positive parenting tip: kids are visual learners. Telling my daughter she needs to take care of herself is one thing but showing her is even better. When my daughter sees me exercising, reading a book, going out with friends, etc., I’m showing her respect for oneself and how to be happy.

4. Visualize What Your Balanced Life Would Look Like — I have clients come to me and say that their lives are unbalanced. When I ask what would make their lives better and more balanced, they aren’t sure. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the feelings of being overwhelmed, stressed out, and tired that we forget to focus on what we want. What kind of life do you want? Do you need more vacation time? Time with your family? A different job? You can’t make changes until you know what they are.

5. Control — Most of us spend a lot of time on what we CAN’T control, and all that does is take up a lot time and negative energy. We can’t control anyone but ourselves. Write a list of everything you can and can’t control. The list with everything you CAN’T control, rip up. If you can’t control it, let it go. Take the list of everything you can control and ask yourself this question: What can I do about it now? What changes can I make?

6. Be Honest — A lot of times we feel unbalanced but really we aren’t happy in our lives. So, take some time to be honest with yourself. What are you feeling? I have seen clients preoccupy themselves with so much “stuff” that they felt unbalanced and overwhelmed but after a lot of thinking, they realized they were filled up with “filled” activities. They would keep busy but it wasn’t anything important to them. They were avoiding their real feelings.

7. Be Realistic — I haven’t met anyone who has a perfectly balanced, happy life. We will have bad days, days we are rushing and feel stressed out. When this happens, remember: it’s only TEMPORARY. We won’t feel this forever. Odds are you will be over it in a few hours. It’s okay to feel stressed out sometimes. Remember, too, that stress can be good. Good stress motivates you to move forward and be the best you can be. So, don’t always be turned off by stress.

Diane and Daughter

Bio: Diane Lang is an educator and Life Coach. Diane has dedicated her career to helping people turn their lives around and is now on a mission to help them develop a sustainable positive attitude that can actually turn one into an optimist, literally. A therapist and educator of Positive Psychology, she has seen that it can provide a strong foundation for finding great happiness and is gratified that it is becoming a mainstream method of treatment. As an expert in her fields of therapy, Diane has been featured in the Daily Record and Cookie Magazine, seen on NJ 12 TV and the national television program “Fox & Friends”. She has also participated in a reality-based Internet show, Ourprisoner.com, hosted Generation X-tinet and appeared in various educational videos. In addition Lang writes a bi-weekly column “The Balancing Act” at www.thealternativepress.com and sharing her expertise on parenting and living a positive lifestyle on The WTBQ Expat Show.

For more information visit Diane’s website, www.dlcounseling.com or e-mail her at Lifeline36@aol.com.

Support MamaBlogger365 and help the Museum of Motherhood secure a permanent home in 2011!

Top photo credit Mary R. Vogt, MorgueFile; ; Diane Lang photo, credit the author

MamaBlogger365 – Babies in… Parliament? by Katie Bethell

Licia Ronzulli, an Italian member of the European Union’s Parliament, sat poised and focused in her parliamentary seat. Her right hand raised in a vote, her left hand turning a page on her desk, and wrapped around her body, a newborn baby asleep in a sling.

I’m a new mom too, and even though I work in a completely supportive environment, becoming a mom made me terrified for my career. For as many women as are now in the workplace, there are still relatively few successful models for new moms who want to keep their careers going. We hear about these supermoms, but they’re not usually represented in our media.

So when I saw this picture, I was moved to tears. It’s not because I think it’s so amazing that a woman could bring a baby to work (although that is pretty great) or because of a sudden hormonal surge that makes me tear up every time I see a baby. My tears are tears of relief —- here, finally, is a picture that shows that a woman can be both professional and maternal at the same time.

Merging these identities -– the professional me who likes the feel of a suit and a challenging debate and the maternal me who will spontaneously burst into song and dance about just about anything –- is hard in a world that persistently devalues the endless work of mothering while hyping up the overwork we do in our careers.

Here, finally, is a real picture of a woman I can admire. I don’t know Ms. Ronzulli’s politics or the intimate details of her own work/life balance. What I do know is that this image makes me feel proud and hopeful. Finally, here is a poised and confident woman who, by simultaneously occupying these dual roles, appears all the more so.

Bio: Katie Bethell is a tech-savvy progressive activist, feminist, mom, and writer in the Seattle area. Katie’s writing has been featured on the Huffington Post, MomsRising.org, and other leading outlets. Her consulting firm, Left Hook Consulting, specializes in bringing campaigns to the cutting edge by applying the wisdom of traditional organizing to the tools of the internet age. Visit www.lefthookconsulting.com.

Support MamaBlogger365 and help the Museum of Motherhood secure a permanent home in 2011!

Museum Building Campaign Launched

Download Building Proposal PDF (Invitation To Participate) re: MuseumOfMotherhood_2011

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MamaBlogger365 – Seeing Red (For Women) by Diane Lang w/editorial by Joy Rose

Part of the task of reframing motherhood requires taking ‘the self’ into account. It’s the ‘M’ in (m)other, that ends up being the little slice of ‘Me’ time we all not only crave but require. Today, Diane Lang shares some of her ‘how to’ ideas’ when it comes to finding that all important encouragement to remember our basic needs must be met, before we can meet anyone else’s. It’s that work/life balance, passion and personal growth that we must continue to nurture, even when it seems like the day is long and time is short. Sometime it can even be a matter of life and death. Maybe you’ve seen all the ‘Go Red For Women‘ fashion shows and commercials lately. Learning to tell the difference between ‘good’ stress and ‘bad’ stress, getting educated about heart disease, and creating ongoing work/life harmony are all very real issues for women. While not every women chooses to work outside the home, as Diane advocates, we all need to raise the bar on our general self-awareness when it comes to health, happiness and and the ‘Go Red’ initiative is not only about raising awareness about this number one killer of women in the prime of their lives, but also reminding us all to take the time to take care. JR

_________________

Career vs. Job — Do what you love. Imagine you have a job where you work as least 40 hours a week then add an hour commute each way; that’s a lot of time to spend doing something you don’t like. If you’re a parent, then you have two jobs. Parenting is 24-hours, 7 days a week, no holidays or vacation time job. So, you better like your job outside of the home or it will make a very stressful, unbalanced and unhappy life.

The happiest/balanced people will tell you they have a Career.

They enjoy going to work because it’s their passion.

The first step you need to take to create a balanced life is find out your passions/strengths. Take a personality test if you need to and ask yourself some questions.
1. When you were a child, what did you love to do?
2. If money wasn’t an option, what would you love to do?
3. What causes flow? Flow is when time stands still, when you’re so involved in your activity that you don’t even notice what is going on around you.

Personal/Professional growth — To remain balanced we need a mix of both professional and personal development. The happiest people are always growing and learning in both areas of their lives. If we stop growing professionally and personally, we becomes stale and stagnate which can lead to depression.

Are your basic needs met? You won’t find any balance if you’re not taking care of yourself. This involves taking care of your basics such as sleep, eating healthy, exercise, etc.

The other part is self-care — we usually feel unbalanced because we give 100% to our work and then 100% at home to our family, but what about ourselves?

For me, self-care is a necessity, I schedule in “Me” time. I schedule in daily activities that will be two-fold. I will be putting myself first and also doing things that cause happiness.

This includes: gratitude checks (morning and night), exercise, reading, etc.

Write a list of activities that you love to do that involve your strengths/passions. Then, use your daily calendar to schedule them in. What keeps me motivated to add self-care is my child. A positive parenting tip: kids are visual learners. Telling my daughter she needs to take care of herself is one thing but showing her is even better. When my daughter sees me exercising, reading a book, going out with friends, etc., I’m showing her respect for oneself and how to be happy.

Visualize what your balanced life would look like. I have clients come to me and say that their lives are unbalanced. When I ask what would make their lives better and more balanced, they aren’t sure. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the feelings of being overwhelmed, stressed out and tired that we forget to focus on what we want. What kind of life do you want? Do you need more vacation time? Time with your family? A different job? You can’t make changes until you know what they are.

Control – most of us spend a lot of time on what we CAN’T control and all that does is take up a lot time and negative energy. We can’t control anyone but ourselves. Write a list of everything you can and can’t control. The list with everything you CAN’T control, rip up. If you can’t control it, let it go. Take the list of everything you can control and ask yourself this question: What can I do about it now? What changes can I make?

A lot of times we feel unbalanced but really we aren’t happy in our lives. So take some time to be honest with yourself. What are you feeling? I have seen clients preoccupy themselves with so much “stuff” that they felt unbalanced and overwhelmed; but after a lot of thinking, they realized they were filled up with “filled” activities. They would keep busy but it wasn’t anything important. They were avoiding their real feelings.

Realistic – Be realistic I haven’t meet anyone who has a perfectly balanced, happy life. We will have bad days, days we are rushing and feel stressed out. When this happen remember, it’s only TEMPORARY. We won’t feel this forever. Odds are you will be over in a few hours. It’s okay to feel stressed out sometimes. There is also good stress. Good stress motivates you to move forward and be the best you can be. So, don’t always be turned off by stress.

BIO: Diane Lang is an educator and Life Coach.  Diane has dedicated her career to helping people turn their lives around and is now on a mission to help them develop a sustainable positive attitude that can actually turn one into an optimist, literally. A therapist and educator of Positive Psychology, she has seen that it can provide a strong foundation for finding great happiness and is gratified that it is becoming a mainstream method of treatment. As an expert in her fields of therapy, Diane has been featured in the Daily Record and Cookie Magazine, seen on NJ 12 TV and the national television program “Fox & Friends”. She has also participated in a reality based Internet show, ourprisoner.com, hosted Generation X-tinet and appeared in various educational videos. In addition Lang writes a bi-weekly column “The Balancing Act” at www.thealternativepress.com and sharing her expertise on parenting and living a positive lifestyle on The WTBQ Expat Show.

For more information contact Diane Lang at Lifeline36@aol.com and visit her website : www.dlcounseling.com

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