Personal Stuff

30 Days of Daily Charges

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Self-care for moms: Finding the things that bring us balance
Last month I challenged women everywhere to commit to join the Daily Charge Challenge and do one thing each day solely focused on self-care. or any activity that recharges the mind/body or spirit.

In my dreams I was envisioning massive amounts of moms participating in this fun challenge to take the time each day for a little self-care.  In reality I know of about 5 that did.

So to those 5 I say, many thanks for joining me. You know who you are :) .

And to those that might have been participating that I don’t know about – I hope it was a fun exercise for you that inspired more happiness.

The  experiment for me was a huge one of growth and self-discovery, and a lot of fun to boot.

When I looked back at my #DailyChargeChallenge photos in that collage, it is clear to see the things that relax me. Date nights, yoga, being outdoors, walks with friends, reading, time with my family, my work, and we can’t forget, wine.

All those things pictured above bring balance to my life.

So much so, I am going to put it on a canvas print and hang on my office wall as a reminder of just how important it is to dedicate time in our busy lives for the small things that make us happy.

It shouldn’t just be a 30 day challenge, but an ongoing challenge.

If you didn’t participate last month, you can start today or tomorrow. It doesn’t have to be a daily thing, but try to commit to doing a few things each week that recharge you.

Then, take a photo of it.

You don’t have to share on social media, it can just be kept on your phone.  Periodically go back and look at those things that inspire you.  Need ideas? We have a gazillion listed in my post here.

I guaranteed your spirit will feel just a little brighter.

Happy weekend mamas! Make it an AMAZING one!

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The Secret to a Siblings’ Bond

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nurturesiblingrelationship

“My girls were just not allowed to fight.”

I would often hear my mom say that phrase when asked if we, her two daughters, fought a lot growing up. I would watch the “yeah, right” look on their face when she would say that, because to many the words ‘siblings’ and ‘fighting’ are synonymous.

But they weren’t in our house.

I know we bickered and had our moments, like the time my four-year-old little sister smeared the smelliest diaper cream all over my beloved Raggedy Ann doll (who was never the same after that day), but regular fighting was simply not allowed.

In hindsight, I recognize many things my parents did to nurture our sibling relationship, one that I am grateful to have with my sister to this day.

Nurturing Sibling Relationships 

There are a few things things I think play a huge role in nurturing sibling relationships from what I experienced growing up.  Now that I am also raising two daughters, I am trying to foster a close relationship between them because I know firsthand how amazing it is to have a close relationship with a sibling.

Please chime in below with your experiences. I love to hear other points of view!

R-E-S-P-E-C-T 

Doesn’t everyone truly just want a little respect (no joke intended!)? I believe the same goes for our kids. Everyone wants to feel as if their thoughts and feelings are important; that they matter.

When my girls are in a tiff I try to teach them to respect where the other is coming from by explaining the other’s point-of-view, right or wrong.

And in those times when they are having a hard time getting along, I often remind them,

“You are SISTERS which is one of the most special things in the entire world, because it is something only the two of you share. No one else. You LOVE each other like crazy. Always remember that.”

No matter how MAD they are at each other in that moment, this little reminder can always soften their stance. It is my hope that with this reminder they learn to have respect for their relationship.

Sticks and Stones…

Whoever came up with that one?! So not true! WORDS HURT. Name calling hurts. Negative labeling hurts. Which is why I am really strict about the words they say to each other in anger.

Just like a marriage relationship must be worked on and nourished, a sibling relationship can be looked at in the same way.

If spouses are continually bickering, calling each other names, fighting, criticizing each other…what do you think that does to the marriage? Make it stronger? All that negativity chips away at the relationship, it doesn’t build it up or nourish it.

I believe the same goes for siblings. Fighting and name calling break down the relationship; kindness and love make it stronger.

My girls don’t have to agree, but they can never be mean or nasty to each other.

In our house, it is not okay to yell, “You’re mean!”

It is okay to say, “I don’t like it when you ………!”

They can’t can’t yell “YOU’RE (insert negative name)!” or “YOU (insert nasty name)!”

Just the other day I overheard my oldest telling her sister in frustration,”You’re so annoying!!” Which was in fact a new one I hadn’t heard her use before. Likely her sister was being annoying, but still, I didn’t like it.

I called both girls out and said, “Hey! Hey! Hey! In our family we don’t call each other names or describe each other with a word that is unkind. When you say, ‘you’re annoying’  - is that a nice way to describe your sister?”

Mumbled, “no.”

“That’s right, it’s a hurtful comment and it’s not okay. You can ask your sister to stop what she’s doing or come ask me for help, but it’s not okay to say that to your sister.”

Mumbled,”OK, sorry Mommy…”

Sister Love

sis I thank God for my sister and I respect my sister immensely as a person.

Now that I am a parent, I have to thank my parents for their part in making our relationship what it is today.

I cherish the fact that my sister is the only one in this lifetime who shares the same early childhood experiences and history – that really IS special.

And as we walk through this life together, we need each other, in good times, but especially in the bad. When really hard times come, we are there for each other to share the burden, and that is priceless.

That is us at last week’s Katy Perry concert. My sister got tickets and asked me to go with her. As I was getting ready to go, I told my girls I was going to the concert with my sister, and I hoped someday years from now they would be all grown up and be able to get baby-sitters for their kids so they could go out to a concert together too.

You don’t chose your family, but you can chose to make the best of the relationship.  And as a parent, I believe we have a lot more power than we might think in the type of relationship our children have with each other.

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In Memoriam

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In Memoriam

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Show Your Room Mom Some Love This Year

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room mom appreciation ideas

Oh, back-to-school time is in full swing. Soccer has started, carpools are in motion, and some moms will be putting their name down to volunteer to be your fearless leader as “room mom” this year. Bless them.

I am dedicating this post on room mom appreciation ideas to those room moms everywhere and want to share some little things, LITTLE things you can do to make their role easier this school year.

Anyone have anything to add? Please share in the comments below!

What You Can Do To Help Your Room Mom

First off, remember these ladies (or men!) are volunteers. Endless hours will be spent planning your child’s class parties and organizing thoughtful gifts for your teacher. I mean, aren’t the following the least we can do?

1. Every now and again, email back. 

On numerous times I would email the entire class about an upcoming party or class event and hear, crickets. Not one response.

Many times I even wondered if anyone received it or if it got stuck in my outbox or cyberspace.

It’s so easy to do a quick email back to the room mom, with a short, “Thanks!” Done and done.  At least they know someone got it.

Just remember to REPLY, not REPLY ALL!

2. Volunteer for something. Anything. 

Most times it was the same 5 moms volunteering for everything.

Now I understand many moms work and physically being there for the class events is not feasible and you don’t have to be.

However, you can sign up to contribute something to the party. Even a pack of paper napkins is appreciated.

 3. If you want to participate in the class gift, send in your money before she has to ask you again. 

The class gift where everyone pitches in and room mom goes out and buys something adorable from the group is actually a gift to you.  Because it’s taken care of.

If you want to do this, please send in your money, like the next day, in an envelope clearly marked with your child’s name and what it’s for.

You have no idea how many reminders it would take to collect all the money for the gift. It’s a lot of time and a lot of emails.

Make her life easier by being the first one to send in your money. As a bonus, you won’t have to think about it again.

4. Write a quick note…

Let’s take it a step further, consider writing a note of thanks with your money. Even just a note on scratch paper saying, “Thanks so much for coordinating the gift! I appreciate it!!” will mean a lot to her.

Come holiday time it is another thing on room mom’s list to add to holiday stress. A little note of appreciation goes a long way.

5. Remember room mom at the end of the year 

Come end of the year, room mom is likely really busy organizing the last week of school festivities and coordinating the end of the year gift for your teacher.

It’s so thoughtful to give your room mom a little something as a thanks. A personal card, $5 gift card to buy her a coffee, or even consider getting $1 or $2 per family and buy her a mani/pedi and a little note of thanks for the class.

Just good lucking collecting the money…!

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Happy 1st Day Of School

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Happy 1st Day of School

I happened upon this photo by surprise last year on my camera roll.

My oldest daughter apparently sent her American Girl doll, Casey Jane, off to her first day of Kindergarten with the same front of door signage photo shoot tradition.

It freaked me out when browsing through my camera roll because it looked sort of real in a creepy way.

Then I saw the set up in front of the door with the sign and laughed out loud.

For any fellow mamas with kids starting school today – happy 1st day of school!

In our family, as of today, I now have a kindergartener and a 3rd grader. Hard to believe. It is a new chapter of life for us.

I will be counting the minutes until pick up when I can get a full report on how the day went.

I loved this article on 25 Ways to Ask Your Kids How School Was Today, without asking them, “How was school today?” Tucking some of those in my back pocket.

Now, go get a cup of coffee and EXHALE. And may your day be filled with happy 1st day of school end of day reports!

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