Moms In Charge

"ONE bite at a time!" ~Organic~Nourishing~Energizing~

Mom Guilt Teeter Totter

Awakened by the covers being tugged off me and a little body jumping on my on me with the words, “I didn’t get out of bed all night; you proud of me?”,  I quickly snapped out of a dream state to see my youngest daughter smiling at me.

“Oh, wow, that’s so awesome, honey, I am so proud of you!”, I responded as I wished for a few more minutes or hour of sleep as she proceeded to throw several books on the bed, landing on my head.

How could I resist such sweet innocent love? My heart warmed as I listened to my  3 year old beautifully read “The Cat in the Hat” to me.

However, mornings, no matter how sweet the scenario,  have never been my best time.
With the clock ticking to get all 3 kids ready for school, we wrapped up our morning reading and snuggle session to begin the daily dash…. as did the  dreaded “mommy guilt”.

It went something like this:

  • “You shouldn’t have gone to bed so late working and researching, you should be more awake and more engaged with her story, you should stay in bed with her, she’s only little once; but you have to get up and get the kids ready for school.”
  • “Am I doing the right thing by sending them to school? ” “Should I home-school?”
  • “I should cancel my meetings so I can take all 3 kids to their different schools even if they are in opposite directions and different towns.”
  •  “I need to make sure I’m there to pick them up; they prefer me to be there. This means I can’t go to the gym.”
  • “I have to keep my commitments but what is more important than my kids.”
  • “I should have prepared ahead of time for healthier food today.”
  • “Why am I such a terrible mom?”

The dialogue and mind chatter varies for all of us, but there seems to be a common theme.  We are riddled with “Mom-Guilt”.

We shut out the noise in our head enough to make sure all are fed, clothed, watered and have been given a healthy dose of love , meanwhile rushing them to school and activities, wishing for more hours in the day to get everything done.

Thinking of going to work out, read, take a walk, painting or doing something we really love somehow takes a back seat to the overriding “mom-guilt” that seems to grasp us tightly. Instead, we wind up trying to perfect the unobtainable task of being  “everything to everyone”.

I was in this trap.

Any extra time I had, I spent working or doing the things I “had” to do to keep all the plates spinning.


I began to feel like I was on the giant Mom guilt teeter totter…Kids and life going so rapidly up and
down, I dared not consider getting off.

I, like so many of us, lost sight of the reality that I wasn’t really the one moving the teeter totter; but rather, it was moving me; keeping me in a constant state of  “going nowhere” motion.

The result that comes with trying to keep up with all the pressure we put on ourselves, without taking time to re-fuel our inner needs, is feeling drained and exhausted.

I decided I had to re-evaluate some things in my life.

I had to look at some things missing from my personal success and had to take inventory of some things that were out of balance and even missing.

Although this was hard, as it is for most of us moms, I gave myself permission to be take the time to nourish myself.

This concept is so hard for most of us to receive because somehow we have bought into the idea that we need to do everything without help and be the supermom, wife, daughter, friend to everyone.

However,  although our daily lives have so many demands that are important for us to manage, it is just as critical to find the time to nurture your God-given talents, desires and passions.

If our souls are not nourished and we don’t value ourselves enough to show our kids that we matter too, then we are teaching them the opposite of self-respect and continuing the cycle by modeling this behavior.

Priorities can be made by taking a piece of paper and writing down the list of “need to’s” that must get done for your kids and significant others to be properly cared for and loved.

Then, write down what you truly love to do, perhaps have been putting aside for “the sake of the family”, and reconnecting with the feeling you will have by beginning to have these things back in your life in a reasonable capacity.

Write down the things that you feel you “should be doing”.  Usually these are domestic chores and other esthetic housekeeping.

While I’m a huge fan of a clean and de-cluttered home and feel this should be factored somewhat  into our “need to’s”, the frustration of it being the viscous cycle can leave a mom
angry, bitter and resentful if not balanced with a nourished soul.
Carve out time from a portion of the “shoulds” and replace with something that is a step in
the direction of your authentic self nourishment.

Saying goodbye to time wasters like excessive TV can help your new cause, too.

As I have slowly been trying this new process, I have noticed a new found energy and “lightness” to the way I deal with life’s little stresses.

Realizing the family is much healthier as a result of me taking the time to re-energize myself has been a wonderful revelation.

Finding true balance means getting off the teeter totter and standing your ground to keep your “M.E.” time sacred and turning a deaf ear to accusing voices of mom guilt.

As you begin to give yourself permission to be truly nourished and realize how important you are too, those around you will love and appreciate the new healthier and authentic YOU!

 

 

Blessings,
Dotty 🙂

Dotty Cropped2By: Dotty Hagmier, RN, BSN, CHC

As the president and founder of Moms in Charge and also a mom of three beautiful children, Dotty’s passion is to guide families into a place that will provide them with the best possible choices to raise healthy and vibrant children.

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Other People’s Children

“My son is acting like other people’s children,” my best friend, Jill, would say to me.

I didn’t have kids at the time and I thought this was hilarious.

She and I, as single gals, judged other moms  as they were out with what seemed to us at the time to be bratty little misbehaved kids who the parents just needed to get in control.

We had many talks about this and thought we had it all figured out.
Of course, after we both had our kids, they somehow started acting “like other peoples children” and this has been a running joke to us for years.

When I had my first child, I was unprepared in many ways for what I was about to experience.

I was a single mom and my daughter came into the world with a beautiful pink color and healthy strong cry. I remember going from “‘Aw, she’s crying’ to ‘can you make it stop, please?'”.

This was the beginning of an interesting journey that I found myself on.

The scenario with a new baby I had created in my mind was supposed to be filled with lots of cuddles and kisses, taking her out to show her off and full of joy.

However, my little baby seemed to have supersonic senses. I kept my little one bedroom apartment dark and cave-like so she would sleep.

Noises would upset her so much that I had to give away my African grey bird companion I had had for 7 years.


Taking her for walks was always an interesting experience and I was envious of the other Mommies I would pass who had quiet contented babies while mine would scream at any loud noise or what seemed like even randomly.

We jokingly called her “stiff arm” because she would nurse with arm pressed against me to keep any unwanted snuggles or touches from me away.

Although I knew my little baby was sensitive, I just chalked it up to “that’s my girl.”

And even though there have been signs that pointed to her having issues that needed attention, I had no idea what they were.

Interestingly, as I would hear of other moms having problems with their kids or getting a diagnosis, I would feel sympathy but at the same time have the feeling deep inside, “I’m so lucky that it’s other people’s children.”

For some reason I was in denial of what was happening right before my eyes with my own child.

My husband and I believed it must be us. We thought the behavior that we saw in her was more isolated to us.

We were unaware that she had been having similar challenges at school until we got her school evaluation toward the end of the year.

Suddenly the last 7 years turned into a technicolor movie playing in my mind.

The next few months became a series of scrambling to figure out what was going on with our little  “mini” and formulating the best strategies to help her and us traverse this road we had newly discovered.

Although I am not going to attach a diagnosis to formally label her,  beginning to recognize her special needs and taking necessary action to help us through them has led me into a place of greater compassion and understanding.

More and more kids are showing signs of being on the spectrum of autism and along with that, having “Sensory Processing Disorder”.

Gaining a better understanding of these kids, what may be contributing to it and learning strategies to optimal functioning is key to living a healthy vibrant life with sanity and peace.

I am just at the beginning of this process…still trying to catch my breath and grasp what it all means.

But for now I feel alive with greater understanding and compassion for the moms who struggle everyday with challenges greater than me.

My hope is if you are struggling with issues with a child that just “doesn’t seem right,” you can be led to discovering strategies to implement to help you and your child at an early age.

If you are a mom who is going through struggles parenting a child, have been beating yourself up and feeling helpless and discouraged because nothing seems to work, there are hope and answers.  It may not be your lack of parenting skills or a “defiant” child, but rather deeper issues that can be resolved with professional guidance.

Who knows where this path will lead, but I have already been comforted and supported by those moms of “other people’s children” who have reached out to take my hand and let me know “it’s going to be ok”.

I highly recommend if you have been struggling with these types of behaviors to check out an occupational sensory therapist who is qualified to test your child and guide you to the resources you need to help you through your parenting experience.

http://www.sinetwork.org/about-sensory-processing-disorder.html

http://www.launchpadtherapyforkids.com/

http://www.kellymckinnonassociates.com/gettingtotheheart.html

 

Blessings,

Dotty  🙂

 

Dotty Cropped2By: Dotty Hagmier, RN, BSN, CHC

As the president and founder of Moms in Charge and also a mom of three beautiful children, Dotty’s passion is to guide families into a place that will provide them with the best possible choices to raise healthy and vibrant children.

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