Disrespectful kids leave stuff everywhere


Disrespectful kids leave stuff everywhere.

Question of the Day:

“My kids are so disrespectful! From the second they walk in the door, they throw their backpacks, shoes, jackets all over the house. They KNOW they are supposed to hang them up and put their lunch leftovers on the counter but they don’t. They leave it in their backpack until the food starts to smell disgusting. I am constantly on them to pick up their stuff, it’s exhausting. What do you when your perfectly reasonable requests are constantly ignored?” Jane

 

Parent Educator Answer: 

My first answer is to come to the Raising Responsible Kids online workshop on Saturday, February first! Here, I’m going to go over everything you need to know to delegate effectively. 

 

You didn’t say how old your kids were, but I’m going to guess they are school aged and clearly old enough to master the task at hand. 

 

With little kids, you would want to be more instructive, “Put your sandwich bag in the trash and rinse your lunch box out in the sink.” With older kids, ask them before you get into the house if they know what your expectations are for their backpack, shoes, jacket, and lunch. If they say the

y do, then remind them with just one word. 

 

If you are like most Supermoms, we use way too many words. We nag, lecture, complain and it just makes our kids tune out and ignore us. It also annoys them, which makes them NOT want to do what we are asking. A simple one word reminder: “shoes” or “lunchbox” should do the trick. 

 

If you watch them walk into the house and remind them with a word as soon as they drop their stuff on the floor, soon it will become a habit and they will do it automatically, If not, go back to the first step and ask them before they walk into the house, if they know what to do with their stuff. 

 

Simple, easy, boring. So why is it such a challenge for SOOOO MANY OF US?

 

Life Coaching Answer: 

The reason these simple instructions are so hard to follow is because you are pissed! 

When we perceive our children’s behavior as disrespectful, we get MAD. The positive side of anger is to help us notice injustice. But to get kids to clean up, we need to be calm, patient, and confident. So what gets in our way from teaching our kids how to manage their belongings is our perception that the kid’s behavior is disrespectful. 

Are you absolutely sure that your kids are trying to disrespect you by dumping their stuff? If a handyman walked into your house and dumped his toolbox and coat by the front door, would you think it was disrespectful? When you were lugging around a baby in a car seat, did you ever dump your diaper bag and car seat by the front door when you walked into someone else’s house? If s

o, were you trying to disrespect the homeowner? Of course, not. 

 

When you think your kids are disrespecting you, you get mad. You are short with them, you yell, nag, your tone and posture changes. You lose the leadership energy that makes kids do what you ask. 

 

So often we want to quickly switch to a better feeling thought. We think, “anger is bad, patience is good. From now on, I will be calm and patient until they learn the routine.” and you do it for a day or two, but a week later, you are right back to feeling disrespected. Has this ever happened to you? 

 

If so, it’s time we honor the anger. It is true that the distribution of duties in the home is unjust. You have WAY more on your shoulders than anyone else, and it isn’t fair. When we learn how to turn the dial up on our anger and allow it (away from the kids), then we also learn how to turn it down. Trying to suppress anger can last forever, but allowing anger to move through y

our body in a physical way, can only last for 90 seconds. 

 

Think about a toddler throwing a tantrum. Notice how PHYSICAL it is for them. They cross their arms, scrunch their face, clench their fists and stomp their feet. Find a private place and do it with me now. Anger is a healthy and normal human emotion but, societally, women are not given permission to feel it or express it. Put your body into a position of anger: stand up, clench your fists, stop, hit the pillow on your bed. It is 100% unfair that you do so much for these kids with so little appreciation in return. They will never know how much work you do for their lazy butts all day long. Really let yoursel

f go there, feel the fire in your belly, swear, let it all out. 

 

After 90 seconds you might notice you feel better. Emotion is energy in motion. When we suppress it and try not to feel it, we distance ourselves from ALL the emotions. When we can fully allow a

nger, disappointment, and shame, we also get full access to joy, love, and peace.

 

This is what we are trying to get when we complain to our husbands. We get annoyed because they tell us how to fix our problem when really we just want to feel felt. We want to feel like he gets the struggles and frustrations we went through that day. When we vent to our girlfriends or cry or go to a kickboxing class, we feel better after because we processed the emotion and moved it out of our system. 

 

Teaching kids to take responsibility for themselves is really quite simple. The problem is there are a lot of barriers that get in our way from delegating to them. 

  1. We label their behavior as disrespectful.
  2. We think a good mom should be able to do all the work.
  3. We don’t want to watch our kids struggle or suffer. We’d rather rescue them.
  4. We want them to do it “right” the first time without the learning curve.
  5. We feel bad putting more on their to do list. 
  6. We resist relaxation. We pride ourselves on being busy and overwhelmed. 
  7. We want to feel needed. 

 

We will be working on these at the Raising Responsible Kids workshop, so please join. You will leave there with a clear strategy and an experience of being in calm, confident energy. You will learn how to talk to kids in a way that makes them want to obey you! 

Go to: www.lifecoachingforparents.com/workshop

 

Supermom Kryptonite: Over-parenting. Doing too much for our kids. 

I ran into my friend at the hardware store the other day, she was buying light bulbs for her son’s bathroom after noticing they were out. I asked if she was going to replace them herself or have him do it. She paused and looked at me incredulously, “Should I have HIM do it? I should! I shouldn’t even say anything, I’ll just leave the lightbulbs on the bathroom counter!” 

Mamas, her son is 20 years old. 

When our kids are little, we show we love them by taking care of them. Care and love are intertwined. As they grow into adolescents, we need to separate the two. We need to stop caring FOR them so much. Continuing to do things for them that they are capable of doing themselves can delay their maturity and lessen their self esteem. 

When we continue to take care of them, we treat them like the child they were instead of the adult we want them to become. Many teens will push back against our over-parenting and show us that it’s time to back off, others will not. Many teens will continue to ask for our help because they lack confidence in their own abilities. Confidence comes from competence and the only way to build competence is to make lots of mistakes. 

If my friend’s son was living in a house with other 20 year old men, they might live in a dark bathroom for weeks before someone thought to change a lightbulb. They might light a candle or use their cell phone flashlight before one of them decided to take action. This seems ridiculous to us as responsible adults! The problem is so easily solved with a simple trip to the hardware store! But here’s the thing: something magical happens on that day he decides to go to the store, buy a light bulb, and screw it in without anyone telling him what to do or how to do it. The magical thing that happens when our teens do things by themselves without our input is self-efficacy. 

 

Self efficacy refers to an individual’s belief in his or her capacity to execute behaviors necessary to produce specific performance attainments. It reflects confidence in the ability to exert control over one’s own motivation, behavior, and social environment. 

 

Self-efficacy is a superpower. We know. We’ve got loads of it. We are super responsible and capable and it feels good! But, without even realizing it, we can rob our kids of self-efficacy because we aren’t willing to let them live in a dark bathroom, or get a bad grade on their report card, or go away to summer camp, or make a mess trying to cook something in the kitchen. 

 

Supermoms don’t like to watch their kids struggle. We feel like we have to do everything right, and having kids who suffer and struggle doesn’t seem right to our perfectionistic brains. Combine that with our need to feel needed and our love of taking care of our babies, it becomes really easy to stay stuck in a habit that feels good to us but is problematic for our child’s self-efficacy.

Over-parenting drains your energy because it keeps all the burdens of responsibility on your shoulders. It also creates this nagging voice in the back of your mind that says, “Shouldn’t my kids be doing more by now?” 

Learning how to watch your kids make mistakes and not make it mean anything has gone wrong, is one of the things we’ll work on in the Raising Responsible Kids workshop this weekend. 

If you think you err on the side of over-parenting, you need to join my workshop this weekend. 

Supermom Power Boost:  Get sneaky to restore balance

I have a client with a husband who loves golf. She gets annoyed that he takes off for 5 hours on a Saturday to go do his own thing. When we dug deeper, we discovered that if she was to take off for 5 hours on a Saturday to do something she loved, she would feel guilty. She had the belief that a good mom should want to be with her kids every weekend. So instead of taking turns with her husband to do activities she loved doing on weekends, she just wanted her husband to be stuck at home with her. If she isn’t going to have fun, then he shouldn’t either. 

The problem with this belief that “self-sacrifice is good and self-indulgence is bad” is that Supermoms end up totally out of balance. Our instinct is to restore balance so we end up sneaking our indulgences, behind our own backs. Since we struggle to proclaim, “I’m going to a spa for 5 hours every other Saturday” we indulge unconsciously by drinking wine, eating sweets, and staying up later than we mean to binge-watching Netflix. We mindlessly scroll through our phone as a way to give ourselves a break, instead of saying, “I’m going to order myself DoorDash and face time with a girlfriend for an hour.” 

Instead of letting our subconscious try to restore balance in a way we don’t actually want, I recommend an illicit affair. I’m not saying to go cheat on your husband, but go have an affair with your creativity. Call it “Mommy’s special time” but don’t tell them what you are doing. Explore an interest, write your novel, paint or draw, wander around the city with no agenda, visit museums, eat whatever you feel drawn to, indulge in something frivolous and nourishing to your soul. The key here is it cannot be noble. It must feel indulgent in order to restore balance. 

Tell your family you are traveling for work, but really just enjoy the quiet cleanliness of a hotel room by yourself. 

Put your kids in the gym day care, then lie in a lounge chair and read a book. 

Go on a silent retreat or yoga retreat. Take 5 hours and go dancing, skiing, or golfing. Park your car somewhere, write in your journal or listen to an audiobook while looking at a beautiful view. Tour open houses in a beautiful neighborhood.

I walk my dog on a popular trail near my house. Sometimes, when no one is looking, I start skipping. You cannot skip as an adult woman, without also laughing at yourself and feeling joyful. Or, if I’m listening to some catchy music, I’ll sneak in a few dance moves when I think no one is looking. 

I’m hoping this three hour online workshop will be a stepping stone for you. If you can carve out three hours for a workshop on a Saturday to do something that is good for you and your kids, maybe next time you’ll take thee hours to do something fun and frivolous just for yourself. 

Deliberately sneaking in an indulgent pleasure will help you feel balanced. When we feel some equanimity, we don’t need our husbands and kids to suffer along with us. They can have frivolous fun and so can we. Next time you go to a hotel room, try dumping your stuff on the floor, kicking off your shoes and not caring where they end up and see if it feels like indulgent fun to you. 

Quote of the Day:  “Do anything, but let it produce joy.” Walt Whitman

How do I help my “differently wired” kid make friends

Today’s Topic: How Do I Help My “Differently Wired” Kid?

Here to help me answer this question is Debbie Reber, author of Differently Wired: Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World

Differently Wired author Debbie Reber

 

Debbie Reber is a parenting activist, New York Times bestselling author, keynote speaker, and the founder of TiLT Parenting, a website, top podcast, and social media community for parents who are raising differently wired children. Her newest book, Differently Wired: Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World, came out in June 2018. After living abroad in the Netherlands for the past five years, Debbie, her husband, and 15-year-old son recently moved back to New York City.

 

Words to Ponder on from Debbie Reber, Author of Differently Wired

  • Remember that there is no one right way to be a teenager or have a social life. Check your expectations and don’t compare to yourself at that age or other kids.
  • Play the odds. Try different interest-based camps and classes. They may not go well, but you never know what will click.
  • Focus on the long game.
  • There’s nothing wrong with socializing online.
  • One friend is all they might need.

I took the opportunity to ask Debbie about a few other common scenarios my Supermoms struggle with.

What advice do you have for a mom who is just starting on this journey? Her 5-year-old is getting into trouble in kindergarten and the (private) school is talking about asking him to leave? 

 

Do you have advice for moms whose child got through elementary school but now that in middle school, they are having difficulty. They’ve been diagnosed and have trouble managing the complex workload and now mom feels like she has to sit with them for hours after school to help them focus on homework?

 

 

Supermom Kryptonite:

Thinking that your son’s friendships should look like your own. Not only might there be a brain-centered difference, but there may also be a gender difference.

Boys, as they grow into men, tend to be more project-oriented. They might have one or two friends they get together with for certain activities: online games, working on a project, and that’s enough.

Girls and women can sit around and talk for hours without needing to have something to show for it. Be sure to check your expectations and realize there are many ways to feel socially satisfied and your son’s might be very different than your own.

 

Supermom Power Boost:

Go for a walk, learning and listening to (my suggestion) Debbie’s self care podcast!

Quote of the Day:

“I can predict that life with my differently wired kid will be unpredictable.” Supermom of an adult daughter with autism. 

Teenage sugar addict

Teenage Sugar Addict

In Episode 49, I answered a question from Tina about her pre-teen daughter possibly dealing with sugar addiction. This topic isn’t talked about much in parenting circles. Hence, I thought it would be good to dedicate another episode to it. This comes after the last two weeks of chocolates, candy canes, gingerbread houses and cookie decorating. So, let’s start the new year off with a teenage sugar addict.

Mia is a 17 year old who realized sugar was affecting her negatively and completely gave it up in middle school, ON HER OWN!

I wanted to know if there was anything her mom said or did that helped her come to this conclusion. Tune in, or better yet, have your sugar-crazed kiddo tune in, to learn HOW and WHY Mia completely stopped eating sugar.

teenage sugar addict

You’ll learn….

-How she realized sugar was causing her problems.

-What it was like to completely go off and what it taught her.

-How she copes with peer and family pressure to eat sugar.

-What her parents did that was helpful, and what didn’t help at all.

Happy New Year!

kids calm down

Nothing I say gets my kids to calm down

Episode 51 – Nothing I say gets my kids to calm down

Dear Torie,

I have four-year-old twins that are delightful most of the time. They are full of energy and love to chase each other around the house, wrestle with each other, scream, etc. The problem comes when I need them to calm down.

It could be time for bed, I’m on a phone call or the play is escalating to the point where someone is going to get hurt. I tell them to calm down but nothing I say matters to them. I ask them to be quiet, explain why they need to come upstairs, threaten to take away a privilege, nothing I say gets them to calm down.

Last weekend I said, ”If you don’t calm down I’m going to walk out this door and leave you.” They laughed at me and told me to go away. I’m devastated. When they get like this, it feels like they don’t need me or want me around. How do I get my four-year-olds to calm down and listen to what I have to say? Hayley

Parent Educator Answer:

The fact that your kids are having so much fun playing together that they don’t want to stop is a good problem to have. There are many moms who WISH their kids ignored them because they are having so much fun together.

To answer your question, “How do I get my four-year-olds to calm down and listen to what I have to say?” you need to think like a four year old. They are having a FABULOUS time playing with their sibling. Why would they give up something so exciting to do something boring like calm down? Why would they WANT to listen to you? What’s their motivation?

You can imagine preschool teachers run into this all the time. The energy in a class of unsupervised 4 year olds would be combustible! How do teachers get kids to calm down enough to listen to them?

The top 5 tricks for pre-school teachers are: singing, playing music, physical movements, puppets and whispering.

Teachers know they have to create something fun and interesting in order to get a kid’s attention. If you really want to get your four-year-olds to calm down and listen to you, put some music on and start dancing. Once they join in with your fun, then you can slowly wind them down with slower music, singing, lead them into a game on the floor.

You can also try whispering secrets into one kid’s ear. The other child will want to know what she’s missing out on. Then you can whisper something silly into her ear. Both kids will be calm in 30 seconds flat.

But this won’t work for you until you do a little life coaching.

 

The Life Coaching Answer:

You’ve got this thought inside your head that “Nothing I say matters.” This is TOXIC and will keep you from implementing any strategy or tip. Think about if that were true; that NOTHING I SAY MATTERS. It’s awful. As humans we need to know that we matter, especially to the people that are closest to us.

You might say to me, “I don’t really think that nothing I say matters, I know I matter to my kids”, but that thought is in your subconscious. You might be able to practice the above strategies once or twice, and they will work, but you won’t keep it up.

We like to be right. When we have the underlying belief that “Nothing I say matters” we feel dejected, which makes us speak in a quiet, boring, self-defeated way that causes our kids tune us out. We get to continue to believe the thought “nothing I say matters.”

Confident Leadership

Children are sensitive to the energies we give out. They like to follow adults who have calm, confident leadership energy. In order to find your confident leadership energy, you’ve GOT to loosen the grip this toxic belief has on you.

As soon as we tell ourselves to stop thinking something, suddenly it’s all we can think about. Instead we wiggle the thought. We poke some holes in the theory that “nothing I say matters.” If you discover a toxic belief that you don’t want to believe any more, ask yourself these questions.

Are you absolutely sure that not one word you have ever said, has ever mattered to anyone alive on the planet? Of course not! Do a mother’s words matter to her children? Therapists have made careers out of helping people deal with the words their mothers said to them!

Is it kind? Would you ever say it to someone else? Hell No! It’s so mean!

Does it give you the results you want? Does it help you get attention and feel like you matter? It may have at some point in your past. Growing up, if you told your mom, “I’m going to walk out of this house and leave” she might have rushed over, given you big hugs and begged you to stay. Or maybe you had a boyfriend who you would threaten to leave if he ignored you and it worked. He would show up with flowers and apologies and tell you how much you meant to him.

Whether it worked in the past or not, the truth is the thought “nothing I say matters” is not giving you the results you want with your kids.

Can you see any reason to continue thinking it? Do you like believing this about yourself? What would you like to believe about the words you say to your kids?

How  the brain plays a part

What happens is the brain thinks a thought: “I’m not good enough.” “Nothing I say matters.” or “Nobody likes me.” It’s not thinking logically or scientifically, it’s just a random, self-defeating thought. But then we think it again, and again, and again.

This synapse in the brain is starting to myleinate. We’ve thought this negative thought so many times that it becomes a belief. It FEELS true, even if it’s not. The brain likes to be efficient.

When your children are ignoring you, your brain finds a convenient and efficient path to make sense of it. It doesn’t find the most kind, helpful, or truthful path, just whatever is most efficient.

In order to wiggle a toxic thought, we need to make this synaptic connection inefficient. We do this by pointing out all the ways in which it is illogical, unhelpful, mean, and misaligned with your goals and values. But we also need to discover its benefit. Why did you pick it up in the first place? How is it serving you?

Then we make a better thought right next to the original one.

Empowerment

You get to decide what you want to believe about yourself. Imagine for a minute that you truly believed that your words mattered to your children. Imagine you had tremendous power to hurt or uplift your children. How do you think you would feel? Important? Empowered?

If you are feeling important and empowered how do you imagine you might act? What might you say? I think you would speak louder and clearer. You would probably look them in the eye, maybe put your hand on their shoulder and turn them to face you.

Knowing you had the power to hurt or uplift, you might be very careful with the words you chose and the energy behind them.

If you were able to change your words, voice tone, eye contact and body language in this way, what do you think the result would be? Do you think your children might be more inclined to listen to you?

We always have more power than we think we do to affect every situation.

Supermom Kryptonite: Abdicating the throne

Close your eyes for a minute and imagine you have a chair inside the center of your head. This is YOUR THRONE. No one else has the right to sit inside the center of your head and dictate what you think and do with your life. Yet so many of us ABDICATE this throne to our children, our bosses, husbands, parents, religions, or society as a whole.

Abdicate means to fail to fulfill one’s duty or obligation. Supermoms get so busy taking care of everyone else, that we forget it’s our obligation to govern our minds. We take responsibility for our actions, but we forget to declare dominion over our brains.

Abdicating the throne in the center of our head makes us vulnerable to anyone with a strong will or opinion to take sovereignty over our lives. This drains our energy, making us feel like observers in our lives, or worse, victims.

To boost your energy, kick everyone out of the center of your head and declare dominion over your life. You get to decide what you think about, what to focus on, and your belief about yourself. Make sure you are thinking good thoughts that give you the results you want.

 

Supermom Power Boost: What do you love?

For an immediate boost of positive emotions, try this from Martha Beck’s book The Joy Diet. Do it by yourself in your journal or try it with friends or family to bounce off their ideas.

What do I LOVE to look at?
Mountain lakes, sunsets on the beach, pine forests, babies faces, rolling green hills, aspen trees blowing in the breeze, puppies and kittens.

What do I LOVE the sound of?
The laughter of children running outside, a mountain stream, a crackling fire, a babies laugh, piano music, my kids cracking each other up. Silence.

What do I LOVE the smell of?
Lemons, chocolate chip cookies baking, chocolate anything, pine trees, campfires.

What do I LOVE the taste of?
Fresh fish and prawns, yellow curry, chocolate chip cookies, croissants, donuts, a good latte, truffles, bundt cake.

What do I LOVE to feel against my skin?
Soft baby blankets, soft baby skin, warmth from a fire, a massage, a warm breeze.

Your mind doesn’t differentiate between experiencing these things in real life versus your imagination. Just thinking about things you love brings you into pure joy and pleasure. Try this with friends or family and see if it doesn’t elevate the level of joy in the conversation.

Quote of the Day:

“When you undervalue what you do, the world will undervalue who you are.” Oprah Winfrey

Ellie Knaus

Attunement, Anxiety & Empathy with Atomic Mom Ellie Knaus

Attunement, Anxiety and Empathy with Ellie Knaus of Atomic Moms

Today on the Supermom is Getting Tired podcast, I’ll be interviewing Ellie Knaus of the Atomic Moms Podcast.

We’ll talk about how years of interviewing parenting experts has impacted her as a mom and the mindset that allows her to implement what she has learned.

Together we talk about attunement, empathy, and anxiety, and how they all interact to make parenting kids a challenge.

Do you worry about other people judging your children or your parenting? Then stay tuned for Ellie’s coaching question of the day.

Question of the day:

“It gives me so much anxiety when my two year-old calls everyone DUMB in a really mean way. It’s a word she learned from her six year old sister.  I get that it’s not personal. She’ll even say Minnie Mouse is DUMB. And Minnie is her BFF 4 Life. But other people get super wigged out about it. I tried not giving the word power by ignoring her name-calling for a few weeks now, but it’s getting old!” Ellie

 

Parent Education Answer: 

Ellie already knew not to give this word too much power and attention. She understood her daughter’s motivation for using it (attention and excitement) and that if she ignored it, it would go away.

 

Life Coaching Answer: 

When I’m coaching clients, I ask questions more than give answers. Because she was on the phone with me, I could ask WHY it bothered her. What was she making it mean, about her, that made it hard to let go of it.

For Ellie, it was her Nanny’s reaction and fear of being judged negatively by her. So many of us have this fear of being judged, but I’m going to let you in on a secret.

People judge.

That’s what they do. Some more than others and you have no control over any of it.

We think if we can do everything right, we can protect ourselves from negative judgement, but it just doesn’t work.

There may be times that kids embarrass us. Unfortunately, we can’t control them either. This thus leads to anxiety. Once you can allow the feeling of embarrassment to be there without resisting, there is no need for anxiety.

When I ask her how she WANTS to feel about her daughter using the word dumb, she struggles to answer.

I have her close her eyes and imagine two dials numbered 1-10. One labeled ME, the other labeled OTHER. When she adjusts the dials so that she pays more attention to herself than others, it feels better. It was great to get to demonstrate this live because it’s such a quick and easy way to feel better for empathic moms!

Ellie thought she had two emotions to choose from: anxious or apathetic. Once she realizes she is in the driver’s seat of her brain, she decides to think the thought “My nanny thinks my daughter is so funny”. This helps her feel peaceful about her daughter’s “dumb” word, which allows her to ignore it more easily.

Today’s Quotes of The Day:

“You bore me with normal” Ellie Knaus’s post-partum doula

“When I sense into my children, we can be in a more relaxed state together .” Ellie Knaus

“Trust in your goodness, live out your greatness, rock on Atomic (Super) Moms.”

 

Depleted and Burned Out Mom

Feeling depleted and burned out? This episode is for you.

Episode #48 What to do when you feel depleted and burned out?

“What do you do if you feel completely depleted as a parent and you feel like you are just kinda burned out as a mom? I have given so much to my kids, starting when my first son was born, and 6 years later I’m completely depleted. Now I don’t like the version of me I am. Somehow I feel like I’m not showing up as my best and I don’t know what to do to change it.” Carrie

My heart goes out to you. I have totally been there and I think it’s wonderful that you have enough self-awareness to notice how you are feeling, identify it, and ask for help. This is a big and very important first step.

It also gets me excited! I know exactly what to do to help you get back on track. I feel like helping moms find their way is my life’s calling, and I KNOW how much better your life is going to get from this point on. If you relate to Carrie, schedule your free coaching call at www.LifeCoachingforParents.com

Parent Educator Answer

Conventional wisdom on this topic of what to do when you feel depleted and burned out as a mom leads me to talk about the two dreaded words for Supermoms: self-care.

To me, a Supermom is someone who goes ALL IN on parenting. We try super hard to do everything right for our kids, not realizing that our expectations are a bit perfectionistic. Our thought is that a good mom “does everything right for their kids.” There is no “it takes a village” for a Supermom! We assume a lot of responsibility (even if that means managing our nannies, husbands, housekeepers and grandparents while they help us!). If our kid needs us, we. are. there.

This type of vigilant, hard-working, self-sacrificing parenting can only last so long before it becomes depletion and exhaustion.

Caring for our kids makes us feel capable and responsible but when it comes to caring for ourselves, it’s a struggle.

Self-care can be defined as the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness.

Self-care can be anything that gives your mental, emotional, or physical health a boost:

Sitting in the sunshine, folding laundry while watching your favorite show, yoga class, going for a walk, getting together with girlfriends for a “vent session”, scrapbooking, playing piano, or singing.

Self care is very individual but includes taking care of your body’s health (exercise, massage, and nutrition), your mental and emotional health (meditation or life coaching), social support (friends, online groups, even authors and TV shows) and most importantly, connecting with YOURSELF.

Here are examples of ways my clients take care of their bodies:

Yoga, swimming, dance class, running, soccer team, tennis, etc. Also, putting on favorite music and dancing while cleaning, walking the dog while listening to a favorite podcast, starting a hiking club, or joining a stroller walking mom group. Don’t forget about eating healthy, taking care of your hairdo, putting makeup on, receiving massages and mani/pedi’s. Going to the chiropractor, acupuncturist, esthetician, anything that puts loving attention on your body.

Here are examples of ways you can take care of your mental and emotional health:

Meditation, life coaching, counseling/therapy, online support groups. Even finding authors you resonate with, TV shows that light you up, movies that speak to you. Online support groups like Supermom is Getting Tired, venting with girlfriends (anything with girlfriends!).

Most right brained activities give our brains a break. Pick your favorite: doing puzzles, creating art, playing or listening to music, reading books or listening to audiobooks, cooking, decorating, designing, organizing, gardening, window shopping, crafting, planning a vacation, daydreaming.

You certainly don’t have to do all of these, but I have never seen a depleted mom who has a regular habit of prioritizing self care.

The most important self care you can do when you are feeling burned out and depleted is to RECONNECT WITH YOURSELF.

Most moms who find themselves in Carrie’s shoes say something like “I feel like I’ve lost myself.” If you have a life full of self-care activities, it’s hard to feel burned out and depleted because you have to pay attention to YOU and notice whether your activities feel good to you or not.

depleted and burned out mom

Life Coaching Answer – What gets in our way from self-care?

SO MANY THINGS!

Has neglecting yourself become a habit? Are you believing self-care isn’t important? Do you think you have to be with your kids 24/7? Are you “too tired, burned out and depleted” to do something that GIVES you energy? Are you unsure which self-care activity will help you feel better? Do you think taking care of yourself somehow takes away from caring for your children?

When I first started going through my life coach training program with Martha Beck, there were difficult questions that I could not answer.

“What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”
“If you could not care what people think, what would you do ?”
“What do you really, really, really, really want?”
“What is your wildly improbable goal?”

I didn’t know how to dream about possibilities for myself. I didn’t know what I wanted.
Yes, I could tell you what my kids want, what my husband wants, what parents wanted for me. I could even tell you what I was SUPPOSED to want. But I had never asked myself those kinds of questions and so I couldn’t come up with any answers. I didn’t know how to dream about what could be. How could I ask for what I want if I didn’t even KNOW what I wanted?

The way I start my clients back into this journey is of connecting with themselves is this:

Imagine you had a secret bonus day snuck into the middle of your week. You fall asleep like normal but in the morning you wake up in a different bedroom in a different location. The rest of your family will stay asleep while you get to do anything you want to do, without anybody knowing. There are no rules and no judgements on this dream day. You can wake up next to Brad Pitt with Zach Efron massaging you and Justin Timberlake serenading. Even laws of physics don’t matter. If you want to wake up in Hawaii and fall asleep in Italy and the time zones don’t make sense, no worries.

Reconnecting with Self when Burned Out and Depleted

If Carrie was on the phone with me, I’d ask her to close her eyes, and before she opens them in this new bedroom, I would ask her to notice what the sheets feel like. Are they silk, flannel, or cotton? Then I would tell her to imagine opening her eyes and noticing what color they are.

I don’t want you to THINK about what color or texture you want them to be. I want to bypass your thinking brain and move into your intuitive brain that already knows what you want. Our brains block us from KNOWING what we want because we think “I can’t have that”, “It’s not practical”, “I’ve always preferred something else” or “What will people think”. Send your thinking brain away for a bit and just notice what you see in your mind’s eye when you think about your ideal, dream day.

Notice what the sheets feel like, notice what color they are. Put your feet on the floor and notice what kind of flooring there is: wood? Carpet? Tile? Then stand up and walk to the window, what do you see when you look outside? Describe the view.

What do you feel like doing? Do you want to go out there? Get dressed? Have a cup of coffee and sit on the porch? What would feel most delicious to you?

After you do your preferred activity, then what do you feel like doing? What would you eat for breakfast on your ideal day? Would you prepare it yourself or just have it magically appear?

When you feel ready to get dressed, notice what type of clothes are in your closet and what you feel most drawn to wear. Once dressed, what will you do or where will you go?

As my clients imagine this fantasy day, I am listening for themes. Is she craving solitude or company? Is she yearning for adventure or peace? Does she want recognition and validation? A way of expressing herself creatively? Sensory rich experiences, physical activity, or rest?

I have no idea what my clients need to feel better and enjoy their lives more. I just ask the questions to get them out of their own way so they can find out for themselves.

Once you start paying attention to the feelings and activities you are yearning for, take a look at the beliefs that are keeping you from going after them.
“I have to put my kid’s needs before my own.” and “I don’t know what to do.” are probably the most common and toxic beliefs.

Steps to Take

The smallest step I recommend you take is to set a timer on your phone 5 times a day asking yourself the question, “What am I feeling?” (Notice it’s not HOW). Try and come up with a one word emotion. Even if you don’t have an answer, just asking yourself the question will get you back on the path to reconnecting with you.

A bigger action step I recommend is right now, book yourself two nights in a hotel room by yourself. When you have a full day away from your daily life, to do whatever you feel like doing, and no one else around to distract you, ask yourself and answer the question, “What do I feel like doing?”

To be able to go where you want, eat what you want, go to bed when you want, read or watch whatever you want is HEAVEN and such a necessary step to get back to feeling like you again.

Supermom Kryptonite – Putting yourself last

It is a slippery slope. In order for babies to survive, we have to put their needs before our own. Toddlers will get into all sorts of trouble if moms don’t supervise them diligently and constantly. Taking care of our babies fills our brain with oxytocin which bonds us and feels amazing. We love making our kids happy and seeing the world through their eyes. There are moments when ignoring ourselves and focusing exclusively on our precious ones feel amazing. Taking care of someone else can give purpose and meaning like we’ve never had before.

But there is a cost to getting into the habit of putting the needs of your children before your own. When no one asks us “How are you feeling?” “What do you want for dinner?” “What do you feel like doing today?” We stop asking ourselves these questions. Our families and our friends start asking about the kids instead of asking about us. Over time, we feel depleted and lost because WE aren’t front and center in our lives anymore. We lose connection with our essence; our spirit. Getting it back isn’t difficult, it WANTS to come back, but it does take time and attention.

I created a Supermom Challenge to help moms who feel lost and depleted, reconnect with their essence. It’s 15 minutes a day of journal exercises to reconnect with yourself and what you want. Right now I share it with my clients but I’m going to open it up to everyone and do it as a new year’s resolution challenge inside my Supermom is Getting Tired Facebook Group.

Supermom Power Boost – Forward Momentum

A body in motion tends to stay in motion. A body at rest tends to stay at rest. When you are feeling really burned out and depleted, it can be hard to make big changes, even if you really want to.
If you feel like you are drowning, the trick is to make one small change to start the momentum going in a positive direction. Let’s say you binge watch netflix and drink wine every night and you’d really like to go to the gym instead. This can feel really overwhelming and hard to do.
Start by changing one small thing, like watching netflix and drinking wine in the bathtub. Try switching to sparkling wine, going to a movie theater, or switching up your routine by showering and getting your pajamas on first.

Changing one small thing will get you out of your rut, create some new synapses in the brain, and give you some forward momentum. Once the ball is rolling in a good direction, your positive emotions will give you some confidence and motivation to keep you going.

Quote:
“Self Care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.” Katie Reed

Mindfulness

This week’s podcast: Mindfulness

Episode #47 Interview with Hunter Clarke-Fields, Mindful Mama Mentor

Are you familiar with the mindfulness movement? Mama mentor, Hunter Clarke-Fields is here to talk to us about how to use mindfulness to become the mom we want to be.

She is the host of the mindful mama podcast and author of the soon-to-be-released book, Raising Good Humans: A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting.

You can find her at www.mindfulmamamentor.com

 

Supermom Kryptonite: Starting Mindfulness

Using the words “I can’t”.

“I could never to take 2 nights away”

“I could never send my 9 year old to summer camp.”

“It’s my daughter’s soccer game and I can’t miss that.”

Try to eliminate the words “I can’t” from your vocabulary. When we say “I can’t,” we give away our power and authority over our life. Consequently, this makes us feel helpless and powerless.

 

Supermom Power Boost: Mindfulness as a Habit

Switch “I can’t” to “I am choosing”.

“I am choosing not to go on vacation by myself.”

“I’m choosing not to send my child to summer camp.”

“I’m choosing not to miss my daughter’s soccer game.”

This small change will get you back in the driver’s seat of your life. There is a cost to thinking “I can’t do what I want”. Reminding yourself of how much power you actually have is a huge boost of power.

mindfulness