Well, it's been one hell of a summer and it's not over yet. And a lot of the women we're talking with are feeling it. We get it.
As women and moms, when we consider our own needs and try to make room for ourselves, we often feel guilty.
We feel guilty about spending time away from our kids, we feel guilty about spending money on ourselves, we feel guilty that we should be more productive. No matter what we do and how we choose to spend time, our guilt creeps in.
In fact, as I’m writing this, my son is playing by himself. You bet I feel guilty I’m not spending time with him.
But if I spend time with him, then I’ll feel guilty that I’m not getting my work done. No matter what I choose to do, I’m going to feel guilty.
And then that guilt turns into resentment or anger or sadness.
Guilt shows up no matter what. And if we allow that guilt to take over, this is where we get stuck. We stop taking action and we stay where we...
The other day while I was outside with my kids, they got on their bikes and started riding around in circles.
After a few minutes, they stopped to save a fuzzy caterpillar undulating across the trail, watching and nudging it along. Then they got back on to ride around again.
They weren’t trying to get somewhere, or burn calories, or master a skill. They were just playing and experiencing life as it was happening.
Children are masters at this.
Then at some point, usually around age 10 but sometimes earlier, we become aware of and care about what other people think. We try to live by others expectations, we conform to who society is telling us we should be.
And play starts to take a back seat to being responsible. Just saying that word, responsible makes my shoulders and neck tense up.
Sadly, by 23 as a society we nearly stop playing altogether because it’s time to get to work.
Stuart Brown of the National Institute for Play (this actually exists! It’s a...
This week I realized finish lines just can't exist right now. Remote learning will extend through the end of the school year, which means I’m a first and third grade teacher for another six weeks - on top of my existing work/life/mental/emotional load. If I’m being honest, it would be more disruptive to send everyone back to school at this point but the anxiety and overwhelm felt REAL. Expectations and finish lines aren’t reliable as reality shifts daily. This is hard. But this is when we need to surf the waves these turbulent times bring - we can’t control them. Let go of expectations, things aren’t supposed to look a certain way right now. I realize how much I gain by giving myself permission to let go. One day at a time.
We’ve talked with at least five clients this week who’ve experienced their first bout of true anxiety - a handful have even experienced anxiety attacks. On any given ‘normal’ day, one in...
Am I the only one feeling ungrounded right now?
When I wake up in the morning, I don’t even know where to start.
Reaching for the news doesn’t serve me.
Getting ahead on work is fruitless.
My meditations are unfocused (I’d go so far as to say “sloppy” but then there I am judging my meditations - which is counterintuitive).
Those home school schedules circulating on social media are making me feel more untethered, like if I can’t tick these boxes I’m no longer worthy of Pinterest (I’m just going to deactivate my account). I’m mindlessly doing for the sake of getting things done. Not a lot of meaning there.
I’m like a mom zombie. Wandering through the day. Is it already four o’clock?
It’s hard to trust our intuition right now with so much anxiety and uncertainty swirling around us. It’s easy to fall into autopilot or let someone else drive. And that’s ok for a minute, but not for the...
We asked the moms in our private facebook group a few weeks ago: “If you had an extra hour in your day, what would you do with it?”
There was a time when if I found an extra hour in my day, I had no idea what I’d do with it.
I was so used to getting things DONE, there was always something to DO.
I kind of let go of my own stuff. My own wants and dreams and loves. Was I even allowed to need, want, dream or love? Should I? Was there really time or space for me, the mom?
What would I savor if given one full hour?
My family, work and life admin took up most of my mental bandwidth - and I fell into a rhythm that worked. Low grade everyday stress was fine. I was fine. But what was I savoring? What lit me up?
Wait, was I bored?
In the interest of giving my all to everything and everyone else in my life I realized I’d closed down my connections to my own senses. I’d tuned out the world.
I wanted to show up for my life, to...
“If you miss the look in your child’s eye one day, you’ve missed it. If you miss the look in your lover’s eyes the next day, you’ve missed that. If you miss the beauty of sitting under the trees, you’ve missed that too. If you add that up over many moments and then many days and years, you may wind up missing the most beautiful aspects of your own life. Who tells oneself they don’t have any time? When really, all you’ve got is time, all you’ve got is this moment.”
Stop. Look. Listen. Feel.
We’ve all had those moments of: I’m here but I’m not here (on your phone at the little league game? Lap glowing at the stoplight?) Before we go any further, we’ve got to start practicing being just a little bit more mindful. We benefit in crucial ways.
Simply put, mindfulness is a way to break free from being on autopilot. By paying attention to...
Yeah, thanks Taylor Swift.
I felt like I was the worst Mom.
It was the end of the day. I was exhausted from juggling and re-juggling to-dos, trying to make sure I wasn’t dropping a ball or letting anyone down.
I made it through dinner but now I’m DONE.
The house was a disaster and a total distraction - lighting up my stress and resentment further. The kids still needed to put on pj’s, brush teeth, and read stories. A bath? Forget it.
I’d asked them four one hundred times, and it was like they didn’t even hear me anymore.
Until I finally lose it and start to yell. I turn into scary mommy and they finally take notice.
We would do this nearly every night.
My husband was constantly traveling for work so the weight of parenting was all on me.
And the worst part was I was a yoga instructor. I wasn’t supposed to lose it. I should have been able to stay calm, be more patient, let it go, take a few deep breaths and understand that they’re...
I can’t. I don’t have time. It’s too hard. I’ll start tomorrow. Or next week. Or maybe next year.
These are the things we say to ourselves when we’re afraid.
Raising children. Running a business. Getting healthy. Doing everything we do on a regular basis is hard enough.
Then if we want to bring in something else, something our hearts are craving or our souls are curious about, it can feel too overwhelming, maybe even impossible. And the self-doubt creeps in.
So we stop. We shelve that wonder. Those dreams.
Truth? Dreaming can unlock possibility. And wonder can lead to freedom. We just need to give ourselves permission. Allow ourselves to consider what’s possible.
The women we work with often avoid the things they know they need to do to change their life.
Ticking boxes give us all a shot of satisfaction, but we challenge clients to think quality over quantity. Ten little wins feels different than three...
I should have been happy.
I had a job that I liked that paid me well. I owned a lot of stuff...expensive shoes, purses, clothes, outdoor gear. I had a nice house and a good car. I went on incredible vacations to Bali, Peru, Europe…
I wanted more. So I met a gorgeous, successful man and got married. And then I had 2 amazing kids. We bought a bigger, nicer house and better cars.
I finally had everything I ever wanted. But somehow there was still something missing.
Because here’s what we do. We see something we want to accomplish and then we set a lofty goal to make it happen. Say it’s climbing a mountain. So we work to climb this mountain and we get to the summit and it feels pretty good, but we aren’t completely content. And then we look out and we see this bigger mountain in the distance, and we think oh, ok once I climb that, then I will be happy. And the cycle continues.
We never fully arrive at our final destination of happiness. What does...
Not what do you want to do, but how do you want to do?
It goes without saying, the mom struggle is real. We book haircuts, doc appointments and endless activities for our kids but rarely carve out time for our own loves and curiosities. We shop for our children’s cough medicine without realizing we need some of our own. Our to-do lists dominate our days and even if we tick every box, there’s always something missing.
We think we have to do it all and feel balance and joy in that chaos. We’re overwhelmed, we’re exhausted and we’re not getting our own needs met. So then we go off the rails. We’re bossy. We yell. We eat things we know aren’t good for us. We talk badly about ourselves and others. We judge. We compare. We blame. We’re resentful. We feel that crushing mom guilt. We numb and we medicate. Online shopping binge? Bone broth diet? A workout? That extra glass of wine? Do they solve the whole problem?
Where do you...