Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Article Reviews

The other day I was checking my email on Yahoo when the title of this article caught my eye: "10 Habits of Happy Moms." How can I not read that, and how can I not share what I think?? I copied the 10 point below with my thoughts in red underneath.
First, let me just say that I am by no means an expert on babies or "how to be a happy mom". I simply just take one day at a time and try to live by the notion, as my dad put it the day she was born, Avery is a PERSON not a POSSESSION! It has worked great for me but may not work for someone else.

1. Find time for yourself
Happy moms know they deserve a little time to themselves. When you know you're going to have a little room to breathe later on in the day, it's easier to take on everything that's in front of you. Our formula? Take 2 hours out for yourself every 3 days.

The key to this one, I think, is knowing when you will have that breathing room. Until just recently Avery was not very consistant at night so I never really knew when and for how long that time would be. Its hard not to use those free minutes to do something like laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc, but I have tried to adapt to figuring out ways to do these things while she is awake so that when she goes down for a nap and bedtime I really can focus on my projects and fun stuff. I honestly would go crazy without some kind of creative outlet on a regular basis. It's my means of escape and relaxation. 2 hours every 3 days seems pretty easy to reach. I think that most should be able to easily do that; I try to strive for 1-2 hours a day. Most of this happens after she is in bed at night, but nonetheless, I try.

2. Don't make a happy baby, happier!
We all do it...you see your baby's head at what you're sure is an unnatural angle snoozing in their car seat. You just know they'll be happier if their head was straight. So you move them. And they wake up. Then they scream. Or, you see them playing happily in the sand. You just know they'll be happier if they played on the slide. So you interrupt them and move them to the slide. And they're angry. And they let you know they're REALLY angry. Here's the thing, they were happy. It can be hard to do, but if your kid's not complaining, leave them be! Happy baby = Happy Mommy.
I am guilty of this one!! Jeff tried to do this just a few nights ago! I had to learn the hard way with this one in the car. She always looked so uncomfortable when she was in her seat but she never failed to fall asleep every time the car turns on. It would happen just like they say, here. I continually have to put myself in her shoes. I wouldn't like to get woken up and moved if I was happy and comfy, either! lol

3. Embrace the mess
So your house doesn’t look like something out of a magazine. That just means it’s cozy! Your children have hands coated in dirt from the playground and faces coated in spaghetti from dinner. It’s not gross—it’s an adorable photo op! Life is about how you look at things. Next time that pile of laundry that’s been sitting on the chair for three days starts to get you down, just remember… it’s probably feng shui.

Again, I am guilty on all counts on this one!! Before I had Avery I was pretty anal about everything being clean and in it's place. I think she has been a little bit of therapy for me. I still have to keep stuff clean but everything is definitly not in its right spot 100% of the time. In fact, as I sit here typing, Avery has been in bed for an hour and there are still toys all over the place, craft stuff covering the dining table, the ironing board sitting out, Jeff's beer making stuff on the kitchen counter, dry clothes in the dryer... it's a mess, to say the least. You know what, though? I kind of like it! It's home. We live here. It's the sign that we play; focus our time on eachother instead of the little stuff. I still love a clean, neat home, but if no one is coming over, why put it on show?

4. Make time for your friends
Your family can survive without you while you make time to see friends. You are a woman with your own identity and its imperative that you and that identity go out for some margaritas once in awhile!

OK, I think this one can be taken a few different ways. I think it's healthy to have your "things" that you do so that you don't get so involved in baby land that you have nothing else to talk about. I do think, however, that moderation and low key is best. Especially if you are going out with out your husband. I am a part of a Pokeno group that meets once a month. I feel like this is a great way for me to have one evening for a few hours to spend with my friends. Jeff has his things that he likes to go do, too, like hunting. I figure that if I do Pokeno he should be able to do some stuff every once in a while, too.

5. Stop blowing yourself off
While you may be the one taking care of everyone, it doesn't mean you can't also get what you want. Help your family realize your needs are as important as theirs and when mom is happy, everyone is happy, but when mom is not....

It is definitly true that if mom is happy then everyone is happy. ;)

6. Get in the zone
Take 10 minutes to do absolutely nothing but rest. Take a break from your day, close your eyes, breath in slowly and deeply through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Repeat several times. Think about a place you love that is relaxing, spend 10 minutes there in your mind.

Yoga is awesome! It never hurts to shut your eyes for a few minutes and rest. I love naps and never feel guilty anymore for taking one when Avery does.

7. Remember your dreams and goals
Everyday we are encouraging our children to reach their full potential. But sometimes in the midst of being a parent we forget about our own dreams and goals. The best thing you can do to encourage a child is to lead by example –happy moms hold on to their dreams and goals and don’t let go.

I have a few long term goals with my Interior Design career that I would like to accomplish one day since my job was cut short sooner that I would have liked. I would never put this in front of Avery's or any of my other future kids goals.

8. Be lighthearted
Don't be the uptight mom. Be silly and dance with your kids to their music or tv show tunes. Be romantic and pull your partner into a waltz. Dance in slippery socks in your kitchen while making dinner.

I was never a kid person before I had one for myself. I am not a naturally silly person but these days I have no problem braking out into a Barney song in the middle of a grocery store if it means making Avery happy.

9. Bend the Rules
One of the best parts of making the rules is occasionally breaking them. Maybe it’s taking your child out of school for half a day on their birthday, or waking them up in the middle of the night to see a sky of shooting stars. Happy moms know how to turn the mundane into fun.

I dont remember ever being able to skip school except for a doctor's appointment. Not sure if I like that idea, but I know what they mean. I love to take Avery outside to play on blankets on days that we are home all day, instead of being stuck inside. I also found a new indoor play place that opened up that seems really fun and clean for all ages that I hope to take her to when it gets too cold to go outside. Walks are also really fun for her now. Ive taken her in the pet stores in the mall since she is really into animals these days, she gets a kick out of all the puppies.

10. Mind your own business
Concentrate on creating your life the way you want it. Take care of you and your family. Don’t get overly concerned with what other people are doing or saying. Don’t get caught up with gossip or name calling. Stop seeking the validation of others and be confident in yourself.

This is a hard one for me. It always has been. My biggest downfall is comparing myself to others. How others are coping with motherhood, how their baby is developing, things they have done that I have not and vice versa. I have to make a conscious effort daily to remind myself that we are a family and we are different from any other family. What works for us may not be perfect but it works. What works for someone else may not work for us. We are happy, so why change anything? Confidence is the key here. I need work in this area but I want to be a good example to Avery and help her learn confidence in herself. Dont get me wrong, I have no doubt that we are good parents, there are just details along the way that everyone does differently and I naturally wonder if there are rights and wrongs. My mom told me the day she was born that to Avery, I am the only mom that she knows so in her eyes I can't do any wrong. Obviously she needs to learn to sleep and needs to eat but the rest is just details.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good points, but they reflect to me an attitude prevalent today that you are a woman first, then a mom and wife. Today's society puts "me" first. The mom, I believe, should put the children first, then her husband, then herself. The husband should do the same. In harmony, then, the husband should ensure that you have and do all these things. Trying to insist on them yourself will lead to neglect and resentment from all parties involved.

And, always remember that any idiot can write ten tips on anything,,,,,test everything (including my comments!)


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