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Solidarity, Mamas! Is It All Just Talk?

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 in Blog, Self, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Solidarity, Mamas! Is It All Just Talk?

The other day, I posted about mom memes that make you feel better when you’re having a rough day. Or year. It’s nice to know that you’re not alone. Really. Just to hear that someone else’s kid wakes up every hour on the hour makes you feel like at least it’s not you. And then there are the books. All those self-help books that tell you that you’re not alone in your fucked-upness. It’s not a flaw. It’s what makes you real. While that’s all true, is it really getting you out of the land of the lost? Or are you just wasting time? Can affirmations get you out of a rut? Affirmations are awesome. In fact, writing your own affirmations is one of the first things that I have you do in many of my coaching programs. Affirmations can: help you consciously select a new thought pattern prevent the negative thoughts from creeping into your mindset improve your self-esteem define your focus But if you don’t get your ass up off the couch, all of the affirmations in the world aren’t going to help you lose that baby weight. We’re not really talking about weight here, though. When it comes to you getting out of sheer survival mode and exploring this amazing woman that you are, affirmations definitely get you started. But where do you go from there? Do you find yourself nodding vehemently when you read an inspirational quote? You get a rush of motivation, then a flicker of guilt, and then your baby cries and your life comes rushing back to you in all of its messy, overwhelming, mind-numbing, exhausting glory. And you end up right back where you started. All of the affirmations in the world aren’t going to get you out of your rut. You can read every self-help book, but if you don’t take any action, the only person you helped is the author by buying the book. I get kind of annoyed when I read another blog post that tells me I’m amazing and a great mother. I mean, I forget at times, and it’s nice to hear those affirmations, but you don’t even know me. Back when I was a new mom, still struggling to survive the nursing, the tantrums, the exhaustion and the overwhelm, I would read those sweet, inspiring blogs, and inside, I’d be screaming, “You don’t know me!” You don’t know about the monster voice that comes out when I have to ask my kids something for the 5th time. You don’t know about how I sometimes understand those parents who walk out the door and never come back. You don’t know about how my mantra for dealing with middle-of-the-night baby wakeups was to imagine throwing the baby out the window. You don’t know about the time that I almost slammed my son’s head into the floor. Back when I was a mom who was just surviving, doing whatever I could to tread water so I wouldn’t drown, I did need to connect with other mothers who could relate. I needed inspiration. But I would have drowned if I didn’t have actual tools to get me out. And that’s what’s important. Start with what inspires you, and use it to motivate you as you continue along your journey....

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A Day In Your Life (Told Through Your Favorite Mom Memes)

Posted by on Mar 2, 2017 in Blog, Self, Uncategorized | 0 comments

A Day In Your Life (Told Through Your Favorite Mom Memes)

Do you ever feel like those inspirational quotes that you see on social media save your life? You feel like a terrible mom. All you do is scream at your kids. You have no idea who you are anymore other than that lady who does all the work around here. You were dreaming of leaving the kids and flying to Mexico. Forever. Because shit is getting really hard. And then your friend posts some sweet and funny mom memes in a parenting group that you’re in, and you completely reconsider. Or you just buy two more tickets so that your kids can join you on your Mexican vacation. This is how your day goes: My kid just got into the raw cookie dough. Now I have no cookies to actually bake. Where’s the number for the pediatrician? Or should I call poison control? Does he feel like he has a fever? My kid is definitely coming down with salmonella. Oh YASSSSS! I am a GREAT mom! Plus, I was going to make the kid cookies. Of COURSE I’m a great mom. Duh. Maybe I didn’t notice the kid eating the cookie dough because I haven’t slept in like four years. When anyone hints that there could be more to life than this fucking exhaustion, I want to punch them in the face. Screw that. I just want some sleep. I’m a zombie. You can see it on my face. Hell, you can see it in my attitude. I can’t live like this anymore. Finally! Someone else gets it. What’s that? The toddler is coming out of his bed again? I don’t care if it’s midnight. I need another cup of coffee. I drink too much. And we’re not talking about coffee here. I know that technically, needing to drink wine every night makes me an alcoholic. But, honestly, it’s the only way I can deal. My new mantra? “I’m a winner!” I can now smile to myself whenever I see the hashtag #winner. Because I know what it really means. Even though I just yelled at my kid for the 1,536th time today. A flicker of guilt flashes through my body. I cough. My throat is sore. I look at my phone so I can block out the child’s whining. At least if my kids don’t understand me, all the other moms out there do. {Yells at kids:} OMG Can you PLEASE stop fighting? Speaking of the kids, I can’t get the thought out of my mind that if I didn’t have them, I’d be sipping margaritas on the beach right now. Ignore the fact that it’s 40 degrees out and raining. Hilarious. Now how can I get margaritas delivered to my house, ignore dinner tonight, and sleep until 10am tomorrow? Of course, my husband doesn’t understand. Why does he think he can get an automatic shower before he leaves me alone with the kids for the entire day? If anyone deserves that shower, it’s me. Oh right. I’m a rock star. But if I’m such a rock star, why can’t I just get it together? I forgot that it was Dr. Seuss day today, and my kid yelled at me because I forgot to remind him to wear his crazy clothing to school. Plus, I forgot his lunch...

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Why Are You Doing This To Yourself?

Posted by on Feb 17, 2017 in Blog, Self, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Why Are You Doing This To Yourself?

Hey, mama. I’m talking to you. The mom who: runs around endlessly doing stuff for her kids, checks on them throughout the night when they’re sick, lets them leave their Cheerios on the floor of her minivan, keeps extra toys in the same van so they won’t get bored, works on endless research projects with the kids, yells at them to put their shoes on every single morning without fail, wishes she didn’t yell at them so much, makes the kids lunches, deals with the never-ending drop-off line at school, runs late to every appointment, keeps the kids clothed and fed, worries about meal planning, tries to get in some exercise because what the hell is that pooch on your belly, stresses about not buying good valentines and sending the kid to school with generic ones, drinks a bottle of wine every night, is drowning in postpartum depression, has her good days and her bad days, tries hard not to forget the good days but does when the bad ones take over, stinks from lack of showering, hides her greasy hair in a baseball cap, wishes she could declutter her house… and her brain, can never find her car keys, or the kids’ socks, or a clean pair of underwear, or her sanity… You know who you are. And you know what it is that makes you a good mom. I can bet you that even you know that it’s not all of these things that you do for your kids that makes you amazing. It’s that at the end of the day, whether or not you’ve gone to all the soccer practices, given them generic valentines, done the laundry, kept the house clean, given them a bath or scheduled umpteen playdates, no matter what you’ve done that day, you feel that surge of love as you tuck them in and kiss them goodnight. It might just be because you know that you’re about to get a few hours of sleep and a beer, but still…You’re an extraordinary mom. And you know it. So stop telling yourself that you’re not....

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What I Learned From Writing My Husband A Love Letter

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in Blog, Relationships, Self, Uncategorized | 0 comments

What I Learned From Writing My Husband A Love Letter

This Valentine’s Day, I decided that I wanted a love letter. My husband used to write me letters when we first met, and I loved poring through them. They made me feel loved. They made me feel special. Along with many of the other things that become more routine as you continue in a long-term relationship, the letters have stopped. I get a card for my birthday or Valentine’s Day sometimes, and it says: “Dear Gaby.” Then there’s the requisite Hallmark poem. And it is signed, “Love, Ty.” I don’t often need or want a heartfelt card or letter, but this Valentine’s Day, I wanted one. So I decided that I would also write a heartfelt letter to my husband. Read the related post Make Your Perfect Valentine’s Day to see why I asked for a letter in the first place. You guys—writing my husband a love letter was one of the hardest things that I’ve done in a while. As I sat down to write it, I started to feel really uncomfortable. I haven’t expressed my emotions toward my husband in a while. Don’t get me wrong—things are pretty great. And I’m content with the situation. Things haven’t been bad. So I also haven’t really thought about how good they are. Can you believe that? We are so used to sweeping through our lives, rushing from place to place, remembering what we consider to be “important”: The kids’ lunches, their instrument on music day, birthday parties, picking up everything we need from the grocery store in one trip. We often forget to focus on what’s really amazing in front of us. So much so that when we do, we’re not used to it. One of the reasons that writing this letter was uncomfortable is that what used to be amazing isn’t necessarily what is amazing now. I used to crave the intensity of the butterflies that come when you’re in a new relationship. Now I crave the filling satisfaction of comfort and security with the person I love. I used to crave constant excitement, vulnerability and spontaneity. Now I crave the balance that my husband complements my personality with. I used to crave raw, passionate desire. Now I crave space and a contented place to rest my head. I have all of these things that I crave. But sometimes, society tells you that you’re supposed to be craving more. More, more, more. Is what I have enough? What I learned from writing my husband a love letter So when I sat down to write a love letter, I realized that my definition of “love” has changed in the past decade. I just didn’t want to write the passionate, butterfly-laden, spontaneous letter of ten years ago. And we’re so often told that that’s what love “should” be that it made me uncomfortable. But I pushed through that discomfort to realize that love has many doors. Right now, there’s this door on the other side of love. It’s not the same one I opened when I met my husband. It’s really deep inside. But it is wide open. It’s a door that is at once reassuringly familiar and surprisingly foreign. Inside that door is a long history of ups, downs, and all arounds. There are babies that have grown into...

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Make Your Perfect Valentine’s Day

Posted by on Feb 8, 2017 in Blog, Relationships, Self, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Make Your Perfect Valentine’s Day

It’s almost Valentine’s Day. So this February, I’m running a whole love theme. I’ve written before about why your Mother’s Day always sucks. I’m going to give you the same kind of eye-opening advice about Valentine’s Day. Ok, so are you dreading it? Are you always disappointed on February 14? Do you never get what you want? Do you know why? Because you don’t ask for what you want. I know what you’re thinking: My spouse should just KNOW what I want. You know what? Your spouse can’t read your mind. I don’t care how connected you want to feel with your spouse, how many hints you’ve been sending out, how long you have been together. They don’t know what you’re really thinking unless you tell them. This is your chance. You have less than a week. What do you want this Valentine’s Day? Do you want time to yourself? Do you want your spouse to surprise you by doing something adorable? Do you want some foreplay? Do you want your partner to do something to sweep you off your feet? Ask for it. It will open up a door to some communication that you might really need. The other side of this coin is: What are you going to do to make the day special? For yourself and/or for your partner. This marriage business takes two. If you want to be swept off your feet, what are you doing to make that happen? If you’re shutting your husband down every time he tries to embrace you or snuggle with you, is that really what you want? Doing the same thing over and over again isn’t going to achieve different results. So if you want this Valentine’s Day to be different, you have to do something different. Here are 3 steps to take to make your perfect Valentine’s Day: 1). Get real with what you want. Even if you feel guilty for wanting it (like for wanting a dinner alone, without your spouse or your kids around). 2). Ask for what you want. 3). Give something a little different than what you’re used to giving. Share in the comments below: What do you want this Valentine’s Day, and what are you going to do to get it?...

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Pay Attention. You’ll Get So Much More Done.

Posted by on Jan 30, 2017 in Blog, Self, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Pay Attention. You’ll Get So Much More Done.

Have you ever had one of those nights where you wake up every hour in a panic? You know the morning will come and be filled with stress. You can’t even really pinpoint the source of the stress. You just know it’s there. And you know it’s a lot. I had one of those nights last night. Every time I looked at the clock, I was grateful that it wasn’t morning yet and I could go back to sleep. But I was also running through the list in my head of all the shit I had to do this week. Fast forward… I eventually HAD to get up. (Kids, school, ya know?) I had 2 options: 1). Set myself on autopilot and just freaking go all day until I got everything (or most of it) done. 2). Take a good, hard look at what I actually had to do today. Guess which option I chose? For the longest time, I lived my life on option #1. But I try not to do that anymore. Sure, you’re productive (and I’m the kind of person who gets UBER productive when the pressure’s on), but you’re in a constant state of “Will I get it done? What’s left to do? How much time do I have?” It keeps you in the mode of the unknown. Seriously, just writing about it is making my heart race. I can’t live like that anymore. Don’t get me wrong… I do live like this sometimes. It’s easy to fall back into it. It’s easy to not make time for the things that are demanding our attention. It’s easy to believe that prioritizing giving our attention to these things is a waste of time. That all-too-precious time. I literally spent 45 minutes of that precious time organizing myself today. Yep, 45 minutes, gone to the land of seeming non-productivity. I didn’t get any writing done, I didn’t work on marketing my business. I didn’t plan what the kids and I were going to work on after school. I literally just sat and became aware of how much time I had and how much I could realistically accomplish. I had to pay attention to what had my attention. I didn’t plan to accomplish it, I just figured out what was all in front of me. I had to do that in order to be able to allocate time to it. This Was Step 1. First, I had to get a clear vision of: The money that was currently in my bank account, My projected budget for the next 3 weeks, and Absolute finite deadlines that couldn’t be altered. These were some of the things that were demanding attention throughout the night. Once I became clear on these points, I knew what I had to accomplish in the next few hours, days and weeks. This Was Step 2. Then, I could allocate my to-dos in a realistic manner. When I wrote down the time that I had + the time that I needed to get everything done, it didn’t add up. What would have happened if I hadn’t taken the time out of my day to calculate this? I would have run around in a frenzy and eventually freaked the fuck out when I realized I couldn’t get it...

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This Is How You’re Actually Keeping Yourself Overwhelmed

Posted by on Jan 28, 2017 in Blog, Self, Uncategorized | 0 comments

This Is How You’re Actually Keeping Yourself Overwhelmed

Are you the type of person who always says things like: You would not believe the long week I’ve had. I’m totally swamped right now. Have you ever stopped to think how those statements are affecting the way you feel about life? Yes, that’s right—they are holding you down. It’s those statements that are making you feel overwhelmed. Be Who You Choose To Be Do you really want to be the type of person who is constantly complaining about all the shit that you have to do? If you are, then you’re always going to feel like complaining about all the shit that you have to do. Listen. You are a mom. You are doing it. You are rocking it. I would hazard a bet that you are actually thriving, even if you feel like arguing with me about it. You’re a good mom, and you’re handling this like a fucking rock star. You could either feel like that, or you could keep complaining about it and bring yourself down like 100 levels. I’m going to go one step deeper and hazard a guess that you actually like some of this overwhelm. You like to be busy. You like to challenge yourself. Sure, life could let up on you every once in a while, but you kind of thrive in this atmosphere. So why are you telling yourself that you don’t? This Is What You’re Saying To Keep Yourself Feeling *Ugh* About Life I do this. I do this every week when someone asks me to hang out with them. Example– Friend: “Want to come over for a playdate and drink wine?” Me: “I can’t. I’m slammed with work right now.” Slammed with work? Well that sounds awful. And overwhelming. Here’s the thing: I love to work. Half of the work that I do is freelance writing for clients. I don’t always love the topics that I write about, but it keeps my skills honed, and I enjoy the challenge. The other half of the work I do is this. It’s my life coaching business. I absolutely freaking LOVE doing this. I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’m really not slammed with work. I’m choosing to busy myself with it. I would guess that a lot of times, if someone challenged you after you make your broad, negative statement, you might retract your words a little bit: “No, no, I mean it’s not all that bad.” So why do you say it in the first place? Focus On The Bliss So what if next time you’re about to tell someone that you’ve had a really fucking long week, that you’ve been slammed and you can’t imagine adding anything else to your list, or organizing yourself to be able to go out with friends, or getting the motivation to go to a playdate, what if you just say: “I’m just really excited to stay home and relax today.” Because that’s ultimately it. In many ways, you’re choosing the life that keeps you busy. And if you want to choose to hole up in the comfort of your home, you should. In fact, you deserve it. Everybody needs a break, no matter how much they choose to put on their plate. Imagine how blissful your life might sound if you...

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My Struggle With Planning and Scheduling

Posted by on Jan 27, 2017 in Blog, Self, Uncategorized | 0 comments

My Struggle With Planning and Scheduling

How many planners do you own? Me, I own two official planners right now. And the one that I actually use—well, it’s just a big turquoise notebook. You see, my struggle with planning and scheduling has a long history. I’ve gotten pieces of it right—I currently am pretty freaking spectacular at entering anything for which I need a reminder into my Google calendar. Ukelele for the kid’s music class? Check. Dog’s vet appointment? Check. Driving for a field trip? Check. Pay the bills? Check. I’ve gotten really good at scheduling. Pop it in the calendar, set a reminder, and I don’t have to think about it again. But scheduling is different than planning. Click here to read the related blog post Planning vs. Scheduling: Why You Have It All Wrong In the past several years, I’ve been on a journey to get better at planning. Because I can’t schedule the really important stuff until I’ve actually planned it. And I can’t actually plan it until I’m really aware of what I’m doing and what I want. But let me back up. Let me tell you a little about my history with planning. I Love Me A New Planner. I get kind of giddy when I step into a Hallmark store. The empty pages of beautiful journals just beckon to me. I see the planners promising balanced bliss, and I melt a little bit. I envision writing on the beautiful pages and instantly becoming a peaceful, organized woman. I buy it. Maybe I write in it once or twice. And this is what happens: I hate the way my terrible handwriting mars the pages. I fill it up with so many to-dos and ideas and plans that I never get to them all. I don’t open it up the next day because all of the to-dos I wrote are overwhelming and I know I won’t get to them all. I say fuck it. I know I’m only going to get to one to-do anyway, so what’s the point of writing it down in a planner? I can keep track of one thing in my head. I’m not that To-Dos Take Over Your Planner So last year, I decided to get a little more soulful about the whole planning process. I had gotten really good at some aspects of planning: I started doing more vision work. I started practicing gratitude. I started scheduling many of my to-dos automatically to get them off my plate so they wouldn’t interfere with my soul work. I started to add play into my life vision. But I was still struggling with planning, especially when it came to the big picture stuff. I was getting better at the little daily routines, but I was getting caught up in them. Why? Because I was putting them in my planner. In an effort to be efficient, I didn’t want to double up. I wanted ONE PLANNER that would be the place where I planned my big goals as well as tiny appointments. You know what happened? My tiny to-dos took over my life, and I found it hard to focus on the big picture. So I Bought A Vision-Oriented Planner So I bought a new planner. This one was called the Passion Planner. {Yep, that’s it in the...

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Planning vs Scheduling: Why You Have It All Wrong

Posted by on Jan 24, 2017 in Blog, Self, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Planning vs Scheduling: Why You Have It All Wrong

Have you always considered yourself a planner? Or are you the opposite type of person: Do you tell yourself that you’re absolutely NOT a planner? If you took the Do You Have Your Shit Together quiz, you probably found out that you fall somewhere in between. Why is that? Well, because you’re a human being. Actually, there are two reasons why you might not be the hard-core planning type (or why you might not be the total chaos that you thought): You are trapped in a limiting belief system. You constantly tell yourself something that’s just not true. (i.e. I’m a planner or I suck at planning). So you have fallen into a trap of behaving in a way that’s designated by your limiting beliefs. You are confusing planning with scheduling. Planning and scheduling are waaaaaay different, and they involve different processes. This might seem obvious. Planning involves deciding what the hell you’re going to do. But that may be a lot more complex than it sounds. Planning is a definition of sorts. It defines the status of your life as it is now, and it defines the actions that you’re going to take. Two things are necessary for planning: Awareness – You can’t plod ahead and plan without awareness of the status quo. Vision – You can’t plan without knowing where you want to go. Just so you know, I have historically been a terrible planner. How many times have you just grabbed your calendar or your planner and started jotting things down? You had a goal to get more organized, damn it, and you’re going to do it. If you’re all about writing stuff down in your planner but you’ve skipped the planning stage, you’re still not going to feel like you have your shit together. And you’re not really using your planner. You’re just writing in a calendar. A calendar tells you when you’re going to do what you’re going to do. It’s where you set appointments. It’s synced with your iPhone and laptop. A planner doesn’t have to be. Why Does It Matter How Planning Is Different From Scheduling? There are lots of reasons why it matters how planning is different from scheduling. Understanding the difference can help you: Stop telling yourself limiting beliefs. Get organized in a way that works for you. Buy the right type of planner once and for all–maybe you DO need a separate calendar and planner. They do different things! Get your shit together. Discover the missing link that’s keeping you feeling wishy-washy or chaotic. Move forward in your life and do what fulfills you every day. Stay tuned for my next few posts, in which I’ll talk more about my struggle with planning as well as the best types of planners for busy moms who want to take back control of their lives, stop simply surviving and start living again. Tell me: Are you a planner, a scheduler, or...

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5 Things Happy Moms Will Do in 2017

Posted by on Jan 19, 2017 in Blog, Self, Uncategorized | 0 comments

5 Things Happy Moms Will Do in 2017

Ok, I’m going to preface this by saying I kind of hate the word “happy mom.” I mean, we’re more multifaceted than that, right? I don’t even know if I’m sure that “happy” is what we should strive for. There’s so much more encompassed in a fulfilling life: peace, balance, bliss, surrender, intensity, emotion. When I hear the word “happy,” I kind of envision a woman with a blank look and a pasted smile on her face. Maybe that’s just me. But it’s just easier to write one simple word than a series of endless adjectives. So every time you see “Things happy moms will do”, you can kind of roll your eyes a little and know that I’m really talking about wholeness. Like, the kind of mom who: feels like she has her shit together but knows it’s all relative. appreciates her kids when they’re around but breathes a sigh of relief when they go to sleep. doesn’t leave her keys in the freezer and her kids’ lunches in the car. is fulfilled. feels calm in the overwhelm because she is purposeful. exudes love and embraces sorrow and desire and pain too. rarely misplaces her keys anymore. finds time for herself. lives life with joy, intention and meaning. Do you want to be that kind of mom this year? Then read on. If not, close this web page and go search for your car keys. Or your children. Or both. 1. Create a vision. How often do you get stuck in the mire of every day? You’re just surviving. You can see, through a mountain of laundry, toys and greasy hair, what needs to happen next. But only barely. So when you’re ready to devote time to yourself, you have no idea what you want to do. Your vision is stuck on the next thing. A vision isn’t necessarily a big picture goal. It doesn’t have to be realistic. It’s that fantasy that lifts you out of the overwhelm and reminds you that you are destined for greater things. Here are some tips for creating a vision: 5-15 minutes: Do something that relieves stress and may even bring out your inner child. Take a bath, give yourself a pedicure, read a magazine, dance to your favorite song… don’t let silly limit you. Be free and shed a layer of weight. 5-10 minutes: Find a place where you can be alone, uninterrupted. (You can do this while you’re going to bed at night). Breathe deeply, focusing on filling your body with peace and calm. Ask yourself: Where do I want to be? It could be where you want to be now, a month from now, a year from now. Your vision may take you to the far reaches of Bali or to the moon. Or it may take you to a happy picnic with your family at the park. Whatever it is, let it happen. 5-10 minutes: Take the time to journal about your vision, or create a vision board. I love to use Dream It Alive for vision board work. Repeat this vision work every night until your vision becomes a peaceful promise of bliss that exists in your universe. 2. Choose 1-3 habits to cultivate this year. Don’t go crazy. I know you want to declutter your...

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