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motherhood

Mom’s You Can Only Do So Much…

Pack kids’ lunches.  Grade class spelling tests.  Make sure N’s book report is started.  Plan for the next Language Arts unit.  Make sure kids’ laundry is washed before Friday.  Make copies for Social Studies project.  Oh crap, I have to send out the minutes for the PTA board meeting.  Wait — did I really sign that field trip mission slip?  When is the next girls’ outing…is it this week or next?  Did I call my mom?  When do I need to have report cards done by?

Always Multi-Tasking
Always Multi-Tasking

These are my current thoughts.  I am now up at 3 AM on a Monday morning thinking of all the things I wish I would have had time to complete over the weekend.  Why am I up right now?  Why can’t I just get this noise out of my head?  Oh right — because I don’t just wear one hat, I wear like 20.  I’m (and in no particular order) a mom, wife, daughter, sister, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, teacher, neighbor, friend, best friend, coworker, peer, subordinate…and so on and so forth.

Constantly…working moms around the nation are on overdrive.  Moms are always on the go and always “on.”  I know I’m always “on” — mainly because I’m an elementary school teacher…looking out for children is a constant in my life.  I don’t think it really matters if you’re a teacher or not — the constant to-do list runs through our minds day and night (see my earlier post about achieving balance).


When I took a year off last year, I noticed that I was relieved from that element of my life — which was work.  I didn’t have a boss to report up to because I was my own boss.  I didn’t feel this constant feeling of having to “report” anywhere by a certain time or fulfill my own set of work obligations.  Now — even when I love what I do and wouldn’t imagine another career for myself, I do feel a constant loyalty to my students day in and day out…even on my evenings and weekends.  Would I trade what I do to stay home?  Never.

All at once, I take turns wearing all the other hats — and try to juggle it all at once.  Sometimes I wonder why I even try to juggle it all because it seems humanly impossible to be everywhere all at once…but I try anyways because that’s what I am.  I am the type of person, like many other amazingly strong women out there that try to do everything all at once.  I am the type that will put too much on my plate because I know that I work best under pressure and can’t stand not giving any aspect of my life my 110% all the time.  Is it healthy?  Probably not, but that hasn’t stopped me once.

Constantly, I am reminded to take a moment for myself to unwind and take a “time-out.”  A moment to just be with my own thoughts and be myself, a moment to find my zen.  To shed away all those hats for a moment to gather my own ideas and to just be.  As I get older, I do find that listening to my inner self is getting more and more important.  When I feel that anxious, robotic, out of body experience.  When I feel that I’m slipping away from myself…

Mama Challenge - Time Out Card
Mama Challenge – Time Out Card

I have found a few ways that help me gather myself and recharge.  Whether it be making a Target run to just roam around aimlessly with a Starbucks in hand.  Or to get on that treadmill and run away the feels.  Or by meeting up with some girlfriends for some “wine and whine” time.  Or even by taking the long way home from work to just sit and listen to the radio in silence.    

I have found the importance of finding your “time-outs.”  What makes you feel like you the most?  What makes you feel so content that it feels like you’re recharging your “battery?”  What could possibly help you strip away all your hats for just one moment?  

So ladies, take a moment.  Not because I’m urging you to do so, but because you feel that it’s about time!  Take that moment for yourself — just for you.  You can only give and give so much…

You’re in “time out!”

Your Brainy Chick,

Komi

Disclaimer:  No way do I feel that moms staying home to take care of their household and family don’t deserve a time out either — get out there ladies…you need that break!

Chick Picks:

Top Ten Ways To Find Your Zen

With the school year underway and relaxed summer routines becoming not-so-distant memories, many of us have to try harder to carve out time for ourselves and search deeper to block out the buzzings around us.  The grind of drop-offs, work, pick-ups, activities, specials, dinner, homework…wash, rinse, repeat…gets to even the most pain-tolerant of us. 

Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment. – Alan Watts

Below is a list of the top ten ways to find your zen.

Create a playlist- find the songs that put you in your element.  I listen to a variety of music so mine contains anything from classical to hip hop.  I use my headphones and tend to multi-task at home.  I also play it in the car after the kids have been dropped off.  Have you checked out Chick Radio yet? Subscribe to our channel, we update our list often.

Take a walk – I find my zen walking through the aisles of Target or Home Goods…alone.  I may not purchase anything but I enjoy the solitude and without being beholden to a shopping list and a tight time frame.  The same can be achieved walking outside, snow-shoeing (for the more adventurous), and biking.

Devour a book- Nothing takes you away and warms the soul like a good book; one that makes you lose track of time and makes you look forward to the next chunk of free time in your calendar.  This month, my book club is reading a thriller set aboard a luxury cruise line called The Woman In Cabin 10, nothing like a thriller to create an alternate reality in your mind.

Drink to it-  Not alcohol, I’m talking about a nice relaxing cup of hot tea or hot chocolate.  Perhaps milk with tumeric or cinnamon.  I have a spice blend I’ve created that I add to either black tea or warmed milk and it puts me in my zen state.  Try the chicks favorite, Frontier Organic Fair-Trade Chai!

 

Get organized!- Spend five minutes every night organizing your thoughts for the next day, crossing things off your list for the day and double checking your calendar.  Nothing takes you out of your flow than a disorganized rush in the morning.

Create a mantra- Create an affirmation that motivates and inspires you and repeat it when you wake up, right before bed and any other time you need it!  Check out our Affirmations Board on Pinterest for ways to stay calm and  stay positive.

Learn to say “yes” – Say yes to dinner with your friends, or to your child when he asks to play hide-and-seek  Those events allow you to be present and break up the routine. Also, connecting with others simply feels good.

No guilt – You know the phrase “Life’s too short…” The cliche is actually rather profound.  There’s no room for guilt.  And with that, I’ll leave you with another one of my favorite quotes “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

Disconnect! – Make it a habit to set a time every day to disconnect from all electronics.  Start with five minutes and don’t be surprised if you find yourself increasing that time 🙂  You’ll cherish it.  See our post about what you are missing when you are on your phone.

Laugh!!- What better way to feel relaxed than by feeling happy?  Try something silly, learn a new dance, tell a joke.  Get in touch with your unabashed-ness of your youth when you laughed more than you worried!  If you have not already read The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*$k, do yourself a favor, and pick it up!

Cheers,

Serene

Your Brainy Chick


Who is REALLY the hero? Mom Vs. Dad

Mother’s Day — the day we give praise to all the mother’s around us…our own mother’s, our mom friends, and even those that are like mothers.  The flowers, homemade cards, and of course the school crafts all come pouring in.  This is also the perfect time to think about the ironies behind how our children view mothers.  For instance, do our children really view us as givers?  Are we just givers of endless amounts of snacks and ridiculous requests?  Let’s not mention the endless hours of sleep we are deprived of, the enormous amounts of guilt we feel,  and the thousands of unfinished cups of coffee (sadly waiting on the counter all day waiting to be enjoyed)?

I once asked my children what they thought I did all day…the answers varied.  My overly observant daughter replied (in a nice complete sentence), “I believe you clean and cook and make sure everything is perfect by the time we get back from school.”  My son, who sees the world much MUCH simpler replied, “I don’t know…what do you do?  Do you just wait by the door for us to get back home?”  

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You may be wondering why I decided to title this “Mother’s Day” tribute, “The Father, The Hero…” — let me explain.  Before I continue, I would like to lay out a disclaimer…this post in NO way is putting down father’s and saying they don’t do squat (even though, let’s be real…).

Spring Break — I was told to take it easy (by my very kind Doctor).  My husband had already planned to take a couple days off to hang out and hopefully play some golf.  Luck would have it that I’m down and the weather wasn’t golf-appropriate.  He stepped up and came to the rescue (I inserted that for those about to go all “at least your husband helps…blah blah blah” on me).  

What does a crazy mom do when she hears she’ll be “down” for a few days?  Plan.  I made sure we were stocked up on groceries (end-less snacks) for him.  I made some meals — easy heat-up meals, ready to go in the refrigerator for him.  I made sure all the laundry was done and folded (and EVEN put away) for him.  I did all this to not only help him take over, but also to ease my own stresses on being “down.”  

During my stages of bed-ridden bliss, my darling children would visit me in bed.  They would bring me sweet cards, sneak me treats, and even serenade me with a song and nicely demand a TV show.  During their visits, they would also go on about how “daddy was doing.”  

“Daddy made us lunch mommy — JUST like you!” — so he just heated up the food I prepped and then served it?  Nice.

“Daddy gave us ice cream with sprinkles AND chocolate syrup!”  — so he simply scooped out ice cream and gave into the kids’ whining for more sugar?  Wuss!

“Daddy laid out my pajamas for me!”  — so he opened a drawer AND took the nicely folded PJs out?  What a man!

Oh and my all-time favorite…

“Daddy READ us a book!”  — he can read??  Get out!

Here’s my take on it…kids don’t expect their fathers to perform and execute tasks the way us moms do.  They expect the whole “your mommy is better at this than I am so just bear with me” spiel.  They naturally expect their mothers to complete tasks effortlessly.  I asked a male friend about this and he simply replied, “you ladies are just naturally better than we are.”  

And with that — the end.

There’s a reason my children were incredibly happy when I was back — their routines were back in place.  They were happy that lunch was prepared for them by ME, they were actually content with MY dessert portions, they appreciated the way I kept their lives in order (including their never-ending laundry), and they really enjoyed MY story-times with them.  Even though my husband tried his best, there’s nothing that could replace a mother’s touch.  That unique blend of love, care, and sometimes over compulsive behavior!  A mother knows how it should be done and even when things blow up, she can effortlessly fix it without a second thought.

Happy Mother’s Day, ladies…you may have a crummy day today or hopefully not.  Just know, you’ve got this — you don’t need to try to be the BEST because in your childrens’ eyes, you already are.  Simple.

Cheers to that!

Your brainy chick,

Komi