Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Come on Mom..

My kids start school on Wednesday. We have had a great summer, but today I wanted to do one more big "hurrah". We have passes to a couple of local water parks and so this afternoon we drove to one we hadn't been to all summer. It was so much fun to play together as a family.

To be perfectly frank I really do not like the water park. I don't like donning a swimsuit, I don't like the crowds, I'm not a fan of the big huge fast slides. BUT....I really really love my kids. They love going to these parks A LOT, so I go and I do have fun once we are there. You know, I don't really even think of myself in the swimsuit once we are there because guess what? This isn't about me, this is about them.

I spent much of my time in the kiddie area today with my 6 and 4 year old while my husband was with my older boys on the big slides, which is just fine by me.  I was having fun watching them go down some small slides when my daughter said, "Come on Mom and go with us!" I hesitated because not many parents were going. But I went and my two littles couldn't have been more delighted, their faces just lit up when I went down after them.  We went over and over again and laughed and laughed.

Playing and laughing with them and with my older kids and husband (as we did venture on some of the bigger slides with them) was medicine for my soul.  I need to play and laugh more with them.  There was no bickering, no impatience, it was just plain fun.  It's an investment into our relationship account so when things are tough there is enough invested when a withdrawal happens. I need to remember that having FUN is a secret ingredient to a happy Mom and happy kids.  And I need to just get in the water and go down the slides...figuratively speaking.  

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Mini retreat

This post will be a bit boring because I forgot to take any pictures during this mini retreat.  This was my first retreat where I was in charge of all the details, and I forgot the picture detail.  I think I covered the rest of the details, so that's pretty good for my first time right?  I wasn't super nervous for teaching, I was nervous that I had all the details taken care of (that isn't necessarily my strength), but it worked out.

I had a great co-presenter in Lacy Anderson, this was her first retreat being a presenter.  She did amazing and is a natural teacher.  Thanks Lacy, you made it easy to do this with you!

We had a small group for the retreat, 13 total.  But it was actually really nice that it was small.  Lots of participation and we could talk about specific questions and be more personal.  The group we had was a really wonderful group of Moms who gave fantastic insights and participated so much.  Thank you ladies for being so great!

Some of my favorite insights from the retreat were:

  • You will always have people who disagree with the choices you make in parenting.  You must get to the point where you are at peace with your choices and who you are and just thank them for input and let it go.
  • What is unique about you?  Write it down, come up with POSITIVE unique things about yourself and celebrate and develop those.  Develop YOU so you have more to give to your kids.
  • Find out what your "motherhood identity" is. Create your own "brand" of motherhood and become comfortable with that.  What do you think of when you think of Nike or Coke?  That is their brand, develop that for yourself.
  • Write a motherhood "mantra".  If someone were to ask what you believe about motherhood or something you believe in, you could "sell" your brand in a couple of short sentences.
  • Write a mantra about how you want to mother, one participant's mantra is, "Be kind, cherish the moments and love them."  Simple, yet a good reminder of what she wants to be as a Mother.
  • Validate yourself, when you do something well pat yourself on the back (or the tush like athletes) and say, "Good job me! or Good game!"  Heaven knows our kids don't validate us, we need to do it for ourselves.  Write it down, give yourself kudos for doing a great job!
  • Avoid the compare snare, be careful of social media.  Your children want you!
  • Balance can be an unattainable goal, learn to "tilt" instead.  Sometimes you are tilting toward a newborn baby, sometimes you are tilting toward sick children or a difficult teen or a school carnival you are in charge of.  The goal is balance for a lifetime, not balance for a day or a week.
I love these retreats, no matter if I'm an attendee or a presenter, I learn so much and get so recharged.  It was a great night with amazing Moms.  We figured there were 45+ kids represented there with these Moms and the ripple effect can be huge if even one thing these women learn is implemented and makes them better Moms.  I'm so grateful for the Power of Moms organization and all they are doing to strengthen families.