Tag Archives: relax

Mom’s Ups & Downs With Busy Schedules

After months of busy work, school and activity schedules, I was looking forward to a long holiday weekend to relax and enjoy some down time. We had a few things planned and my ex-husband and I were getting close to finalizing a car for our 16-year-old daughter, but I figured I would still have some time to rest and relax. On Saturday, we spent the morning signing papers for the car and figuring out logistics on how to surprise our daughter. The afternoon was spent picking up the car, surprising her with it and driving around to visit her friends. Who knew the emotions that giving your child a car would evoke? Although she’s been driving for months, giving her a car means having to let go a little more and not being able to protect her because she’ll be out there on her own when she’s on the road. It’s overwhelming to think about the fact that you’ve taken care of and driven this child around for 16 years and all of a sudden, they want to be out there by themselves and with their friends while you sit at home and wonder if everything is ok and track them on your Life 360 app. High school and driving are like tests of letting go for the parents, before the kids head off to the real world.

If that weren’t emotional enough, I was faced with more interesting information. I’ve been talking and to and hanging out with a guy for the past year; he lives over an hour away and is in the Army and was deployed a couple of months ago. We’ve never claimed to be in a “relationship” due to our schedules and distance, but we pretty much text/talk every day and it felt like we were. I won’t get into all the details, but let’s just say that I found out this weekend, through social media, that things were not what they seemed; another woman changed her status to say that she was in a relationship with him on the day after he stopped texting me. While I was worrying about his safety, he was busy playing me; I found out that he was back home from deployment and saw a picture of the two of them together. My emotions have been all over the place this weekend along with many tears, trying to figure out what in the world happened, going back and looking at old texts, questioning things and coming up with plausible theories. Maybe it’s my fault … I get truly invested in the people that I care about and can be over the top. Sure, that sounds great, but it can also be a tremendous weakness, especially when it causes you to get hurt often. And when it causes you to overlook red flags along the way because you just want to be in a relationship again.

The situation transported me back to when my ex-husband and I were discussing separating and all the feelings and emotions. Obviously, this situation is not even close to that, but I just remember constantly wondering what I did wrong or how I could have changed things, instead of realizing that it’s about him and not me and that it’s his loss or that I deserve better than this. Thank goodness for good friends who will remind you of that. I was constantly trying to keep things together on the outside for my girls while I was falling apart on the inside. When you have kids, you can’t just crawl in my bed and wallow; you just have to keep things going. On one hand, that might be a good thing because of the distractions. But, at the same time, the feelings of betrayal, loss and disillusionment are real and need to be addressed.

Ironically, the same day I found out this information, the girls and I attended my friend’s wedding. I was not feeling great about going, but I was excited to celebrate my friend. She and her fiancé both have gone through a lot in life and were each getting married for a second time. To sum it up, the wedding was just perfect – intimate, beautiful and heartfelt. As I watched them take their vows and listened to the speeches, it brought tears to my eyes; I was sad for what I was dealing with, but it also made me feel hopeful. These two had been through a lot and those experiences brought them to this point, where they were able to join their two families into one. I felt so grateful to be included in this amazing celebration of love and it gave me some hope that good things are coming.

If you remember one of my earlier posts, this year I tried something new and chose a word of the year – embrace (click here to read that post). I told myself at the beginning of the year that I was going to embrace life this year, the good and the bad. I’m trying to embrace all the changes in life as I parent a high schooler and a rising 4th grader, which is not always easy. I also embraced opening myself up to someone new and letting my guard down.

But now I wonder, what lessons am I supposed to learn from this latest challenging experience? I still don’t have the answer to that and maybe it will be a while before I figure that out. The fact that I invest in the people that I care about can be a positive and a negative. What I don’t want to happen is for these experiences to change me in a negative way. I hope I don’t become a pessimist about love and life and become cold, bitter and extremely guarded …. I worry about that. Right now, I don’t know how much more my heart can take, but at the same time, I really don’t believe that I’m meant to be alone forever. So, I guess I’ll just keep plugging along, taking care of my girls, working on myself, doing the things I love and just keep embracing life as it comes. What other choice is there?

 To see more posts by Laxmi, check out her blog at https://onedesigirlsjourney.wordpress.com/

Sum Sum Summertime

Another summertime day to spend with the sun on your face. Seriously?” you grumble, “When will I have time for that?Between phone calls and laundry piles and errands, on your lunch break at the office, in the pickup lane at the school waiting for the kids and on a Sunday between church and meeting your girlfriends for lunch. Yes. Yes. And yes.

Give yourself five minutes whenever you can. Sit with your face to the sky. Draw in all the wonder of the sunshine. Soak up the heat and the beauty of the sun. As it brightens your face with a natural D3 glow…. It just might brighten your mood.

Do you feel better when you look in the mirror and see some rosy cheeks, or tawny skin, or freckles speckled on your nose? Whatever you see looking back at you, the sun has a way of brightening the day, changing the mood and enhancing that self love, self talk, self adoration stuff. …..It really does.

I remember when I was a little girl, I used to love going to the beach. Running through the waves, building sand castles and burying my sister waist high…. but most of all… the sun was the best part. It made me feel energetic, full of life and unstoppable. I always wondered what it must be like to be a mermaid, able to bask in the sun with no chores to do, no school bus to catch and no reason to change your clothes. So amazing, right?

The joy that I got from playing in the sun brought me to a place that only the sun could do. Now as an adult I beg for 5 minutes in between everything. To turn my face to the sky, to bask in the beauty of the heat & be reminded that a simple joy… is right here. Yay for Summertime!

Your God Girl

Tracy

Learn To Make No Plans

We made no plans and it was such a great weekend. The temperature was -15 below zero this morning. The kids and I laid in bed and did nothing for hours. We had breakfast at 11am because It’s what we wanted to do….

After I was recently divorced, I felt that when I had my kids I had to spend every minute with them and entertain them all the time. I would have the entire weekend planned with activities and events. We would visit family, friends, go to a waterpark, MOA, shopping, etc… I was exhausted with planning events and taking them everywhere. My daughter finally said “ Can’t we just stay home” and I didn’t understand why she would want to stay home. It took me over a year to realize that my kids could care less about going places. They just wanted to spend time at home. They wanted to hang out, watch movies, play video games, have sleepovers, and destroy the living room with Doritos. They wanted to sleep in until 11 or stay up until midnight. They wanted to be comfortable and be a kid.

I am a planner and I LOVE to plan my day. I plan everything in my day…and this killed me to just have days where we didn’t plan anything or let the day plan itself. This was very hard for me because I had complete mom guilt from the divorce and I wanted them to enjoy all of our time together. I thought I needed to make up for the time that I was not with them. It took me along time to realize that my kids were the same kids as before my divorce… They wanted to be themselves, be comfortable, and didn’t need all the extras. So, I realized that I could go to the gym, I could clean the house, paint my bathroom, go for a walk with a friend, or just have leftovers for dinner. We didn’t need to have some extravagant weekend planned. And it also meant that I couldn’t plan every activity or weekend. I had to let them make choices and tell me what they wanted. This is a very hard thing for a planner..so hard.

And now I LOVE these days or weekends.. Sometimes we skip activities or church just because I want too. Going out to eat is one of their favorite things to do together. At first, I thought it was nuts and a waste of money. However, I realized this was one thing that we all enjoyed to do together and it was uninterrupted. They couldn’t escape sitting with each other at a restaurant and we had to talk. Their other favorite activity is going to Target. Yes, my kids love to go to target. They like to all go together and walk around…So on Fridays, I pick them up from school and we go to Starbucks and Target. Not to Zoo or a waterpark, but Target..seriously Target.

I let me kids plan their day.. Don’t get me wrong it’s not like a house party and I do have some control, but I let them have friends over and spend time doing what they want. It is still hard for me at times.. I come up with these great ideas…and they just don’t want to do them.

Snarky divorced gal (snarkydivorcedgal.com)

Take Your Second Chances

Four years ago to almost the day, my parents took my family and my sisters family to Florida for a vacation. We had been planning it for years.. At that time in my life, I had lived my entire life as a pleaser and couldn’t disappoint any of them. I hated having that feeling I was disappointing someone. However, I already knew when we got back to glorious Wisconsin, I would be telling my husband I wanted a divorce. No way to sugar coat that..It was not the trip of a lifetime.

And now four years later,I am divorced and happy. I mean I have my moments but overall it took the last 4 years to get to this point. The point of life where I’m happy about my choices and happy about the life I’m living. I had my 3 kids for spring break so off to Florida we were going… This was my second chance.

I was so excited for this trip but also so nervous… I had to do all the planning and be responsible for getting 3 kids to Florida.. And just hoping my son didn’t put a so-called weapon into his pocket and we will be hauled off.. It was a lot of responsibility for all of us. I had to rely also on my kids to be responsible and help out when I needed. Moments before we left, I thought am I crazy to do this.

But once the trip started, it was amazing. This trip probably meant more to me than they anyone will ever know… to my kids it was 8 days in the sun.. and to me it was my second chance. This was my second chance from 4 years ago. It just showed me how your life can change… How we make choices, how scared we are at that time, and how in time it does work out. I could have never imagined all of the changes as a person that you go through in 4 years with a divorce. I finally got to be the person I wanted to be…

4 years ago, I would have been the mom that had the lunches packed the night before, been yelling at my kids to be up by 7, to be at the beach by 8 am.. and I would not have relaxed for a minute on a vacation. I did not enjoy being that person. I would have made sure I was pleasing everyone, just not myself.

Today, I am so relaxed. I am not worried about pleasing everyone. I am not worried about trying to do a million things in one day. I am not worried about seeing every attraction in Florida in 8 days. I made choices that have made my happy.

I took this trip day by day. I let my kids sleep til 11 and I got to go for morning runs. I got to sit and drink coffee in the sun. I got to think about my life and my future. We swam, we laughed, we had ice cream everyday, we stayed up til midnight.. We got to drive to the beach at whatever time we got up…and some days we just hung out. I have never seen my kids so relaxed or just having fun. They were happy, really happy. I think we all worry about our kids everyday and then sometimes you look at them and know they are really happy. I got to sit and watch them and just relax.

So yes, we get re-dos in life and second chances. We get a second chance to do it again.. maybe different or better this time. Maybe things weren’t as clear the first time or maybe you didn’t have the confidence at that time….but in the end take your second chance.

-Snarky Divorced Gal

Single Mom’s Mother’s Day

What do you think of when you hear “Mother’s Day”? Mom sleeping in, breakfast in bed or brunch at her favorite restaurant, a day of being pampered and spoiled? That’s what I think of …… but I’m learning that I need to stop having expectations and just embrace what is in front of me.

Last year, I most likely had that opening vision for my Mother’s Day. Instead, my youngest daughter woke me up at 6:00 in the morning and asked me what we were having for breakfast. Good question…. We didn’t really have anything at home because I normally go grocery shopping on Sunday mornings. After waiting a little while, I realized that I needed to get out of bed and get dressed and make my way to the store. I drove to the store to pick up some breakfast items. While I was checking out, I noticed that most of the people in the store at that early hour were dads and their kids buying last-minute cards and gifts for the moms in their lives. Let me just tell you that I was more than a little irritated and depressed that I, the mom, was at the store buying items for our Mother’s Day breakfast. On the way home, I decided to treat myself with a Starbucks coffee to go.  When I got home, my kids could sense my irritation, so they told me to go to my room, shut the door and relax. The girls decided to bring me breakfast in bed and we ended up having a fun day. Our friends called and asked if we wanted to join them for lunch and a hike, which we did, and the girls gave me presents that they made/bought with their dad.

I admit that I feel bad for getting irritated and feeling sorry for myself; it probably sounds really selfish. But, it taught me that I need to learn to not have expectations about holidays/events, because I tend to get disappointed. As a single mom, it’s not realistic to think that I can have an entire day of doing nothing. But I can learn to embrace what is and enjoy things as they come, rather than trying to make events live up to some fantasy that I’ve created in my head or seen on TV.

If I could take this lesson and apply it to all areas of my life, I would probably be a much happier person. So, for this Mother’s Day, I am going to challenge myself to let my expectations go and just enjoy the weekend with my girls. One of the things I love as a mom is to watch my girls do the things that they enjoy, so I’m going to remember this as I watch my oldest play in a tennis tournament and as I watch my youngest play in her soccer game and attend a friend’s birthday party. They don’t stay this age long, so I have to enjoy it while I can.

Being a mom is a tough job and being a single mom is tougher than I could have imagined, but I love my girls so much and could not imagine life without them. I remember when they were babies and there were times when I would look at them and cry because I loved them so much. And, just last week, after my oldest daughter had a disappointment, I couldn’t help but cry because I know how hard she works and hate to see her suffer. Or the pride I feel when I see them accomplish something amazing. Or hearing my youngest daughter tell her sister, “Good morning beautiful” when she sees her in the morning. Every day as a mom brings something new and sometimes it’s an emotional roller coaster and every year seems to go faster than the last one …. but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

So, here’s hoping that I can let go of what I think Mother’s Day should be and just enjoy it for what it is this year. And, here’s to all the moms out there – I hope you enjoy your day, however you decide to celebrate.

~Laxmi~

Finding Time For Self Care

 

Finding time for self care is difficult. As single working mothers we can all reach that point of just one more thing going side ways and we will explode. It can be as small as spilling the last of the coffee or as big as our main mode of transportation breaking down on the way to work in the middle of winter.

The fact is as working mothers we carry a lot of expectations on our shoulders. Our own and societies. We are supposed to not only juggle the children with all their wants and needs and have a perfectly balanced “normal” family, Perfectly balanced with our jobs bills and other responsibilities all while looking like runway models! Top that with anyone who struggles with any chronic major health issues and its enough to make any person break.

We as mothers some times forget self care, or chalk it up to a want instead of the need it really is. Mental and physical self care keep us going through the ups and downs of the single parent life. Self care looks different to each person. One mom might find having a glass or two of wine while relaxing in the tub as self care while another might find going out to a noon showing at the movie theater  alone while the kids are at school as the the ultimate mental vacation from life.

I have met many moms that shrugged it off because of time.  There is many ways to fit in self care time. For instance if you cannot fathom taking a day or even a afternoon to your self try setting aside 10-30 minutes before bed. Pop in some relaxing music and soak in the tub or watch your favorite show.

If you have to literally schedule your personal time in, do it! No matter what your self care is, please remember yourself. You deserve it, and so does your little family. If your not operating at 100% how can you expect yourself to meet the demands of raising your family? You can’t.

Another form of self care is to evaluate the things that you find completely unbearable in your life but you still put yourself through due to some kind of obligation. Wether it be a job or an event you attend, making yourself miserable isn’t something you should entertain. Look at your options, if you can’t stand your job, what are your options to expanding avenues to employment? In life we are only limited to what we tell ourselves we are limited to. It’s ok to be temporarily stuck but there are always way to grow and work towards the life you want. With mindfulness, adequate self care and determination there isn’t a single thing we cannot accomplish.

 

-Always be unapologetically yourself

Ali

Time For Yourself-Here We Go AGAIN!

Taking time for yourself…we’ve talked and talked and talked…..about this so many times before. I just don’t know that I can stress how important that is. And feel like it’s something that should be discussed repeatedly until each and everyone is doing so!

I use to read, and read ALOT! I don’t use a tablet(although I tried) and nothing beats the smell and feel of a book. I would go to the library 2-3 times a week and check out 5-6 books at a time.Even with having 3 children! I am a fast reader, and most of what I read I skim read. It takes no time for me to get through an entire book. I have a little rule when I check out books: 1 book for knowledge, and the rest for entertainment purposes.  My book reading was always my “movies”. And when it comes to my knowledge book they can range anywhere from a self help, history,… to a personal memoir.

My point in all this is that I noticed when I started taking my personal inventory a bit back that I had begun to use Netflix and social media as a form of enjoyment and quit reading all together…I am not sure why…I was never much on TV programs and watched movies with my family. Now I was binge watching shows, and constantly checking out what there was for new movies. Instead of reading before bed to wind down I was scrolling my social media accounts. Now-social media is what I do, it’s what help pays my bills, it’s my “bread & butter” so as you can imagine I view social media alllllll day as it is! Social Media is a great tool and a great way to meet up with old friends and new. I work alone in my office most days for 9+ hours a day, and have little to no contact to the “outside world”. I feel like my personal accounts keep me in touch with what is going on in the world, my family and friends afar, etc….I won’t be giving that up but I will be reading more. It’s what I enjoy, it’s always been what I like to do and I am not sure why I stopped reading…at this point it doesn’t matter why I stopped. I enjoy it and it’s for me! Taking care of me! Because, how can I be good for anyone else if I am not good for myself? Don’t give up the things you enjoy because there isn’t enough time in the day…make time…5, 10, 30 minutes. Whatever amount of time have you need to do it for YOU! YOU deserve it.

Do we have any book lovers out there?  I would love to hear any suggestions on titles that you would have 🙂

 

Love to All-

Kim

Self-Care On The Daily To Do List

 

Self-care is one of the most important things on my daily “to-do” list.  I rush around every day preparing breakfast, packing lunches, ensuring there are after school snacks in the house, checking homework, running kids to practices, making supper, shooing them into the shower, chasing them to brush their teeth and making sure they both have something clean AND wrinkle free to wear the next day. Be sure to insert 9+ hours of work and 2+ hours of housework into that timeline.  THIS is my daily routine with the exception of ONE thing.  Although that small thing may only last 5-10 minutes each day-it keeps me grounded and stress and anxiety at a minimum.  The days I have slacked (and there are very few) on self care aka “Me Time” is more than noticeable to those around me, in my performance, my attitude and with my children.

Depending on the season, my mood, my finances…my daily self-care ritual is always changing.  It doesn’t have to be expensive to get some quality “Me Time” but if given the opportunity to spend some money on yourself, please don’t hesitate. I used to fight with myself on spending a few dollars on getting my nails done, or on that mascara I have wanted for months, those leggings that are my favorite color and would go great with the top that I already have.  I then decided there was no point in the guilt of occasionally purchasing something for myself when my children have all their needs met and some of their wants, the bills are paid, some money in savings etc. Those $15 leggings end up being worth their weight in gold due to the way they make me feel!

In the real world most of us don’t have the opportunity very often to spend that extra $15 so I have found ways to self care on a budget that work just as well and maybe better.

*Reading 10 minutes of the book you’ve been wanting to start.

*Favorite cream in my cup of coffee.

*Writing myself a “love” note and sticking it on my mirror.

*Making sure I too have fresh and wrinkle free clothes in the morning.

*Waking up earlier than the rest of the house and drinking my COFFEE in quiet.

*Picking Lilacs from our bush and giving some to the neighbor or a friend.

*Listening to really loud music in the car on your way to work.

*Painting my fingernails/toenails a funky color.

*Homemade facial mask.  See some of my favorites here.

*Applying my make-up in a new way.

*Go for a walk

*Youtube Zumba workout

Honestly, they all seem like simple things and they really are but when it comes to your mental and physical health-that is something you just can’t put a price on.

I would love to hear some of your ideas on self-care, I am always looking for ways to improve mine.  You can comment here or email me kim@fortunatopartners.com

***PSA from Noelle

In order to populate the blog daily with new content my Staff will be joining me in writing blog posts each week, Kim (VP of Special Projects) and Kirsten (Director of Operations) will be sharing their insights and words of wisdom with you as well.  These are people dear to my heart and I trust that what they share with you will be useful and insightful.  We will label the blog posts from now on with the author so that you are clear on WHO wrote WHAT.  Thanks.  – Noelle

Posted by Kim (VP of Special Projects)