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Category 'parenting'

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OnlineOrganizing.com : Featured Author

OnlineOrganizing.com

Yay! My article entitled “What Is My Job Description, Anyway?” was featured in this month’s issue of the “Get Organized” Online Newsletter!

… and don’t forget to check out all the other helpful articles in this month’s issue that focus on Organizing for the Busy BEE Mom — New Parents Organization!

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Seminar : Get Organized, Mom!

Westport Road Church of Christ

Join me on Friday at the Westport Road Church of Christ in Louisville, KY for my all-time favorite organizing presentation for the Mom2Mom Kick-Off Event!

What: “Get Organized, Mom!” Seminar
When: Friday, August 26th @ 6:30pm
Where: Westport Road Church of Christ, Louisville, KY [ map ]
Cost: Free!

Being a mom is the single most challenging (and most rewarding) 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year, entire-lifetime experience. Getting some help along the way as your children grow—infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and beyond—is simply the smart thing to do!

I will share plenty of practical tips and ideas including how to:

  • keep track of everyone’s schedule,
  • manage the influx of household paperwork,
  • store clothes, toys, art supplies, and sports gear,
  • stay organized as the needs of your family change, and
  • cultivate your marriage and personal interests (guilt-free).

Bonus: There will be plenty of door prizes, handouts, and ideas to take home!

I can hardly wait! Hope to see you there!

Michelle's Signature
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Mommy Brag : Kindergarten Graduation !!

Can you believe it? Just yesterday (wasn’t it?), Amanda started Kindergarten… and now the school year is over! She officially graduated this morning!

Kindergarten Graduation - Amanda

Earlier this week, I was treated to a special preview… an ultra-exclusive solo performance of the ceremony’s graduation songs! (The photo below was captured during the so-called “sign language song” at graduation this morning. Such a sweetie!)

Kindergarten Graduation - Songs

I’m so happy that the photo of Amanda with her Kindergarten teacher, Ms. Hillman, turned out fairly well… it’ll soon find its home in Amanda’s “memory box.”

Amanda & Ms. Hillman

…and to think we just got our school routine figured out! Oh, well… at least we’re ready for first grade, right? 😉

Michelle's Signature
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Don’t Be a Martyr, Mom !!

Superwoman
Photo Source: Hans Vandenberg
This past weekend, I found myself watching a marathon of House reruns and was truly inspired by something that Wilson said to Cuddy in Season 5, Episode 12 (Painless). Allow me to set the scene for you…

 

* * * WARNING: LONG POST * * *
[ but well worth the read! ]

The hospital administrator, Cuddy, is an unmarried middle-aged career woman who has been longing to have a baby. Without a man in the picture, she has decided to adopt. By Episode 6 (Joy), arrangements have been made, expenses have been covered, stage set for a picture perfect adoption… and then the young troubled birth mother chooses to keep her baby, leaving Cuddy completely and utterly heartbroken.

Fast forward to Episode 11 (Joy to the World). After cataloging her symptoms and conducting several tests, House diagnoses a young overweight teenage girl with leukemia. Back in his office, while House shares the story of his “virgin” clinic patient, Cuddy realizes that the young girl’s symptoms are more likely the result of eclampsia, a complication of pregnancy.

The scared, guilt-ridden teenager had kept her pregnancy a secret under baggy clothes, unexpectedly given birth to a premature baby, and then abandoned the infant near a local soup kitchen. Cuddy went out to look for the body, only to find that the baby had actually survived thanks to the homeless couple who found her.

Both the teenagers and their parents decided that it was simply too painful to keep the baby, so they opted to put her up for adoption. Cuddy touched base with her lawyer, got approved to be a foster parent (who could later adopt), and took the baby home.

Finally, we get to Episode 12 (and, yes, I really do have a point to all this… ;)). Cuddy has been struggling to balance her sanity, her career, and her new baby. While she attempts to tidy up the house (and console the baby), the doorbell rings. Her caseworker has arrived early to do the mandatory foster home inspection! Cuddy is horrified!

The caseworker quickly looks around and glances into the other rooms, making notations on his clipboard. All the while, Cuddy rambles on and on, apologizing for her messy home, her busy work schedule, and her incompetence as a new mom.

The caseworker finally manages to interrupt her and says, “Dr. Cuddy, you’ve got sufficient income, a high degree of personal and professional stability, and you care enough to be embarrassed by what a mess this place is… Believe me, that puts you head and shoulders above most of the foster moms I visit.” (scary thought, isn’t it?)

As the episode ends, Wilson stops by to visit Cuddy and the new baby. Cuddy tells Wilson that she passed the home inspection but is disappointed that she failed by her own standards. Then, (this is the important part!) Wilson asks why women as a whole are always creating these ridiculous standards that no human being could possibly ever meet.

He goes on to say that any man, in the same situation, would have at least two assistants at work, a maid, a cook, a nanny, and a wife at home. Wilson tells Cuddy that she needs to be more like a man and get some help.

“Give yourself a break. You’re not Superwoman. Don’t be a martyr!”

Wow. So poignant.

Really, why is it that, as moms, we are so terribly critical of ourselves? If you’re a stay-at-home mom, you feel guilty that you should be working and contributing more to the family financially. If you’re a work-outside-the-home mom, you feel guilty that you should be at home raising your little ones. Each of us envies the other.

“I stress out over my messy house. I hate it when friends and family are ‘in the neighborhood’ and just ‘drop by’ unannounced. I never have time enough to keep the house clean. I don’t spend enough quality time with my kids. I feel like I’m letting my husband down. I wouldn’t know what to do if I had a full day all to myself. I don’t even know what I like anymore.”

“Why can’t I get the laundry folded and put away before I have to wash everything again? Why can’t I keep my cool at the library like those other moms? Why can’t my kids be mindful and well-behaved like the ones we saw at the grocery store this morning? Why can’t I just be happy with my life? There must be something wrong with me!”

OK. You get the point, I’m sure. Now, let’s look at things from another perspective. Your very best friend in the world has confided in you all her deepest insecurities. You’re going to tell her there’s something wrong with her, right? . . . Didn’t think so. Why is it, then, that we think it’s OK to say these things to ourselves? It’s NOT!

Remember, we only get to see a tiny snippet of another mom’s life. We never get to see the whole picture. Every woman feels inadequate in her mothering in one way or another, at one time or another. So, please, don’t be a martyr… recognize your own limitations and get help when and where you need it. I dare you!

And, please go easy on the other moms who cross your path each day. They’re dealing with their own insecurities. They don’t need your judgment… they need your help! So, next time you see a struggling mom, offer her a hand. I double dare you!

What are your thoughts? How have you grown to accept your shortcomings as a mom? How has your perspective changed since The Before Kids Time?

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Simplifying : Needs vs. Luxuries

Simplicity
Photo Source: Will Lion

This whole semi-new “single-mom-trying-to-turn-her-lifelong-passion-into-a-viable-full-time-business-and-pinch-pennies-at-the-same-time” thing is definitely something that I could do without! But, as one of my good friends always says, “It is what it is…” (and it has been quite an adjustment, that’s for sure!)

How interesting (…major understatement…) it has been to be forced to choose which of life’s necessities should be paid for this month. Until now, I never fully realized just how many things I have always taken for granted…

Anyway, in light of these unplanned changes in my life and family and home over the past year-and-a-half, I now meticulously scrutinize every single expenditure like I never have before. And, I have come to realize that, aside from the love of family and friends, what Amanda and I truly need boils down to this: car, apartment, electricity, water, medications, and groceries. So, that’s where the money goes right now… absolute necessities only!

Sure, all the “no’s” that Amanda gets from me are tough (on both of us!), but I have no doubt that the time and attention and love that I am investing in my daughter today will reap far greater rewards in the years to come!

So, what about you? Are there things in your life that you could do without? I challenge you to take a moment today to reflect on the true essentials in your life, and I dare you to let go of the rest!

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Michelle is obviously an experienced facilitator. I have a Master's Degree in Rhetoric and taught at the University level for a few years—I really thought she gracefully led the seminar rather than just conducted it.

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