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I just spent three weeks nonstop with my children. Having an
overabundance of unstructured time, visiting family and friends we don't see
regularly, on top of the sentimental reflection that comes with the holidays,
one inescapable fact has landed on me:
I have gotten older.
I don't just mean I've aged. Heck, I can look down at my
hands and see that. I mean, my childhood is now a considerable distance away
from me. Hard as it is to admit, those years referred to as "youth" aren't
that much closer. But this is not all bad news! Why? Because I am taking
a hint from every life coach everywhere and choosing to decide that all this time on planet Earth has given
me some juicy wisdom that I am able to share with you as 2015 unfolds.
To ward off panic and self-loathing from the
incomprehensible speed of the passing of time, and the toll it takes on your
mind and body, I have put together a handy "acceptance and response" checklist
for you (and me, for God's sake) to refer to when we're feeling irritated by
our inability to retain the glow and mental dexterity of a single twentysomething
There will be chin hairs.
And other random hairs growing out of orifices
where you've never seen them before. You are not the only woman to grow
these. As long as they are not sprouting out of your tongue, you're OK. But
to conform to society, and so people are not distracted by them wafting in the
breeze as you run your PTA meetings, you will need to pluck them. Keep a
tweezer on hand at all times. They're mysterious and, like underwear on
the floor, can appear seemingly out of nowhere.
2. In addition to you and
your offspring, your parents will also be growing older.
Taking care of
everyone, particularly at the same time, will often inspire the use of mind-altering substances. Many of them are even legal. I'm speaking of course,
If you try to be Eco Mom
and save a tree by borrowing books instead of buying them, you will forget when
they are due and eventually even lose a library book or two. Pay the fine
quickly. As you sign your name to the check, tell yourself you are making
a contribution to the National Library Association or some organization that
sounds like this.
4. Sometimes it's best to eat your feelings.
spending the day driving small people you either birthed, or agreed to raise,
from one activity to another without a single, unprompted "thank you," when
faced with a clear plastic container holding chocolate-covered anything, it is
likely you will eat the whole darn thing in one sitting. According to my
FB feed, you are not alone. Thank God, you have the rest of your life to go on
a juice fast.
In your efforts to meet all family members' needs first, you will neglect a throbbing tooth long enough that it may turn into a root canal situation.
5. You will learn to make do (and take up the consequences in therapy).
you will get to a swimming pool that is not in your backyard and realize
you've forgotten a bathing suit. Either you, or one of your children, will
be forced to go into the water in a public space in something barely resembling a bathing suit. No
one will care. Except a self-conscious pre-teen, but everyone needs
something to talk about in therapy when they're older.
In your efforts to meet all family members' needs
first, you will neglect a throbbing tooth long enough that it may turn into a
root canal situation. It will be painful, you will dribble latte on your
shirt as milky coffee slips over your anesthetized lip after the appointment. But, you will make your dentist happy.
Turn on your version of an Eminem/Rihanna Pandora station as loud as you want, take off your clothes and dance around naked.
7. You will recognize that your car needs to be washed.
This insight could last for weeks, or months, without affecting your
behavior in the slightest.
And thinner. You
can do stuff to make them look thicker, or you could save yourself the mess and
expense, accept this follicular attrition as biological fact and then celebrate
the only area of your body where you have lost weight effortlessly.
9. After extended periods of time with your family, you
will be desperate for some (any) time alone.
Finally, the day will come when
everyone will either go to work, get on the bus or get dropped off, and you
will get exactly what you want. As the last door closes, placing one of
these terribly draining people firmly on the other side of it, the resultant
silence will take your breath away. Turn on your version of an Eminem/Rihanna
Pandora station as loud as you want, take off your clothes and dance around
naked. Sing all the swear words, really loudly. When it gets a Nicki Minaj song,
turn it off, flop on the couch and decide it's time figure out what you are
going to do for the next 30 years.
Until Bruno Mars comes on, and it's
time to dance again.