Sunday, May 22, 2011

Do you have GREEN eyes?

Do you look at the lives of others and wonder why they have “that” life? Do you compare your life to friends and family members? Do you ask “why can’t my children act that way?” or Do you ask “How did she get him?”

 If so, you may have GREEN eyes. Green eyes as in green with envy.

 Envy, for most is considered a bad thing, but I see that greenish tint in your eyes as an opportunity for growth. There are some people who want to be envied. They want you to wish you had their life. They are hoping you are somewhere “hating” on them.

 Then you run into people you genuinely admire….okay…maybe envy. These are the folks make you feel good about you when you are in their presence. They are hoping your life is as great as their life.
If you know others look up to you  it is important to be kind to others. You want to make sure you inspire others because  you never know who is watching you.

If you have GREEN eyes  you can have everything they have and more. REALLY, YOU ASK? Sure…..
 Being GREEN gives you the chance to dream.

 This a chance to re-evaluate your life. The purpose is not to be like that person but to be a better you.
Taking the chance to dream for a mother may include re-evaluating your parenting style. I have heard that imitation is the best form of flattery. GREEN dreaming can give you a chance to watch and learn about being a better mother, friend, or wife.

 Everyone has an area in life that you want to improve. Be it work, home, family, weight, parenting, or lifestyle changes. You cannot continue doing what you have been doing and get a different result. NO…NOPE…NOT GONNA WORK.

If this person is willing to help you, ask them to help you reach whatever your goal may be. Ask them how they got where they are in life.  Know that with all the success you see there have been great sacrifices made.You don’t have to recreate the wheel…walk in someone else’s footprints.

 Don’t be afraid to have GREEN eyes and dream. Reach beyond your comfort zone and try something different. Who knows…someone may envy you.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Falling From Grace

All children are born loving their mother. Somewhere between birth and high school every mother will fall off that pedestal. It is inevitable. We will make mistakes. We will have “uh-oh” moments and “oopsies” along the way.

So when did I fall from grace?

Girls want to know the details. “What was your first date like with daddy?” “When did you have your first boyfriend?” ”Did you graduate from college?” ”When was your first kiss?” “Did you have fights with your friends in school?” and list goes on and on….

For example, I remember when my daughters began to realize I was a teenage mother. Once they learned to add and subtract, I knew it was coming so what did I do? I had to talk about how having a child changed me. And then there is the reality of sex. My daughters know that I was a sexually active teen. So then there are additional questions and talks that came with that reality also.

This is the mistake I made.

When my daughters began to ask questions and probe into my obstacles, I felt hurt. I thought they were judging me. I felt attacked and sometimes criticized. But now, I realize that it was none of those things. My daughters were trying to renegotiate our relationship. They were trying to get to know me. They were asking how I got over my poor choices and continued to live my life. They were looking for me to comfort them through their mistakes.

For my “girls”, as I call them, I am a women teaching them to be women in a very “real world”. I see things that a father can’t see. I make sure to teach and train. But in those times of teaching and training I forgot to tell them how I overcame and “kept my life moving” after I made a bad choice or hit a stumbling block.  They needed to see me as a women and not a perfect mother.

When you make mistakes in life, and I have made some big ones, you have to keep living. The same is true for parenting. When I make mistakes, say so but keep it moving. You may have to apologize and have a few discussions on the topic. That is just life. Is that not the goal- to teach and train?

I have to open the door for my daughters to be honest with me by being more open with them about my life’s experiences. I don’t share all the details but I do talk more openly than before.

For some people, it may be addiction or abuse. The list of obstacles can go on for miles but the need to understand who our mothers are is the same for every girl.

What did I learn?

I have not fallen from grace. I am still and always will be their mother. I am a human being and not perfect. I had to get over myself and all the fear, hurt and anxiety that comes with falling from my own pedestal. Once I forgave myself, I could really open up and talk about how I moved forward.

Talking about your obstacles allows your daughter to not expect to be perfect, permission to be human and make mistakes.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

When “Mean Girls” Grow Up

We have seen and known children have been bullied for years. But what about adults? Mean girls grow up and become mean women. Bullying boys become bullying men.

 When mean girls grow up they are the women who create hostile work environments. These same women are the women that dare you to be yourself at home, at work, or at play. The walk around  looking “mad” for no reason. They lie and create chaos. These women doubt everyone’s actions and motives.

Truthfully, can you blame them for being mean?

Mean women  are a result of what we don’t tell them when they are mean little girls. If this behavior is not addressed and corrected very early it only gets worse.

Are you a grown up “mean girl”?

 Do you watch other people and only find fault in them?
Do you look at other women and roll your eyes?
Are you irritated by people who are individuals?
Are you the person that others are afraid of crossing?
Do you apologize when you are wrong?
Do people feel comfortable approaching you?
Do others fear you or respect you?
Do you want others to fear you?

 If you are a grown up version of a mean girl, you are increasing the chances that your daughter will be a mean girl. Parents have to make sure not to be bullies to their children. Children are taught how to treat others. It is a mother and father’s responsibility to make sure that the children know how to be good friends.You have the power to change this behavior in yourself and in your daughter(s).

Try a few simple  changes:

Ask yourself “why am I mean?”- Be Honest!
Become more understanding
Respect people’s right to be different
Smile at people when they approach you
Speak in a kind tone of voice
Ask your friends for honest feedback
If you have “mean” friends, make new friends
Talk to your daughter(s) about what you are trying to change
Ask them to help you

We will never rid the world of mean people. But, we all have “light bulb” moments in our life. I have learned that making a few changes in my thinking and behavior helps other people treat me better.

I am constantly learning to self evaluate. It is okay for my daughters to see me growing and ever evolving as a women. It shows them I can be vulnerable and I am not perfect. Watching me tackle big issues and talking about it gives them permission to do the same.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Life with Charlotte!: Parenting: Routine Check Ups

Life with Charlotte!: Parenting: Routine Check Ups: "When you start a job you have to go to a training. The training is about helping you and the company becomes more productive. I feel the s..."

Parenting: Routine Check Ups

When you start a job you have to go to a training. The training is about helping you and the company becomes more productive. I feel the same way about parenting classes and training. I go to parenting classes yearly ( for check ups) so I can get better and be the best for my child(ren).  I know, as some of you roll your eyes, it sounds crazy.

Why do I need someone to tell me how to raise my children?

I felt guilty because I needed the help. I felt ashamed because I must be doing something wrong. Right ? wrong!

First, I had to decide and make up my mind to take the classes. So I made the call. It was  a small fee ($15.00) and I have found others for free. I signed up and showed up- another big step. I talked myself out of it several times before the start of the class, saying “Oh, I am fine” or ‘ I don’t need any help- she’s just a baby.” So I got the courage up and I went to the first class.

WOW! The room was full.

I realized was that I am not alone. There are other families and mothers who are frustrated and at their wits end about one or more children they are raising. They are afraid for many different reasons but they want and need some practical advice. Or…..they want to  the best parent they can be so they enrolled to help prevent, as much as possible, problems in the long run.  We shared our experiences and  I felt stronger just being around them.

What have parenting classes taught me?

  1. Parenting is a learned behavior. We learn to parent from our parents. That’s great!- If you have perfect parents. I don’t know a perfect parent. Do you?
  2. Parenting classes are about me and not my children. I could not change my children but I could react different to my children.  
  3. I learned to know my limits and how to ask for help. There are Social Workers and therapist usually teaching the class.
  4. My children appreciate it. They know I want to be the best mother I can for them.

Classes or No classes? I realize everyone can’t go to five week long classes. Not everyone wants to be in a classroom setting or to connect with other mothers. So then what?

I read a lot of parenting material. There are books, local magazines and Internet articles on parenting. Yes… it helps.

I also subscribe to emails and newsletters about parenting so I can simply have reminders of some good techniques.

For more in-depth help, You Tube/Google parenting techniques or call your school counselor for step-by-step things to do.

But don’t be afraid to need the help and get it. It makes you and your family better.