Tag Archives | motherhood and parenting

5 Mantras for Mamas

We all have those moments, right? Our child talks back, or hits someone (maybe us). We fumble our coffee cup and it crashes to the floor, spraying that precious liquid everywhere. The cat throws up in the middle of the kitchen and then we step in it. Our child whines, “I’m bored,” or “Can I watch TV?” for the 11 millionth time since breakfast.

In those moments, it is so easy to lose it. It is those moments that cause me to yell, stomp, make threats. Those are the ones that crack me.

But when I catch myself just before the cracking happens and use a mama mantra to center myself, I can unwind myself and make a better choice of response. One I won’t regret in the next instant.

Sometimes we all need a reset button. Use these mama mantras for when you are struggling with a situation and need to calm down and focus.

How do I do that? First, I take a breath. Taking a breath always helps. Second, I find a mantra that will take me out of the moment and into a calmer place. Once I’m in that calmer place, I can choose how I want to respond, not just respond without thinking.

What’s a mantra?

Originally from spiritual traditions, a mantra is a series of words or sounds intended to align the practitioner with the divine.…

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One small moment of connection

When I want to connect with my child, one small moment can make all the difference. :: www.nurturedmama.netI want to remember that small moment last night when I rose above my frustration, exhaustion and distraction and said to her, “What will help? What will help you hear me? Because I’m feeling really frustrated right now.”

“You can say, ‘I love you, Stella,’” she said.

I know that won’t help the real problem, which is that it is the end of that hard year for our family, and I’ve been sick so much that I’ve lost some authority and she’s practicing being almost 5 by choosing to ignore me sometimes just to see what will happen. The real problem is that I’m tired and my attention is on healing and finding the threads of my life again. My attention is mostly not on the subtle nuances of parenting this small person who is learning to be independent. My attention is needed so many other places, so I’ve been letting it drift away from her until there’s a battle to fight, and then I come in stomping and laying down the law. I set consequences for failing to pick up the pink and green Legos from the living room floor at bedtime, or all of the tiny cut up pieces of paper strewn across the dining room table so we can sit down and have a meal as a family, because we missed so many meals together when I was laid up on the couch during chemo and this is important to me.…

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I Know A Mama

I know a mama who is all of us. :: www.nurturedmama.net

I know a mama who felt complete when she became a mother, even though she thought she felt complete before.

I know a mama who feels lost in her life at home with small children after she gave up her career to be there.

I know a mama who tries every day to be the kind of woman she hopes her daughter will grow up to be and every night that mama lays awake detailing all the ways she failed.

I know a mama who pays for childcare just to get some time alone.

I know a mama who can’t afford childcare, who is launching a small business while her children build Lego spaceships around her feet and watch more TV than she wants to admit.

I know a mama who thinks she’s too tired for sex every night, until he kisses her like that and changes her mind.

I know a mama who hasn’t had sex since before her toddler was born and is relieved that he’s stopped asking.

I know a mama who stands in the world a warrior, who is raising two wild boys with her heart wide open. Those boys will be lucky to find partners who will parent their own children that way, and those partners will be lucky to be loved by those boys who were taught to love with their hearts wide open.…

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What Will I Remember?

What will I remember from these years, this moment? The hard or the beautiful? Will I remember it when I need it most? :: www.nurturedmama.net

I wonder what I’ll remember? Will it be simply that the Spring time change is something I loathe with a particular passion? Will I remember why?

Will I remember how she stuck her fingers in her ears and scowled at me from her car seat while we were driving home from the pleasant two hours at Hakone Gardens, a break from the otherwise angry day we had spent together so far? “I don’t want to hear this music. It hurts my ears.”

Will I remember how I said, “Suck it up, I’m tired of all the things you don’t like today,” and then turned the music up a little louder to drown my frustration?

Will I remember how I realized I didn’t really like that music either, but hell no I was not going to turn it off after putting my foot down about it and I made us both listen to the whole album?

Or will I remember the moment in her room that night, after I turned off the iPhone with the playlist she’d borrowed from her dad, which music that was decidedly not sleepy music and she screamed and kicked at me and I used that low voice I’ve only used a handful of times in my life and never to her to say, “Stay.…

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5 Books For Creative Mamas

5 Books For Creative Mamas

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There used to be a huge Barnes & Noble bookstore a short drive from my office, back when I still worked in an office. On the days when I just had to escape the world of tech and management to reconnect with my creative artist heart, I’d go there on my lunch break and wander the aisles. Usually I’d end up in what I thought of as the creativity corner. Three shelves intersected there. One shelf held the art biographies, and books on art technique, graphic design and typography. Another had crafts – from wood working to knitting and quilting – and the third had the books that were harder to classify: How to get unstuck, how to keep an art journal, 100 ideas for things to draw.

I loved that corner, and over time quite a few of those books came home with me.

Here are 5 of the books I’ve turned to over and over, especially since leaving the corporate world and becoming a mother.…

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Find Your Moments Of Grace

Find Your Moments Of Grace :: nurturedmama.net

photo credit: jared via photopin cc

We’ve had stuff going on behind the scenes here lately. Some tough stuff, some just busy stuff. The tough stuff has included a week (and counting)of a cold for Mama that just won’t let go.

Thankfully, and somewhat unfortunately, this cold passed right over Bean and she didn’t have any symptoms. So while I’ve been coughing myself awake for nights running, nursing a sinus headache, sounding  like a frog and downing cup after cup of tea, she’s been lively and full of energy.

This mama is exhausted trying to keep up with her.

When Mama’s exhausted, things start to unravel. When I’m not on top of picking up the house, it starts to feel like the clutter is taking over. When I’m not on top of our schedule, we are constantly running late and I’m juggling trying to reschedule and un-conflict the conflicts. There has been too much TV and and too much bargaining over TV and far too many times I hear myself saying “I don’t want to have to say this again…” and too many tears – both hers and mine.

On one particularly hard day last week, it felt like every single interaction was a fight.…

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How To Be A Passionate Mama

How To Be A Passionate Mama :: NurturedMama.net

photo credit: BenRo3 via photopin cc

This week I went to see Sting and Paul Simon perform together. Seeing Sting perform live was a long-standing entry on my bucket list.

It was a great show – both artists are incredible and have rich and diverse musical careers individually. It was wonderful to see them each perform each other’s songs and witness their obvious respect for each other and love of music and performing.

But the thing that struck me most about this concert was the band. Behind Sting and Paul Simon were a dozen other musicians, and each of them played several instruments each. They didn’t just dabble in a few instruments, they played each of them well enough to back up Sting and Paul Simon.

And they were having a blast. The violinist played with such intensity that he was shredding his bow. The accordion player was doing a 2nd line shuffle every time I looked at his corner of the stage. One band member switched from cello to electric guitar to recorder and had a special stand so he could play measures on a tenor sax without taking off his guitar. The three (!) percussionists were laughing and egging each other on during one particularly notable rhythm-section solo.…

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10 Things Moms Should Stop Doing

10 Things Moms Should Stop Doing | Nurturedmama.net

Are you tired of the lists of things you should be doing better, larger, or more of in your life?  I’ve got you covered. Here are 10 things you can stop doing right now.

 

Saying “I should…” about anything.

If your hear yourself saying a sentence that begins with the words, “I should…” I’m betting you don’t really want to do that thing. You feel obligated to, or you think someone else wants you to do it. If you hear yourself saying, “I should…” stop and decide if that is something you really need to do. When I do things that started with “I should…” I almost always end up resenting them.

If you say, “I should really do the laundry,” when your kids are begging you to come play, go play instead. The laundry will still be there in an hour. If you say, “I should really join this committee at my son’s school,” consider what else you might do with that time that would better feed your heart instead.

 

Eating off your kid’s plate.

In our house, the kid eats the same food the adults do, so at least I’m not tempted by butter pasta leftovers.…

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Become a Better Mother by Committing to the Practice

Have you ever had a day when you just want to quit? It all felt too hard, you didn’t know how to make it better, you were exhausted. Have you ever hit that gravely low place of “I’m just not a good enough mom?” I think all moms feel this – sometimes even daily.

There’s no way to measure whether you are good enough or not. I can tell you all day that you are a great mom, but if you don’t believe me, you don’t believe me. What you really need is a way to trust in yourself, moment by moment, that you are being the person that you want to be with your kids. When you have that trust, you can stop questioning yourself. You can recognize the tough moments for what they are – just a moment – and re-calibrate by apologizing or trying again.

When I was new to Pilates I remember a day when class felt particularly tough. I couldn’t finish any exercise.  My neck was hurting, I couldn’t hold imprint, I couldn’t do as many repeats as the instructor was leading us to do.  Halfway through the class I heard myself thinking, “I’m never doing this again.”

What was wrong with me?…

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Mama, You Are So Brave

Mama, you are so brave. Brave in everything you do. :: www.nurturedmama.net

photo credit: mcdarius via photopin cc

This week I have been bowled over by the simple bravery it takes to be a mother.

The bravery to drop off your child at a daycare or a school and trust that they will be safe. The bravery to encourage those first tottering steps when you know that falling is inevitable. When you know the walking will take them away from you and eventually into their own separate lives. The bravery to restrain a kicking and screaming toddler in the grocery store checkout line. The bravery to carry life in your belly, not knowing who that person will be or how their life will turn out. The bravery to stay calm when your baby comes to you bleeding, literally or figuratively. The bravery to get up every morning and do it all over again.

This bravery, I think, is far too often unmentioned.

So this week, tell your mama friends you think they are brave, even when they aren’t doing anything extraordinary. And also when they are.

When you see a stranger mama who looks like she needs a kind word, tell her she’s amazing.…

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