Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bad Mommy

I was a bad mommy this week. I actually sent my son to school without lunch, without snack and without his schoolwork. Why? Because it’s his responsibility, not mine.

I know, I know, he’s only a child, he can’t keep up with all these things all the time. But my thought is, why not? I think he should be able to remember without 16 reminders. Furthermore, am I doing him any favors by giving him 16 reminders?

The “mommy to the rescue” approach was not building any worthwhile qualities in myself or my son. After all, the school years are truly about teaching children preparedness for life. Planning ahead, problem solving and the consequences of forgetting your backpack are also part of the learning.

Lately I have been noticing all the little ways I have made myself a slave to my child’s needs. I was doing things for him that he can very well do himself. The greater mommy lesson is I was robbing my child a learning opportunity by doing everything for him. Snowplowing my child’s path wasn’t contributing to his sense of confidence or independence.

As I dropped my son off empty handed and he tried bravely to wipe away his tears, my heart broke for him. To face a full day without his schoolwork, without a snack and lunch might seem pretty scary to him. But I was confident that it would take only take one time of forgetting for this lesson to take hold.

I knew the school wouldn’t let him go hungry. I knew his teachers would help him along. But I wanted him to know certain things are up to him. If it takes the bad mommy to show my son how capable and smart and wise he is, so be it. Because I know he is. And now he does too.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Defunkify Thyself

I've been in a funk lately.

I'm not sure why or what it is about. Call it post-break blues or pollen brain. Whatever the name, for some reason I have been struggling with my attitude and spark for life. I can't even blame it on anything good like Seasonal Affective Disorder or the winter blues. I just feel funky.

So in an effort to defunkify, I have decided to make a list of good ideas to improve my cause. In other words, I'm trying to write myself out of my funk. We'll see if it works. Maybe you have some suggestions too -- please pass them along. Hopefully this too shall pass.

My Best Ideas to Get Out of a Funk


Walk, run, bike, anything. Even if it's a walk around the yard, movement is key.

Get the junk out.

Clearing away the outside clutter is a nice way of also clearing away inside clutter. Set a goal to get rid of three things a day for a week.


Literally. Try doing everything different for awhile. Take a new route home, say yes if you always say no, find a new hangout, wear different clothes.

Eat Really Well.

Your mom called, she said to eat your vegetables.

Treat Yourself.

What would be a small thing that would make you smile? For me, it's firecracker pops. You know, those red, white and blue popsicles that everyone eats for the Fourth of July? I just ate one yesterday with the neighborhood kids on the back porch on a sunny day. I felt like I was 12 ready to take a spin on my 10-speed bike.

Hang out with people that love you.

These are the kind of friends that you can say "tell me three things that you like about me right now." Everyone should have at least one person who can give you real encouragement. If you don't have that, imagine your Creator whispering in your ear and reminding you of your gifts and talents.


Go ahead, rent your favorite movies that make you laugh. I love watching When Harry Met Sally or Pretty Woman or even The Sound of Music. Renew your happiness quotient with your favorite funnies.

Be a Slug.

A "do-nothing" day can do wonders for the soul. A day where you get to stay in your jammies, eat pizza or whatever you love. Read the entire paper, get lost in a book, meditate, pray or lay around. The day is your gift. Give yourself permission to do whatever you want, even if it is absolutely nothing.

Do Something You Really Love.

What makes your heart sing? Do that thing. Maybe it's gardening, golf, painting, going to exotic restaurants, having a lovely cup of coffee while staring at art. Whatever your fancy, commit to finding time for that one thing you love every day. Even if it's just scheduling it, thinking about it, reading or learning more about it. Keep your passions alive, they are what define your soul.