I am a Virgo, a natural perfectionist. My life has revolved around organization, details, knowing the answers for everyone, having daily life-COMPLETELY planned out, taking on projects and putting out the BEST results-no matter how long it took.
It’s no different at work, where I make sure all the details have been attended to; from the simplest paperwork to the particulars of a company event, to even the precise planning of an executive’s trip- lord you don’t want your boss to end up in the wrong city on the wrong day!
When I was a stay-at-home mom, the desire to be perfect would come into play when I would have the house constantly picked up-literally, every bottle, toy, and piece of clothing put away; every counter top cleaned and clutter free. I wanted my home to be picture perfect in case of unexpected guests and as a thank you to my husband for his contribution to the family.
In general, I put so much pressure on myself to make sure that whatever I produce is perfect the first time. For many years, without even realizing it, I operated under the title…
“A SUPERWOMAN” /“A SUPERMOM”.
This condition is so prevalent that, for goodness sake they now have definitions in the dictionary for these terms!
su·per·mom noun Informal.
a mother who successfully manages a household
and cares for her children
while holding a job OR being active in her community.
An informal term for a mother
who can combine child care and full-time employment
su·per·wom·en noun, plural
1. A woman of extraordinary or superhuman powers.
2. A woman who copes successfully with the simultaneous demands of a career, marriage, and motherhood.
I now know that this pressure to be perfect came from a subconscious fear of being judged or embarrassed.
Why? Where did this fear come from?
Well, if you think about it, we have all been raised with this fear deep down. It is an unintentional side effect of:
This is simply society’s way of ensuring that we each reach our full potential. Unfortunately, the constructive criticism sometimes comes off too hard, and we hold on to the harsh judgment far longer than the good, in turn producing the fear.
As if the general fear inducing judgment from society isn’t enough, we women constantly have the extra burden to prove that we can do everything, and that we know everything, - ALL at the SAME time!!
Women have struggled for so many generations to get ahead, be equal, and be leaders. And as the overachievers we are- we found multitasking a fundamental basis.
With the accomplishments of many courageous women we have come so far in this world. I thank the women who have taken on the roles to help change how society treats and looks at women. We still have a long way to go, but knowing how far we have come, should give hope to so many.
What I realized is that there is a place in life for healthy criticism. But in the end, if you hold back the authentic you out of fear of being judged, you will only delay your true happiness.
You have to be able to accept the fact that NO ONE is perfect. NO ONE person can do everything or everything right all the time. No one is meant to. If we were perfect- we would not be on this planet working with all the negativity; negativity being Judgment in this case. We are here to collaborate and learn lessons from each other like: patience, understanding, respect, compassion.
By allowing that thought to really sink in, you will experience calm and find a balance to enjoy life. By not placing such high expectations of perfection on yourself, you are less stressed and start to emerge as the authentic person you were meant to be, and this inevitably starts a ripple effect that positively affects others!
The dishes will get done and the clothes will get put away, eventually. But without the stress of self-judgment, you open your life up to being PRESENT in the moment with family and friends. Because the companionship and fellowship with others is truly how we grow and enjoy life.
Much Love and Acceptance.
I have worked in Human Resources and the Executive Office in many different companies over the last 20 years. The one unspoken requirement for those positions is that you cannot share the personal or professional information you are privy to. You are held to a higher standard due to your position. Therefore, you must hold a lot of emotion inside related to what you know.
Realistically, the majority of these positions are held- by women. Women are in Human Resources because we have compassion for employees and their well being at heart. Women are in the Executive Office because we have the strength to handle the demands of a business leader. We are the “rock” in many life situations.
Everyone knows ONE “rock solid” woman in their life. I know I am that for many people in my life and I see women in my life who are that for me.
Like a rock that lasts through the centuries and has survived through all the weather changes, the people that have passed by, or sat by you; you are a solid person who has been strong through it all and supported your family and friends.
Being the “rock” does not mean we are cold and hard either. We are also porous like paper and that softer side makes us compassionate, warm, and grounded. When raising children, we are both the disciplinarian and healer. At work, we’re the professional and friend; in our marriages, we are the partner and the supporter.
Being the rock, by default, keep our emotions hidden so no one sees us as weak. As a result, we never take the time-out to process all that we hold in.
I recently experienced this when I lost several people in my life to death and circumstances- these changes were a surprise. But in the end, I see why they happened. What I came to understand is that when something ends, you MUST allow yourself to grieve.
A Job Ending
A Lost Business
THE CRUSHED SCISSORS
We have a social stigma in our world which upholds that crying shows weakness. This is not truth. If we were not meant to cry-it would not be an emotion that was given to us! God knew we all needed a release. Holding negativity is NOT what being here is about. We are here to fight through negativity and learn.
You must release the pain to allow your body and soul to heal. Crying is one release of the negativity. Who does not feel better after a good cry? Things are clearer since the emotion is released. Women have to do it often for all we hold in. Men should do it MORE often.
Grieving over a loss is ESSENTIAL. NO MATTER WHAT THE LOSS IS!
Until you allow yourself to grieve the loss, and then have the strength to move forward, only THEN will some of the answers come to light. By holding onto the loss and the pain, you are only prolonging the time till you see why it happened.
THE RAIN WILL COME AND GO
Now when you are moving forward, you will find it to be a process. You will have days where you are reminded of the pain and loss, but you have to know that every step you take forward makes the “set back” recovery time shorter.
With my particular experience, I would find myself moving forward with life, and then I would feel the pain again, due to a circumstance that brought it back or just a memory. I would remind myself in that moment, "Yes, I did have a setback today; fine. Tomorrow, I may still be down BUT it will be less than today.” Then with a deep breath, I would keep moving forward.
What I noticed is that when people would ask me how I was doing, I would respond with a % on how much shorter the recovery time from this setback was taking.
“I am recovering at 80% right now.” Whatever mental setback that was would take me say a week to get over. Next time, “I am at 40%” (3-4 days to get over). As more time elapsed, near the end, I was able to say, “I am at 10 or even 5%” (So based on the setback I knew it would take a day or so to get over. And at 2%, now it’s down to hours.
I don’t know that I will ever fully-or should reach 0% but getting to 2% makes life feel so much easier to handle. Because allowing myself to wallow in the pain does no one any good. So the more I can allow myself to grieve, recover, and find a purpose, I can then celebrate the reason it happened. I can celebrate the life of my lost family member and not feel the pain-every time.
The point is, by not putting demands on yourself to suck it up and get over it, you have the opportunity to just take the time and go at your own pace. With the goal of WANTING to heal and move forward, you will find that each time gets easier. Even if you feel you have no one around to support you or who understands what you have been through, remember you are never alone. You have a support group bigger than you can imagine: your guardians, angels, passed loved ones, God. They will help you one day at a time.
It may feel like the loss is the worst thing happening at that moment- it may make no sense as to why. But if you can find-really find-the reason it happened (find the purpose). That loss can be what will propel you to greatness or save your life. That loss will have a result that will be positive for you in some way. And even in losing someone you love, admittedly, this will be difficult; but over time, it will be understood why.
With loss is change. Yes - you MUST grieve that loss. Ignoring it and not dealing with the feelings related to it means it will cycle back around at some point and you will be faced with a similar situation or the emotions you never dealt with, again.
By holding all the emotions inside, it just leads to your body eventually fighting back at you with sickness, depression, or built up anger. Your body is not meant to hold negativity.
When you are ready, accept the change, and why it is necessary. God’s will is NOT for us to suffer. If you are facing a challenge that does not make sense, know that there is always –always- a reason for it. Nothing happens by chance.
When you have taken the time to grieve, you will then see the purpose and positivity it has created. You will then be met with all the happiness, love, and support you need. It’s OK to accept the happiness and see the life you are NOW to live.
Much Love and Light.
Isn't he a cutie? Moms and dads don't worry, your daughters will be safe and respected in his presence :)
My middle child, Elijah, is a sweet, compassionate, boy’s boy, and girl’s boy. He has a heart for people -no age, race, or gender matters. He just sees the person. He is so innocent and has an innate charm about him, people always compliment me on his demeanor and compassion-AND he is a cutie.
Just the proof of the girls chasing him is enough to back that up.
The other day I had to have a talk with his camp supervisor because at the park some admiring girls were chasing him, asking him if he wanted to be “boyfriend and girlfriend”. He wanted nothing to do with it all! He just wanted to run around and play. Well, they did not give up. They chased him all day even after counselors told them to stop. At one point, he was tackled to the ground by a boy, who was a friend of the girls, and the boy held Elijah down on the ground while the girls came up with their CELL phones and took pictures of Elijah! Innocent as the whole exchange may be. He was upset by it. He DID NOT like his picture being taken, let alone being held down on the ground! And those same factors got me upset.
The wonderful camp supervisor did see the problem just as I did, despite the fact is was not meant to harm. The aggressive behavior was inappropriate and unwanted. It was handled appropriately without causing any distress or embarrassment for anyone involved.
In life any unwanted behavior is considered harassment. Usually we think of it as a mean behavior such as bullying. But as much as that is true, over adoration can become harassment.
In ways, it is no different than paparazzi and celebrities. To invade a person's space aggressively just because they are good at their (entertainment) job and a person may feel they know them based on their life being on display; does not make it right. That's a simple case of adoration to the extreme. We as the public adore the characters they play or the person we see in interviews. But following someone around is stalking and dangerous. Now that is an extreme example but relevant in many ways.
Now don’t get me wrong. Games of “like” and “not like” happen often around kids and almost ALWAYS, it is truly innocent.
But as a child grows, they have so many feelings they don't know what to do with, so they look to their outside world: family, friends, or media on how to handle these feelings and how to care for another person. Unfortunately, not all the examples within reach of our children are good examples.
My families take on 10 year olds: It is not appropriate for a 10 year old to be "dating”, "holding hands", or "hanging out" (sitting and talking) with a girl he may or may not like.
They are too young and innocent to be worrying about affairs of the heart and loving anyone outside of their family! But not all families agree or frankly- CARE! Because the attention is considered “an affection”, “cute”, and other parents may think "Oh, poor him/her because they get attention, they are suffering." Some parents tend to ignore these situations. But that is also where bad behavior in some children can start to develop.
It is our job as parents to pay attention to our children and what they say, because if they are saying something; it is because it is important to THEM! Children want to feel respected, loved, and free from burdens-as they have the right to! Why must we treat them like they are older than they are? I do not want my child to grow up any faster than he is.
Our children have a voice. If we just sit and listen to those voices, we will learn a great deal about life and who they are. We get scarred and bruised from life as we grow; we forget to see the good in the world sometimes. Seeing life from an innocent child’s eyes can really open your eyes to how God sees the world.
We are all God’s children- brothers and sisters, and we will not always get along. We are the ultimate-family. But as long as we respect each other and their views, then, anything is possible with God involved.
We can converse with God and see the things he does in our lives that are for our highest good. Even tough situations, have a reason. But we must first, take the time to see our tough world from God’s point of view; a higher- bigger- long term place. It’s not easy sometimes. Growing up is never easy. Growing pains are inevitable. But with the loving hand of God we can move through the challenges in life.
So if you’re having trouble seeing a different view, then a simple NEW perspective is through the eyes and voice of a child. One who sees true LOVE in all (people) as God does.
Much Love and (New) Perspective.
I have been guilty of allowing my children to play with their electronics to YES:
Yep, there it is. I said it. I am not proud, but I know, I am not the only one!
I would LOVE to say my family reads ALL the time, plays outside, plays board games, and have meaningful conversations- all the time, all day long.
REALITY- let's face the facts that we live in a different generation and electronics are a part of our lives and even MORE our kids lives.
I do my best to balance and not go overboard on time they spend online or gaming. But I have my days and admit to this parenting “falter” of sometimes 1 hour turns into 3 or 4-especially if I’m being really productive.
THE RAMIFICATIONS- I do know that staring at a computer for too long can affect your vision. I had perfect 20/20 vision through school and after a YEAR of staring at a computer screen in bad lighting for 8 hours a day on the job; I noticed the street signs when I drove home were getting fuzzy and that driving at night was getting more difficult. So after an eye exam- I am now a permanent eyeglass wearer. And I only started on computers when I was 18!
So for my kids’ sake, I do my best to not allow this to happen to them but…those darn computer programmers! You have transformed the way our kids learn.
In schools, we are now pushing for I-Pads at each desk and desks that are touch pads. It is now the norm to refer kids to a website for more information or to practice on those MATH FACTS! Yes, in an effort to actually get them to enjoy and learn math facts! And admittedly, it has worked.
Kids today have such a higher standard of learning required of them that by the time they are home, the last thing my kids want to do is sit quietly and learn more!
I'm a product of the 80s, so when I think of computer games, I reflect back:
But today, we all know the controversy on how violent and graphic games have become but the other side is definitely how educational they are now.
Programmers are creating new worlds to help keep kids engaged. They have great games where the kids don’t even realize they are learning skills. Buying and selling virtual coins or credits to furnish their igloo or animal house. They must work for coins by shoveling snow or walking their virtual dog. Even the other day, since I grew up on a farm, my child asked me all about what makes up a farm.
Another parenting “falter”- Since we live in the middle of Los Angeles- I have not engaged him in the lifestyle I was raised in (sad face).
But he was educated quickly on hay, barns, alfalfa, and if it is good for an animal to be in the rain.
The point is; it is a fact of our lives that technology is here and we must embrace it. But let’s remember that we need to monitor their actions and limit the time. If you find a good balance between ON line and OFF line, in the end, all will benefit. And let’s not forget that applies to us adults too and all our electronics!
In today’s world, it is very refreshing and good to “disconnect” and find time to reflect inward for the answers. Google can’t tell you everything.
Q: When a child is put in timeout, what is the goal?
A: To reflect on their actions.
They are forced to be in silence to listen and understand their choices.
As adults, sitting in silence- meditating- serve the same purpose. When you can find those 10 minutes to reflect on your actions and listen to god’s guidance, then you will feel rejuvenated and see the BIGGER picture. The more you can connect with nature and listen for the answers, the more life will fall in place.
It is as simple as 10 minutes a day!
When life gets to be too much, we have the tendency to get withdrawn and close ourselves off from the world and literally shut the door on the outside world.
I made small steps during a very very difficult time in life by just sitting on the porch staring at the sky or a tree and just taking that break; SIMPLE, not much to ask. And over time it will nourish your soul and start to make you look at life differently because you are choosing to slow down and listen- listen to your soul’s needs, god, nature, and clear out all the mental chatter that we work with EVERYDAY in our highly electronic, evolved, opinionated world.
Find your soul serenity.
Much Love and Silence.
My Tween-her identity has been hidden to protect her from Tween Trauma.
Hi, my name is Janine.
I am the mother...of a Tween-Girl.
As I dropped my 12 year old off at her summer camp the other day, I knew she was not happy to go. I said, "Have a good day!" with a motherly smile and hint of sarcasm underneath to match the look on her face, and her response was a disgruntled "ah ha" as she walked off. In that moment, aside from me realizing I may need to find her another summer camp, the thought went through my mind, "Did I act this way when I was her age?” and pause “Hmm."
It then occurred to me that I barely remember anything about being a "Tween". You know, that age from 10 to 12 when you are no longer the "baby" but not officially a teenager yet. All I can figure is that it MUST BE from giving birth to my Tween that erased my memory of that time in life- along with many other things that giving birth has done, but that is another story for another time.
Anyway, I realize that it is a blessing to not remember certain moments in life-we have all had a time like that! But, from observing my daughter go through Tweenhood, I get the feeling that Karma is coming around. (God bless my parents; I'm sure if I asked, the stories they would tell would seem eerily similar to my current situation.) All I can recall is sleeping a lot, being grumpy, snappy at anything, and LORD! BOSSING my baby brother around-but that was also just part of me being the older sibling.
It turns out, to watch Tweenhood through the perspective of a parent’s eye, is a whole new life experience.
Typical adults will re-educate themselves by reading books, articles, or have conversations with other empathetic parents. Well, I have the best intentions. But have I taken the time to do any of that? Unfortunately, no I have not.
Just give me another page and I can come up with every excuse from lack of time to just not having enough energy to dedicate to figuring this out, ex. did I MENTION I have 3 kids? So with the knowledge that I accept my parenting "falter" in this area, I figure my daughter will be my tough lesson learned then by the time my 2nd daughter (who is 8) is a Tween- I might get the hang of it by then.
During this time of transition I pledge to do my best to be sympathetic to my daughter and her pleas of needing to VENT, CRY for NO reason, SNAPPY comments, LOOKS that I KNOW she was not aiming at ME! And her most uncontrollable FRUSTRATION- at just the SIGHT of her siblings (ages 8 and 10).
Though the buildup of the year until "mother nature" came to permanently visit our home had its own challenges, the advantage to that time was she was still so naive and “my baby.” Now that we are fully emerged in Tweenhood, I have watched the jump from goofiness, no cares in the world, and disliking BOYS to being ALL ABOUT boys, boys, boys, boys, and boys (particularly the British boy band ones), fashion, her looks, and her being so annoyed by her siblings-I guess I still hold hope that one will get better?!
And poor dad, he has no clue what has happened to his baby girl. This is the first point where reality of having a girl really sets in. Having to embrace the fact that the little girl that melted his heart with her big eyes and pouty lip, that he would do anything for, now has a very vocal opinion on life and BOYS is a very tough transition. On many occasions, dad has had to be reminded that the sleeping and laziness is due to the Tween changes and "mother nature".
I have even caught myself saying, "Give her a pass this week! She needs a "couple days". Get it?" And if he had any thought that an adult woman was tough to figure out, hold on because he has 2 girls!
Patience, being as understanding as possible, and hugging or smiling at her when she wants neither have helped to break through the ice. Also, in my daughters case-just listening to her so she feels heard are the only things I have seen so far to get through this time.
No, wait! - MIDOL. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, THANK YOU for giving us Midol. It eases ALL of OUR pains.
As we go through this moment in time, I have many moments where I just sit, and watch, my 12 year old. The beauty of her figuring out who she is and the growth from my little girl to a lady is truly remarkable.
The fact I came to remember is that it truly is a gift to be able to bring another human being into this world or, by adoption, be raising another human being. God has entrusted us with teaching, molding, defending, respecting, honoring, and preparing, for a challenging world, this soul for a period of hopefully 18 years. Out of your full potential of 100 years- you will spend only 18, less than 20% preparing another being to affect this world for the next potential 80 years. That is truly an honor.
This soul entrusted YOU to prepare them for this Earthly plane. What an honor! EVERYONE, I repeat EVERYONE, wants to be LOVED. And no matter whom you are, to know this soul trusts you and loved your soul enough to ask you to raise them is AMAZING!
I am honored my children chose me to be their mother. I will make mistakes and everyday won’t be roses, but I will try each day to do my best and know I gave them my all.
Much Love and Understanding.