Not Perfect Parenting

not perfect parenting

Give your family the gift of YOU. 

Imperfect, wonderful, awesome-sauce YOU.

Because when we do this.

When we let go of perfect…

Everything is possible.

xo

ps: Have you ever felt yourself letting go of “perfect” in one way or another and felt the DEEPER CONNECTION possible with your family/mama friends on the other side of perfect as a result? Tell your story in the comments below.

When we tune in and trust, everything is possible. I hope you walk with me and other moms here because mom-hood is BETTER when we’re holding hands. Let’s connect on twitterfacebook and pinterest as well, because the manual is ours to write but we don’t have to write it alone!

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Suffering From the Terrible Two’s? Remember to BIRP

Hey, Connection Isn’t Always Easy

re·la·tion·ship [ri-ley-shuhn-ship] noun

1. a connection, association, or involvement.

2. connection between persons by blood or marriage.

3. an emotional or other connection between people.

4. a sexual involvement; affair.

Being a mother, wife, lover, woman, friend… sometimes it’s hard. Maybe it’s just that by definition relationships are hard. Look above. The word connection is used in three of the four explanations of relationship and hey, connection isn’t always easy.

I opened the Bible on a day years ago when life and my relationships were getting the better of me. I was down and looking for some encouragement. I love to open certain books (the Bible being one of my favorites to do this with) to a random page and let where ever my finger falls speak to me. The words on which I land almost always knock me off my feet with the wisdom they hold. A word, passage or an entire page; on this day the message for me was contained in a single word.

“Ephphatha!” (which means, “Be opened!”). Mark 7:34

This single word spoke volumes to my heart [Read more…]

How to Pole Dance Like Nobody’s Watching

A few Saturdays ago, I ran out of gas. Literally. This is not the type of thing that should happen to a fully functional adult. But, there you are. I rolled the dice one too many times with the empty light and came up short.

My Mommy Friend Meggan Pole Dances to Change Up Her Workout

We’d been in a rush to get to my daughter’s soccer game (what else is new) with not a moment to spare for gas. After our mad dash though, the game was delayed. Figures. I really, really wanted one more cup of coffee. So, I jumped in the car and started for the bakery — not the gas station. Good priorities.   [Read more…]

How to Love the One You’re With — Really!

Only a man would try balancing the checkbook at 8:20 on a Saturday when our son has a 9:00 soccer game. Who does that? Who thinks the checking account has priority when there are shoes to put on, uniforms to dig out of laundry baskets and orders to be shouted at children who don’t function on Saturdays without them.

Men are just different from women. They think about things differently. But I guess that’s why we love them. They complete us. Here’s a look at things that only a man would do. Only a Man Would… [Read more…]

Practical Mommy’s Impractical Art Project

Step 7: NOW

So my friend Scott the Writer says that all thoughts are connected — because the brain is one giant self-organizing system. Perhaps my self-organizing brain picked out Coyote Blue at the bookstore last week for a reason unapparent to me. I am fully aware, however that I underlined this passage on page 97 because of my preoccupation with balance!

And then it came to him. This was just a different kind of coyote blue — trying to look into the future too far was ruining his balance. He had to focus on right now and eventually he would learn what he needed to know when the future got to him.

And this is why I love the mindfulness that is Argentine tango. Just like Zen Master Thich Naht Hanh teaches (and apparently “Zen Master” Christopher Moore), there is only now.

If I anticipate the next step, I mess up the one I’m trying to do. If I obsess about the last one, I’ll also miss the lead for the current one. There is only now. [Read more…]

Practical Mommy’s Impractical Art Project

Step 6: … in heels!

Mimi says, “Balance is especially important for the follows because you’re wearing those super tall heels!”

I’ve always had feet problems. When I was 22, I actually had foot surgery and was laid up for 4 weeks. Navigating the “El” train in Chicago every day on crutches was a lesson in composure. My friend Jeremy actually made me a mix tape (yes, that would be cassette), titled Feets Problems. I gave up rollerblading because my feet couldn’t take it.

So now I tango. In heels. 5-8 hours a week. Ha! Ironically, my tootsies are loving it!

Well, perhaps “love” is an exaggeration. What I’ve found is that my feet and legs, even my stomach muscles are much stronger. My balance is much better. [Read more…]

How to Hire Help with Your Newborn

Are you pregnant or a new mom with a new little someone to love? If so, watch this quick and informative interview with Expert Mommy, Debbie Hipp on everything you need to know before hiring a sitter, Nanny or Doula to help you out at home.

[Read more…]

Zen Mommy Minute: Share Yourself

This week’s Zen Mommy Minute is to share something you are passionate about with your kids. What did you used to LOVE to do before kids? Have you done this with the kids lately? Whatever it is, your child will love doing this activity with you because it’s something that YOU love… and you are sharing a core part of yourself with them. [Read more…]

How to Find Mommy Quiet Time Through Yoga

yogaA woman must love and care for herself before she can successfully love and care for her family. Through the practice of yoga, women can devote a small portion of their day to developing a healthy body, peaceful mind and joyful spirit. The practice of yoga not only releases stress, tension, and anxiety but it helps bring focus and calmness into the mind.

The mind is astonishingly powerful. Yoga helps harness this power through meditation and focus on the breath, relieving negative, incessant thinking—something many of us do often and without awareness. Regular practice creates calmness, harmony and a positive outlook. When the body and mind are happy and healthy, we are less distracted and have more energy to connect on a deeper level to what some may call the soul or spirit. We can be truly present in our lives. [Read more…]

How to Find Balance for Life

If someone’s got a simple answer to the above I wanna know! I don’t propose to have the answer either, but I sure do a lot of thinking about it. As a mother of two, wife, business owner, best friend, daughter, neighbor, big sister, little sister, and Aunt, balance is one of the most important, if not at times elusive, things in my life. I think of it as not a place I expect to “get to” so much as a way I can choose to travel along the way. To say this in other words, I don’t expect to “get balanced” so much as I enjoy “feeling balanced”. Does this make sense?

What brought up these deep thoughts you ask??!! Today, cleaning out my home office (in a search of finding some much needed home office balance) I came upon my journal from New Years Eve, 2005. To give you some perspective, my youngest daughter Morgan was 2 years old and Reilly was five.

Here’s my journal entry from that day; the thing that led me to write to you on finding balance today:

Dec 31st, 2005

“…I told Shawn (that’s my husband) that lately I’ve felt like I was living inside a pressure cooker. We’ve all been sick this past week, bringing the cooker to a boil. I’ve been living out of the “get it done” side of me, the part that wants to work it out, figure it out, get it right…manage it. I think of this as the Yang side of me. I’m tired of getting things done.

There is something about the words BE STILL that call me. I am tired. I want to lie down and just be. I want to slow down my words, tell my tongue to just HOLD IT. I want to feel the action of inaction. I think of this as the Yin side of me. To be, to receive, to allow. Where have you been Yin??!! Boy, have I been neglecting you…”

In my jounal, I then made a list of things I wanted to give up in my life and things I wanted to embrace in my life. I was preparing for the New Year no doubt. This flowed right into a “Need To Do” list and an attempt to put all these “needs” into my week in an orderly fashion. I had a little weekly calender all charted out and everything, M-F, 6am – 9pm. I’m laughing now as I look at this because I remember what happened near the end of this little New Years preparation exercise. I ran out of time slots. My week did not hold enough time to fit all the things I had on my NEED to DO list.

Take A Look At Your Life

These words alone are telling. Life was not a “get to” for me at this point in time. It was more like a “need” to. I didn’t feel like I had much control over my life. If I did, the list might have read “Want to Do” or “ My Important Things List”. This may sound trite, but it’s really important because words can tell us a lot about how we are feeling, especially when we can’t admit to ourselves let alone other people how we are feeling. Looking back, that was exactly how I was feeling. NEED TO DO.

Today, life is full. I still wear alot of hats. But when I look at my week, my “Want To” list is a little longer and my “Need To” list a little shorter. (Of course my kids are three years older which helps. Let’s not kid ourselves here.) Today, I don’t expect to HAVE balance nor do I chase after balance. I am aware of balance. I think about it. I admire it. And it sure is nice when I feel it.

What Do Your Lists Look Like?

Look at your life. Make some lists. What looks like a “need” or “have to” in your life? Can you shift any of them to fall under “want to” or “important things” instead? All the needs and have to’s in life won’t go away (like last week when I HAD to get all our papers in order to get our new car tags…) but many of them will. Doing laundry is now happily on my important things list…as well as my husbands. Did I mention this last little tip? You can take things off your list and put them on other people’s lists. Aughhh yes! Balance…isn’t it a lovely thing?

Suzanne, aka Zen Mommy
In addition to mommying to two magical girls born in 2000 and 2003, Suzanne owns a holistic health center in St. Louis, Missouri where she practices as a physical therapist, Certified Infant Massage Instructor and health education teacher. Certified in a number of healing and life education approaches, Suzanne offers life coaching as Zen Mommy Coach.