A Helpful Checklist

This month’s theme, as you may have guessed, is “Back to basics.” We’ve talked about recommitting to something that helps you create balance in your life and makes you feel happy and good. We’ve talked about reviewing your daily schedule and allowing yourself to make changes if it is not working. Well, really it is about giving yourself permission to find a better way.

Today, I want to ask you to look at the changes you’ve made or not made, and why.

If you have not made a change and need to, then don’t beat yourself up about it and feel guilty. I’m going to help you do it now. Below, I have outlined a couple of questions to get you started. You can also reach out to me. I’m here to help and want to help you.

Here are 8 questions to ask yourself:

1. Did I review my daily schedule? If not, do it now!

2. Is my schedule working for me? Or do I need to change it?

3. Is our family schedule working for us, or do we need to change it?

4. If we need to change it, then what one thing, event, or part of our day really needs to change?

5. Can you come up with at least one way to change your schedule so it is in more flow with your needs and your family’s?

6. Do I need help to achieve this new schedule change?

7. Post somewhere in your house the change you are going to make and make a plan so you can follow it.

8. Reevaluate after two weeks.

 

If Your New Schedule Is Not Working For You, Change It!

 

Yep, you can change anything. You’ve heard me say there are always multiple solutions to a problem. So, there are also multiple ways you can work your schedule.

Allow yourself the gift of trial and error. If you feel like you have to do it the way you have always done it, or that you have to do it the way that others tell you to, and it is not working for you—meaning that you feel stressed, overwhelmed, exhausted, or just out of sync—then STOP.  Stop pushing yourself to do what you feel you should, or what others tell you to do.

If that is what you’re doing and you’d like help to turn things around, then click here and book a free session with me. We can work together to  discover if you need to change your schedule or if you need other help or what needs to shift in your life so you feel more balanced and happier.

I can also help you learn how to free yourself from the “I have tos” and the “I shoulds.”  Be honest with yourself, and allow yourself the room to make the changes that you and your family need.

Here are a couple of examples of clients of mine who have done this:

Amy:

Amy was overwhelmed and crashing at the end of each  day when her kids went to sleep. She wanted to make sure that her kids had lots of experiences, so she had them enrolled in many activities which would last up till about 1 hour before dinner and bedtime. When they would get home,  she felt rushed and disappointed in herself because she did not have time to prepare a good balanced meal and still get them to bed at the time she had decided she needed to. This dynamic occurred multiple days a week and created an environment that was not pleasant for her or her kids.

After a couple of sessions with me, and a little trial and error, Amy made a couple of changes in their routine that made a huge difference. Now they have plenty of time to decompress before dinner and bedtime (which was not happening earlier), and Amy has built more self care into her routine. The lesson here is to be flexible and realize that giving something up may give you much more in return.

Danielle:

Danielle has a child who has special needs. This year, Danielle was given many resources through the school system for her daughter, so after school they were visiting a specialist almost every day.  This was a new schedule, and both Danielle and her daughter   were having problems with it.

After talking with Danielle and helping her work through some things, she came to realize that both she and her daughter felt a huge sense of loss because they no longer had much time together. Danielle needed to change their schedule so they would regain more fun/quality time together. What she really needed was permission to not take her daughter to a specialist every day, and to do what she knew was right for them.  She cut back on services for her daughter, kept it to only two  days a week at home, and had some of the others delivered in a school setting during the day. Then on the other days, they can enjoy time together. They can play games, laugh, create, and just enjoy each other.

By the way, her daughter’s behavior and difficulties improved after she built  this time in and let some of the other time go!

Connection time - Let Your Child Take The Lead

Child directed play by our kids, no matter how old they are,  can be a great way to bond.

So, why not let your child take the lead for a period of time. Ask them what they want to do and see how their imaginations take over. Let them pick the activity. Let them say how you will play. Let them make the rules. You choose the length of time and then let them take the lead. 

I do this with my son often and am constantly amazed at the creativity he has. We just finished an hour where he took the lead. What did we do? We played super heroes with planes, Spider-Man and dryer sheets. It was a lot of fun and I loved knowing what was going on in his mind. In fact, I feel more connected to him in general.

Happy Parenting!

A Perfect Time to Reschedule and Recommit

For most of you the pool is now closed, the kids are back in school, and fall is right around the corner. You have new routines that you are navigating with the change in seasons and the change in schedule from summer vacation to back to school.

You have an opportunity with this change in routine to get into or back to practicing what balances you. It’s the perfect time to reschedule and recommit to your self care.

For me, what this means is creating more time for yoga and meditation, now that my son is in preschool.  My schedule is busier than it was in summer, with the Art of Self Care as a Parent program starting, my son’s earlier schedule, and an increase in clients. It would have been easy for me to fall into the routine of just meeting these new demands, but what I did first was increase my self care. I have put new yoga classes in my schedule and more time to meditate. I have learned that these are the basics I have to do to fill myself up. I do those first, and then have much more energy for everything else. In fact, I am getting more done in less time because I FEEL happier and more balanced.

To help you get started, here is one of the breathing exercises that I do either first thing in the morning or before I go to bed. By the way, it is also one of the many exercises and techniques I teach in the Art of Self Care as a Parent program.

Here it is:

Set a timer for 5 minutes.

Lie down, close your eyes, and put your hand over your heart. (If you can’t lie down, then get comfortable in a chair.)

Make sure you are comfortable and cozy. If needed, put a pillow under your legs, support your head, or get under a blanket.

Then, breathe.

Notice the rise and fall of your chest and your stomach.

Continue breathing until the alarm goes off.

Either go about your day, or drift off to a peaceful night’s sleep.

Enjoy!

As you need to make more time and energy to care for your kids and help them balance their new routines, you need to also make time to take care of yourself. The more you do, the more energy you will have for your kids, and the better you will feel overall!

Happy Parenting!

Connection Time

Last week, I talked about going off routine and encouraged you to do some of those fun activities that you haven’t yet done this summer and really wanted to do with your kids.

Did you do it? I hope so.

If not, most of you still have one more week before the kids go back to school. That’s plenty of time to squeeze in at least one or two things.

If you already did, can you fit in one more?

By the way, my son and I had a great week off last week. It was so much fun that I’ve taken a couple more days this week to keep the fun going.

I know this may not fit into all of your schedules, but the idea is to think outside the box and create ways to do what you want and not feel bad about not having enough time. Sometimes you just have to rearrange things. It might require a couple of longer days before you can take a day off, but it will be worth it. At least it was for my son and me.

Here’s to your happy parenting!

Support From Others

Happy Wednesday!

I hope that after my latest emails you are taking more time for self care. We’re going to talk about support from others, but first, let me ask you a couple of questions:

  • Are you a “type A” mom or dad who is trying to do it all?
  • Do you feel that if you don’t do it, then it won’t get done?
  • Are you exhausted because you just have too much to do?
  • Basically, do you feel overwhelmed?

Wow, do I know this story well. I think I’ve told you before, but this is how I used to spend every day. I used to be overwhelmed, exhausted, and just push myself to do what I felt I had to do. And I felt I had to do it alone.

You might have heard the quote, “You can’t fix a problem with the same thinking that helped you create it.” (Albert Einstein) This is true in all areas of life. If you are overwhelmed, then you need to get help. Don’t continue to live in a state of overwhelm. You are worth more. Your life is worth more, your happiness is worth more, and your relationships with those you love are worth more.

You may need someone to help you with the house, or the yard; maybe you need a therapist, a babysitter, more help from family members, an organization specialist, or a coach like me. There are many ways to alleviate the pressure you feel and create a happier life. The important thing is: if you want to change, support that desire by at least exploring a couple of ways to get more help.

If you feel overwhelmed at all, email or call me now. I can help you with this. Together, we can figure out how to lower the pressure in your life.

Happy Parenting!

Beth

- The Art of Self Care as a Parent -

The first step to happier parenting starts with you and your level of self care.
Is self care a priority in your life?

If not, would you like to learn how you can take better care of yourself in just three minutes a day?

To help you be a happier parent, I have created a new program: The Art of Self Care as a Parent.
Through it, you will learn techniques, strategies, and gain tools that will allow you to feel more balanced, in control of your life, and happier. As a result, you will be a better parent!


Through this program, you will learn:

  • How to make self care a priority
  • How to fit it into your busy schedule
  • How just three minutes a day can have a huge impact on your happiness
  • How you can show up as the parent you want to be
  • How to increase your connection with your kids
  • How you can feel more balanced
  • How to reduce anxiety and guilt
  • How to feel happier!

Program overview:

  • My commitment to you is to guide you through monthly exercises that will allow you to shift into being the parent you want to be.
  • These are exercises and techniques that I use personally and have taught many people with great results.
  • Because ongoing support is so important while you are developing a new way of being, this is a year-long program, enabling you to be solidly supported on your journey to becoming more conscious, relaxed, balanced, and HAPPY!
  • This program respects your time and money. Here at Happy Parents and Kids, we know that both are precious to you!
  • Each of the techniques that you will learn will take only three minutes a day, and the cost for the entire program is only

    Click here to find out more  —–>    - The Art of Self Care as a Parent

Back to Basics and Season Transitions

Have you ever had one of those days, nights, or even months where you have just had enough? Where you are overwhelmed, sleep-deprived, and feel desperate?

I used to have nights, weeks, and months like that all the time. My son’s behavior was so out of control that he needed me all the time, and neither of us could get much sleep because he was up most of the night.

What do you do when you have had enough? You are exhausted, and you know something needs to change, but you may not know what.

You go back to basics. You breathe. You learn techniques to nurture your mind and body. Breathing calms you. Getting your mind and body calm generates compassion toward yourself, which then enables you to bring compassion into your interaction with your kids.

It’s okay if you are exhausted. But, if you are, pay attention to what you need. Do you need more self care time? Do you need more support?

In order to get a clear answer to these questions, go back to breathing. Sit, relax, and just breathe. Allow your breath to get deeper and more relaxed with each inhale and exhale. Allow yourself to be calm. Allow yourself to feel the rise and fall of your breath. Allow yourself to feel and sense what you need.

P.S.
If you are feeling desperate for something to change, and are not yet part of the Art of Self Care as a Parent program, please check it out. Over the course of this program I teach you how to relieve overwhelm and exhaustion and start being the parent you want to be.

Connection Time – There is Still Time Left

Summer may be winding down, but there is still time left to fit in the activities that you have been wanting to do with your kids.

Take a day off if you need to, and schedule the activity you’ve been wishing for. I’m not just saying this, I’ve done this myself. I am taking this week off to enjoy activities such as spending the day at the splash park—THE WHOLE DAY!—with my son. I’ve also scheduled a day at the beach, which is only one hour away, and some other activities that I wanted to do, that were on my to do list, but just have not happened yet.

I knew that there was a part of me that would regret not doing some of these things, and since I make sure I live my life knowing I have done all I could, I scheduled a “fun week.” In fact, I wrote this article last week, so that this week I could really just BE WITH MY SON.

I know you are busy.  So am I. As you might recall,  I have a new program starting in a couple weeks. My son will be going to a new school. I do not have time to take off. So why did I do it? Because when I checked in with my core values, I knew that I really needed this fun time—and so did my son. Before school starts, we needed to get out of our  routine and just play.

I encourage you to do the same. Fit in as much time for fun as you can. I promise you that it will be worthwhile.

Support – Supporting Self by Asking for Help

Not long ago, a client mentioned that because of the way I talk and seem to handle problems, she figured I must have amazing people supporting me in my life. I told her yes, and no—and that I am my greatest support.

Yes, I have some amazing friends. And yes, I am getting help with my son’s disability. However, I am the one who knows best what I really need, and I am the one who  makes the final decision to give it to myself.

We talked last week about supporting yourself, and I want to bring this to your attention again. YOU are the person who knows what you need most and you are the ONLY person who can really give you permission to accept it.

Many people ask me what I do to support myself, so let me tell you a couple of things that I do every day. First, I start my day with a couple of minutes of “me time” (I talked about this a couple of newsletters back). I make sure I start my day off filling myself up with a little self care. 

I also make sure I take a couple of yoga classes a week, meditate, watch a couple of silly shows after my son goes to bed, take time throughout the day to check in and breathe, and consistently pay attention to what I need and do my best to fit it in. Most of all, I take care of my mindset and make sure I take at least a three minutes EVERY DAY for self care.

I have been mediating for a long time, doing yoga, practicing breath work, and other calming techniques. I’m an energy worker, an attraction specialist, and a coach. I have trained myself to care for my body and mind for a long time. By the way, much of what I have learned over the last decade is what I am teaching in “The Art of Self Care as a Parent” program.

My point is, I was not naturally like this. It took training, support, and a commitment on my part to lead my life differently and to start supporting myself.

Moms and Dads, one of the best things you can teach your kids is how to care for themselves.  They will not have to work at it as hard as we have had to, if you teach them when they are young. And the best way to teach them is to show them how you do it for yourself.