Are You a Pumpkin Picasso?

iStock_000018010512XSmallAhhh…. Fall!  I love Fall!  It’s my favorite time of year, and of course with Fall comes Halloween!  One of my favorite traditions at Halloween is pumpkin carving Continue reading

Mommy Shutdown

iStock_000018968465XSmallA big HUGE thanks to those of you who “missed” my blog last Friday!  It’s inspiring to hear from you and know that you look forward to my Friday morning posts. “Whitty”, “clever” and “informational” are some of the words you used to describe my writings and for that I say “Thank You!”

I actually have a small confession to make.  I did not post my blog last Friday because I had a “Mommy Shutdown”.  I guess all this government shutdown, debt ceiling, politico mumbo-jumbo (not to mention pure exhaustion!) got the best of me!  Actually, what it did, was it really got me thinking… “what would our world look like if all the moms said “to “H” with this, I’m shutting down!”.  What would happen?  Crazytown, right?!

No breakfast, no rides to school, no laundry, dishes or grocery shopping.  No packed lunches.  No tiddying-up the house after the morning cyclone swirls out the door.  An overflowing mailbox, bills left unattended, no driving to sports and/or after school activities. No dinner. No job if you decide to not show up. You get the idea… the list doesn’t stop growing, and the dishes in the sink don’t stop piling up!

For a short 24 hours, my family and home experienced a “Mommy Shutdown”  and while I’m happy to report that Saturday morning I felt a bit more appreciated, things were in complete disarray!  I always feel needed (sadly! LOL), I always feel loved (thankfully!), but as a Mom, I’d be lying if I said I always felt appreciated. I get it… sometimes we need to draw a line in the sand, take a stand, but I’m here to tell you a shutdown is not the answer!

There are a lot of funny stories that can be shared circling around this topic AND a lot of very sad ones!  My positive confirmation in this experiment was a reassurance of what I already know… no matter how much you want to throw in the towel, regardless of how much you feel unappreciated or overwhelmed or exhausted, you can’t just bail on the people that rely on you.  It’s not a good idea (in most cases, anyway) to walk away from those that you love and care for just because you’re stressed-out or not getting your way.  The responsibilities that come with being a wife and a mother are clearly very serious.  To “shutdown” is not appropriate!  We have to communicate.  If we need a break we should arrange one, if something isn’t working, talk about it and fix it.  A responsible pause in the action, yes!  A shutdown, no!  Shutdown = Letdown.

And let’s not forget about the message we send to the future leaders of our planet when we “shutdown”.  It kinda says “if you don’t get your way, it’s ok to walk away without compromise”.  Yes, time heals everything (thats the age old saying anyway) but think about all the extra work, problems and resentment that pile up after you walk away but before you make your way back to the table!  Senseless, silly and juvenille are a few words that come to mind (along with a few others!).

In closing, I believe that we, both as parents and as citizens, can learn from these situations… even ones that seemingly made no sense at all.  I’d love to hear what you have learned from the state of our union what conversations you and your family/friends have had sourrounding this topic.

Until next time…

Much love, Renee

Team Work

iStock_000021836977XSmallWith the MLB playoffs in full swing, the NFL season in week 6, NHL going strong and the NBA season getting ready to tip-off, the competitive spirit of our country is in full swing!

As a former competitive athlete myself, I’m always inspired by the level of teamwork displayed amongst teams we watch night-in and night-out, and how somebody (rarely the same person repeatedly) always steps-up to get the job done in clutch situations for the greater good of the team.

It got me thinking about all of the positive qualities and characteristics that come from being an athlete and being part of a team. You’re all familiar with the saying “there’s no “i” in team”… clearly that’s true, but lets examine how this selfless statement can have a positive impact our kids.

It’s a wonderful thing for kids to learn that they can rely on others to have their back, hold them up and cheer them on… this promotes trust and a willingness to put themselves out there, knowing that doing their very best is good enough, no matter the end result. What about sportsmanship? Think of all the great characteristics that come from learning and demonstrating good sportsmanship. Let’s take it a step further… what about the confidence that can be built in kids due to athletics and overall health and fitness.  Not to mention how as they grow older the dedication and drive that results from training to improve their game, whether its in a team format or individual sport like golf or tennis, impacts your life.

Trust, comfort with vulnerability, grit, tenaciousness, good sportsmanship, self-confidence, dedication, determination… wow!! These are all great qualities, and I bet there aren’t many parents out there that wouldn’t want to develop these qualities in their kids.

I personally believe that girls, specifically, get something out of team sports that they can’t get any place else. All of us parents of girls want to develop strong, confident and determined young ladies. When they’re teens and find themselves being challenged to give-in to various forms of peer pressure (drinking/drugs, sex, cheating, stealing, lying, etc) which ultimately they’ll all face, don’t we want to know that they have the strength and character to make the right choice and feel great about themselves while doing it? In my opinion, sports helps with all of that!

There are many ways as parents to demonstrate a team player mentality. I’d love to hear about things you do to inspire a sense of teamwork and sportsmanship in your kids. I’d especially be interested in hearing about these developed qualities in older kids that you feel came from participation in athletics and team environments.

Until next week… go team!!

Much love,