If you are worried about the upcoming holidays, even a little bit, we need to talk. Umm yes, lots of families really struggle when they are "supposed" to be celebrating - you are not alone in that. It is NOT pretty. And the reality is, it can become one of the most difficult challenges on this journey.
I come from a big Irish family and being together for every holiday was just how we did it. I LOVED it. I looked forward to sharing our traditions, recalling moments from the past and making more good memories. Honestly, I couldn't wait to bring my children into this world. Along with that, it was really my goal to create that feeling of comfort and joy within my own little family too. Well, it was really taking place as each of our boys were born. As a matter of fact, I can even say that it was just plain EASY. However, it was far from easy when it came to the girls.
Long story short...this is where the NOT PRETTY part starts. I knew it wasn't going to be perfect and that there would be some challenges, but I had no idea that what brought me such pleasure my entire life could be turned into something I began to truly dread. Between the hard words and behavior of our children (usually only in our home and not in front of others), the judgemental feeling stares, comments, and unsolicited advice from family members, and the exhaustion and disappointment in not feeling like a good Mom, our life was turned upside down.
It had come down to, figure it out or be miserable! I had a hunch and I followed it. Over and over again I started putting in place new ways of meeting the girls where they were at. I found I didn't have to give up my hopes and dreams for my family when it came to the holidays; I just had to tweak things to help them manage better. You can do it too.
I have spent years testing this out, adjusting, focusing in on all the "places" we can be intentional about when it comes to celebrations. Less acting out, fewer tantrums & meltdowns, and an overall calm. There is SO much we can do to help our kids experience it all the way we did and the way we hoped they could. The holidays are really a time when we experience the ultimate feeling of belonging - what a gift to give our children. I am so excited to tell you that it can be done. And it can begin now, this year!
In my upcoming LIVE webinar, I will give you a step by step plan that will help you put the tweaks in place that will create an experience that your child can manage and even enjoy. One in which he can be successful, feel worthy of all of the goodness and gain the gift of understanding that he belongs too!
Here's the thing though, the holidays are just around the corner so we need to do this soon. The doors are closing in just a week so...Get Your Spot NOW! (just click on the link below for more info)
Can't be there live? Don't worry, you get the recording and a second live session in December to ask your questions!
See you in class!
Holy Buckets, did you realize that Thanksgiving is only two weeks away?
Boy, have things changed for me when it comes to the holidays. Thanksgiving would have never snuck up on me 14 years ago. Oh no, I would have been very clear on how many days, hours, and even seconds remained until I had to face it all. Until I had to watch my family members watch my kids with raised eyebrows or listen to advice on how to parent my "poor" children better. Until I had to listen to screaming and endure the kicks in my kidneys from the back of my car seat, which stopped abruptly as we pulled into Grandma's driveway. Until I had to watch my girls look charming and wonderful to everyone else as I had the look of a crazed bad Mother across my face. Until we would arrive back home and deal with the fall out in the form of anger, blaming, and NOT sleeping. Oh boy, those were the days - I SO did not enjoy the holidays much less look forward to them.
I couldn't take it anymore. I just had to figure out how to be happy again, how to enjoy the holidays again. I started doing things differently - little by little. The shift began to make a difference. Less acting out, fewer meltdowns, and over all less anxiety. And my dread began to dissipate too. It felt amazing. The more intentional I became the more positive our holidays became! They developed into a time of making good memories, creating new traditions and truly enjoying the celebrations at hand. Now that's FAMILY!
Like I said, boy have things changed for us and they can change for you too and I would be honored to share my proven tools and techniques with you!
In my upcoming LIVE webinar, I will give you a step by step plan to create a holiday season that works for you and your child. One that you can truly enjoy and your child can succeed at. It CAN look a whole lot different.
Grab your seat TODAY and start looking forward to the holidays again! This one is going to fill up fast!
See you in class!
In honor of ALL Mothers...
A Mother's Love is endless, all encompassing and "an unrivaled force of nature" - no other relationship can compare. It begins before we see the face of our child and lasts long after we are gone. It is powerful beyond compare and how we express it leaves an impact for life.
I am a studier of mothers. The decisions they make and the way they love can literally make or break a child. Now, that is a POWERFUL job.
Mothers that truly understand their job are patient, unwavering, discerning, protectors who communicate that love, both verbally and non-verbally. Their children not only hear their love, they feel their love, and see their love. Children that know that kind of love are destined for great things!
There are lots of ways to be a mother; Adoptive, Biological, Foster, Step, Kinship, Grand, and lots of other variations. They are all precious, but not all exactly the same in experience, yet the powerful impact is still at play!
Mothers who try to give their love to children who have lost a mother face hurdles that none of us want to believe could exist in the world of any child. The call to be patient, unwavering, discerning and protective is magnified by one million percent. They have to undo old beliefs and understandings their children have already integrated into their core. Some of these children have never heard, felt, or seen real love before and don't have the capacity to respond to it or accept it.
Loving children who have lost mother can be very painful. But these incredible mothers endure and continue to give love endlessly and be all encompassing with that love. They are an unrivaled force of nature as they fight for their children over and over again, protect their children and, most importantly, never give up on their children. It will take time, but their children will not only hear their love, they will feel their love, and see their love. And that kind of love ensures that they will be destined for great things!
I want to support you all in celebrating the amazing job you do, even if it isn't a happy day where everyone can show their appreciation for you. The truth is, whether those around you are able to express it or not, you deserve praise and adoration!
Today, don't question yourself, don't look back with regrets; you are doing the best you can and give yourself time to just be proud of all the good you do. You are the life-source of this planet. You are the foundation that generations stand on. You are a healer. You are hope for the hopeless. You are...a MOTHER!
Hugs to you all!
Mother's Day has been a real high and a real low in my 19 years of being one. It is such an amazing experience...becoming a Mom. I was excited to become a mom to all of my children. But that was my excitement, my desire, my plan - not necessarily theirs!
Mother's Day is a bittersweet day. In my family, it is a reminder of love and devotion, but also loss and confusion.
There have been many Mother's Days that were awful, but they were only awful because I didn't get it! My perception of Mother's Day was one that included feeling like a GREAT Mom because everyone in my house said and showed that they thought that I was a GREAT Mom. Unfortunately, everyone in my house was not able to think of me at all. Their pain and confusion about their birth mom came into full view on that day; they could think of nothing else. That pain and confusion spread to all of us.
At some point, my heart finally understood. The hard behavior and ugly words may have been given to me, but they were not about me. In essence, my adopted children WERE treating me like their Mom. They were laying their deepest pain in front of me. They were asking for help. They were being vulnerable in hopes I could fix it. They were taking a risk with their deepest fears. They were giving me their heart!
I realized that Mother's Day doesn't (and shouldn't) mean you get a day off of being Mom. Mother's Day is often the day we, as adopted and foster moms, earn the title of Mother! We are still the teacher, the nurse, the cook, the holder of memories, the heart, the healer, the unconditional love, the soft place to land, the boundaries, the planner, the counselor, the reader of souls, the guide, the fixer, the problem-solver, the safety net!
So...as we approach Mother's Day here in the states, remember to meet your child where he/she is, ESPECIALLY on Mother's Day. This is where HEALING really happens!
Know that his behavior is sadness and confusion and that in most cases your child blames himself for his loss. Meet him there. How painful for this child. This day all about mothers is a trigger and he can't get away from his distress. Honor his grief. Honor his Mother. Remember that they are both real and part of the load your child carries.
We have to mother differently - we share the title. Whether we feel the woman we share it with deserves it or not, her child does not feel complete without her. It is a hole, an ache at his very core. When we became his Mom, we were charged with helping to heal that hole and it takes a long time! It takes doing it differently and adjusting our needs on Mother's Day.
Take pride and joy in knowing that you ARE a GREAT MOM, whether or not your child can get past his pain and suffering on this day. You are doing an AMAZING thing - healing a heart!
Happy Mother's Day!