Well, just to be sure we are getting into the holiday swing here...the weather is a combination of freezing rain to snow. If I wasn't ready before, this weather shift always pushes me to face the reality - the big holiday season starts in under a week.
16 years and one week ago we celebrated our first Thanksgiving as a family of 8. Wow, talk about facing reality. I had all of these DREAMS for my daughters. My dreams included laughter, smiles, hugs, loving feelings, time together, sharing, new traditions, family, more and more family. There was some of that sprinkled in, but some of those dreams were missing and the missing stuff plus some not-so-great behavior/words were blamed on the facts that we were speaking different languages, the newness of it all, and everyone just being overwhelmed.
Honestly, as time passed it got more and more difficult. Christmas looked great to the outsiders. All the kids (3 boys and 3 girls) were dressed up cute, there were smiles on their faces as they opened gifts from Grandmas and Grandpas, they tried all the delicious treats and said please and thank you nicely. However, on the inside it was a whole different story altogether!
Inside our family was a MESS! The girls were miserable and acted out constantly (when others weren't looking). The boys were totally thrown off by all of the chaos that happened behind our closed doors. Our marriage was stressed. We distanced ourselves from others because we felt judged and unsupported. I felt like an awful Mom, Wife, Daughter, Grandaughter, Niece, Cousin and friend. I really felt very alone.
Out of a deep desire to get my family back in shape, I began doing things very differently and our mess began to take on a new more positive and happy feel. I tweaked and tweaked how I parented. I researched, read and attended any training I could. I found the tools and techniques that worked to help us all enjoy the holidays. I finally could hold my head up HIGH, my family was in such a better place!
If you are like I was and you dream of giving your children the experience of a loving, joyful, peaceful, family-filled holiday, it would be my honor to give you the tools and techniques you need to be successful! You will be ready to tackle the tantrums and crabbiness head on, create a holiday time where your family and friends help you help your children not sabotage you at every turn, and start looking forward to the holidays yourself!
There are only a few days left to get registered for my class "Surviving the Holidays with a Challenging Child"
To make sure this class REALLY WORKS for you, here's the plan...
**You get the recording of the class to watch at your convenience
**You are invited to a second LIVE Q & A session in December so you can tweak your plan
**You will receive my "Surviving The Holidays: Intentional Parent Checklist" to help you stay intentional
Get your spot NOW! Time IS Getting Short (click the link)
It's that time of year again. Parents are getting ready for the holidays and getting stressed out about how they will turn out. How about you? Are you ready?
Oh boy do I remember it well...talk about stress. I just wanted everyone to be happy. Happy with the stuff yes, but more importantly, happy just being together. Yeah, that was a stretch. Between the behavior and melt downs and the eating and sleeping stuff there was NO happy anywhere. As a matter of fact, it even trickled down to crabbiness between my hubby and I and even grumpiness and distance among my extended family and I too. Nobody got it...NOBODY!
It got to a point where it was pretty miserable and I had had enough. I mean dread was becoming a part of the holidays - actually any celebration for that matter - something had to change.
And it did change! I began putting together a plan that included tools and techniques that helped my kids cope better. A plan that included talking to my family and friends in a way in which they could not only better understand what I was now doing to help my family, but how they could actually help. Best of all, a plan that really helped my whole family (including me) have a much better holiday than ever before.
You can have this kind of change too. I would be honored to help. Really, it's about using tools and techniques that work, getting your family and friends on board, and having a plan that helps you have your best holiday season yet. Why would you not try this? Don't waste another year being stressed. It can all change right now!
Just click the link to get registered there's less then a week left! You won't regret it!
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!
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!