Tag Archives: friendships

Day Eighteen: The Perfect Balance: An Interview about Parenting

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Striving to be the picture perfect parent is something all parents go through.

We do our best and hope that our children have their needs met and more.

When you have your first baby everyone wants to give you advice; some you take

and some you don’t. Reading parenting books did provide me some insights but

the most effective guide was within me. It has always been my intuition. Let’s

be realistic, we all know when we are the model of ideal parents; fresh baked

apple pie wafting through a spotless and pristine home, while the children sit

reading their books with smiles and a warm glass of homemade cocoa placed

in front of them. We also know when the stress and sacrifice of parenting,

and the mountain of responsibilities turn us into a shell of a parent, walking

around with a robotic tick. Or worse yet, we take our frustrations out on our

families and then need to beg for forgiveness and teach our children that

we are simply human and can’t live up to perfection.

Can and should perfection be the goal in parenting? Or do our

children need to see us in all states, good or bad, so they feel that they

too can rise and fall?

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As I was sitting in my friend, neighbor and fellow mother’s hot tub, having

some girl time, we started to talk about achieving balance as a parent. She has

regular gatherings for all of her girlfriends-which are always a fabulous way to

connect us and give us a vehicle to gather and be a sisterhood of women. I know

we all appreciate her time and effort to make these events happen. I

had always been inspired by her ability to maintain balance and a sense

of well-being as a parent and Day Home Business Owner. I asked her if

she would be my first interview for today’s blog about Parenting.

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The Perfect Balance: An Interview with Erin about Parenting 

Here is the script:

Emily: Do you feel you achieve balance as a parent? 

Erin: Yes. 

Emily: How?

Erin: My husband and I are equal partners; employment, housework, cooking

caring for the kids-all of it. We also both have hobbies that we pursue outside

the home so there is no jealousy or guilt if one of us does something alone. There

is an equal balance for both of us.

Erin

Emily: How important are your friendships in keeping you balanced?

Erin: Having a network of friends allows more opportunity to balance my

life; I have a diverse friendship group. Each woman provides me with a different

type of relationship. Each one plays an important role in my life.

Emily: Is it difficult to work at home with 7 or more children all day?

Erin: I never feel overwhelmed with it because I always have some time

with friends, an event, a party, a girl’s night to plan or look forward to. 

The knowledge of this keeps me going and it keeps me out of my funk.

Emily: What would your life look like without this circle of friends?

Erin: I would feel depressed, trapped…In the past I didn’t have a network

of friends and I was on anti-depressants. I was a ‘young mother who never

went out’. When I first moved to this town I was uncomfortable with my

body, this made me self conscious and I retreated within myself, afraid to 

approach other moms. Some of the moms in this town seemed unusually pulled 

together.  I definitely felt like I could’t approach. 

Emily: When did things change for you? What was the turning point?

Erin: I lost weight and had a total transformation; then I began my

“Friend Mission”. My new found confidence gave me the courage to

seek out friendships. Here’s how it went; I would see her across the

crowded playground and say to myself “she’s gonna be a friend.”

It worked about 50% of the time. 

Emily: What made these women approachable?

Erin: Part of it was that I changed. I even went off the anti-depressants

successfully. Here is the Approachable Friend Profile: 

1. A little stressed

2. Clothing average, nothing too swanky

3. Hair a bit disheveled

4. Muted make-up

5. A great sense of humor

6. No censor.

As a first impression, these qualities made me feel more comfortable, 

like I didn’t have to be afraid I was going to be judged.

Emily: Do you take the time for self care?

Erin: I didn’t before the transformation but now I definitely do.

Going and doing things I love and being with friends are part of

that self care. Caring for myself caused a boost in my confidence and

then I was more approachable as well. I became a happier person.

Emily: How do you know when ‘the funk’ is coming on?

Erin: I feel tense, snappy, I feel a black cloud over my head, 

my eyes are beginning to glaze over, I’m an unresponsive ball of

nothingness on the couch-if it is severe-with a glass of wine or a 

half eaten chocolate bar and unintentional dreadlocks.

Some tidbits of our conversation after that:

All parents have stress, sacrifice, issues, fears…It is a universal

feeling. When you put on a mask and conceal the struggles you

may become more isolated and detached-then you become unapproachable

to others. They are afraid to be judged or that they can’t live up to your

ideals of perfection.

Even the seemingly ‘perfect mom’ has the strong desire to reveal

her true self.

As parents we need to band together and support one another.

This helps us achieve the balance we all desire. It is also

very healthy for our children to see us happy and balanced so they too

can achieve it for themselves. Being a martyr can harm not only

ourselves, but can damage our children presently and down the line.

Children have a stronger intuition and are closer to our source than

we are so they sense when we are out of balance.

Parents must stop judging one another and unite, it can be challenging

to balance such a crucial role, but if you do your best at least 80% of the

time, you’re doing well.

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A Huge Heartfelt Thank You to Erin:

You are an incredible friend, my life is better for knowing you.

Peace, Love & Namaste

Emily

 

Day Four: Achieving Balance by Strengthening Bonds

Good Morning 

I awoke this morning ready and excited to write another post.

While I was working 12 hour days as a Counselor/Special Needs Teacher/

Mom and Wife I found that the most challenging thing to achieve was balance.

The thing I neglected most was my relationships with other women-my

dear friends knew that once the year began I would simply fade away

into the abyss and not return calls or emails. I was barely able to cope with

the responsibilities that lay directly in front of me.  I missed my girlfriends

and those heart to hearts where we would talk things through and vent and

praise and lift one another up. Where we would eat delicious indulgences, drink

overpriced fancy coffee and dry each others tears in the middle of a bustling

coffee house. Those moments balanced me and allowed me a chance to connect

deeply and intimately with women I held dear to my heart. I vowed to myself

consistently that I would make plans with those incredible women, but the guilt

would seep in after I calculated the diminished hours spent with y family after

a demanding work week. So those moments slipped into nothingness.

For Day Four we are going to focus on strengthening relationships.

Enjoy the journey…Stay Balanced…

When you awaken think about one person-outside your family-

that fills you up and makes you feel more balanced-now later in the day

call that person and plan to see them if they are close by.

Morning Meditation: Sound Fox Channel-Youtube: Abraham Hicks-A renowned spiritual

teacher-Relationships-Guided Meditation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FIIAe-ouSt0

Journal Entry: Brainstorm about your circle of friends. Are there any friends

that are so negative they actually drain your energy (I call them psychic vampires)?

Now think about the friend that lifts you up each and every time you see them,

consider prioritizing that friendship. Write about what makes that friendship so

healthy. 

30 Minutes of Physical Activity: Call that ‘soul friend’ and invite them to go for

a walk in nature-if you have kids or animals take them too. See if you can make it

a regular date with that friend.

Art Project: Create a journal as a gift for that friend so that she can write her

thoughts hopes and dreams down.

Buy a plain covered journal, a paint brush and some Modge Podge (Craft Store).

Print off the text and some images that suit her/him.

Brush the Modge Podge on the back of the picture/text and then brush it

down on the front while ensuring it stays smooth. You can lay pictures on top of one another.

Write something inspiring in the front about what she/he means to you.

Adorn it with beads or buttons-using a hot glue gun.

Em's Phone 080

Inspirational Video: An Australian man-on his 30th birthday asks his friends to

not buy him gifts but to buy a gift and bring it to his house with some wrapping paper.

I won’t give it away-just watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EW8tt7hNpGc

Our Songlist for today comes from Grooveshark: A free tool on the web that

allows you to create your own playlists from a great library of songs:

It is a songlist of songs by beautiful female vocalists: Enjoy:

http://grooveshark.com/#!/playlist/Beautiful+Ladies/70002286

Evening Meditations: Open to Love-Let Go of the Pain of Past Relationships-By Scott Mills

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGGc45KzX5Y

Helen-Keller-Friendship-Quotes-Images

Enjoy the Journey

Peace, Love & Namaste

Em