Rock On Mommies is excited to announce our partnering with parenting coach, Erin Diffenderfer, The Mommy Trainer. You can see her monthly on the TV show Your Carolina and she is also an occasional guest on the show Scene on 7 – both can be seen in the Carolinas. Erin has articles published often and is available for coaching and speaking nationwide. She is passionate about parenting and loves what she does – she calls it strengthening parenting muscles! You can work with Erin through one-on-one sessions by phone or in person. Her real life approach, ability to see what is going on with you first that might be effecting your parenting and her tell it like it is style will have you feeling more confident and equipped to tackle any challenge that parenting life throws your way. She will become your friend, confidant, cheerleader and ally along the way. Another great tool is her on-line coaching club where for $3.99 mo you get to send her an unlimited amount of your parenting questions and get her answers, read articles she writes, share tips and get tips from her and other parents and be part of monthly posting contests – The TMT Coaching Club is a great parenting tool. There are also weekly on-line/ phone in parenting classes available from Erin. Details of all of this and to learn more about Erin and see some of her past TV appearances visit her site at www.themommytrainer.com. You can also find her on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
For us at Rock On Mommies Erin will be doing a bi-weekly column called “Ask The Mommy Trainer”!! The first column starts December 1st, so start sending those questions in. And even better if your question is picked, and there will be three each column. Two people will get a memberships to the TMT on-line Coaching Club and one will get a half hour phone session!!
Right now you can have a chance to win before our “Ask The Mommy Trainer” column starts. Head over to The Mommy Trainer to be one of the first four to enter our giveaway – the first three will win TMT coaching club memberships and the fourth a phone session with Erin!!
Good news bad news – Your families happy or not holiday season is up to you!
The old saying “if mom ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” is seriously very true and since the holidays in many ways just mimic daily life but daily life on steroids it is even more true at the holidays. For us Moms during this season there are things to do, people to find time for, happiness to bring to our children, lessons to give our children about imagination, love, balance, greed and self control, we have to fit in time to think of our significant other if we have one and if we don’t it might be on our minds to get one, and the relatives are swirling about (good and bad). And somewhere in all of that you need sleep, a shower and maybe a little time alone with a friend! So if you step back and look at managing the holidays in a way that has you more cheerful than cranky, getting your to-do list checked off, prioritizing work and relationships and then within your relationships which ones matter most etc. you will see that the holidays can show you areas you are strong in and ones where you need work in the other parts of the year too. Because remember the goal and truth is happy mom= happy home/ holidays
So I have a few tips/ thoughts for you at this time that should help you be that more cheerful peaceful Mom that creates the atmosphere and mood that allows for a “happier holiday” because we generally do drive the ship so let’s try and drive it smooth and try not to hit the iceberg!!
Balance – We have to have it to be happy in general and at this time of year it is really key. If we give one child 10 presents and the other 1 – no balance there! If we bring in 20 new toys via presents and yet don’t get rid of some that have been around before and not played with etc – not balanced just clutter and too much stuff wins. If we spend all our time at events and none at home doing simple things with our own family – someone is getting shafted including you. Find yourself at all your families gatherings but can’t make time to get to your partner’s family gathering cause they bug you – time to do some sucking it up and go there too(unless of course they are axe murders – in that case by all means stick with yours!). So busy making sure the house is perfectly decorated that you didn’t make time to make some sugar cookies from a tube with your little one – reality check which one will they remember?
Keep it Simple – I spent a couple of years while mine were little living away from any relatives with not much money at all to go anywhere or do anything “big” for the holidays. And in the interest of honesty I was fairly bummed as the first one of these approached. But one day I had to get a grip and talk with myself about just acceptting what was and not worry about what wasn’t. And truth is we had some of our best holidays those two years – I did crafts with the kids from things we got in the yard, started a couple of new traditions that they insist on doing to this day (yes back to relatives around now and not quite as poor!) like fondue on Christmas Eve and decorating the tree on Thanksgiving day (my solution to the boredom and loneliness I had thought we’d feel with no-one around, I was wrong we didn’t and this was fun). So how can you apply this keep it simple approach whether you have many people around and money isn’t tight or not. Just get honest that it is the simple things that usually matter and that when we try to do 50 things and always have tons of people around us it can get hectic. So dig deep and say “no” to some events, consider sending a mass e-mail instead of 50 self addressed cards, buy some ready made foods, don’t worry about your house qualifying for a Martha Stewart decorating award and see what can be eliminated. Who knows maybe you’ll find out like I did that just 4 people having fondue on Christmas Eve makes a great memory!!
Blend and Innovate – Okay this mostly applies to those of us with partners in our lives but single parents can make use of it too. If you get too stuck in how “your family” did the holidays I promise you will end up disappointed and spend some time in arguments with your partner and visa versa if they do! Instead try, I know easier said than done, to sit down (or stand up makes no difference) and talk ahead for the holidays and hopefully you’ll be real progressive and have this conversation before you have kids about what is the one or two things each of you just can’t imagine the holidays without. It just wouldn’t be the holidays if you don’t do them– yes one or two that will allow for them to then have some too. Now here is where the fun is and the sense of being your own family comes – come up with two or three that are all new for your family. Maybe you want to do, I don’t know, an all day in your pj’s day the day after the big day, or a service project, or a yearly craft. I can’t tell you what to do because it is your holiday with your partner and your children and the idea of doing this is making them all yours!
So if you do a little self reflecting this season I think you will find that this season truly does imitate and amplify what is going on with us at other times and you can learn and grow and become better from it. So be balanced, keep it simple and by all means blend and innovate! You will be a “happier holiday Mom” and a happier Mom in the other months of the year if you do.
The Mommy Trainer
November 11, 2010