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Belated Valentine’s Wishes

Totally forgot about V-Day until last week’s post was done. Since this month’s theme is healthy relationships, here’s what poet e.e.cummings says about love. i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)i am never without it(anywhere i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done by only me is your doing,my darling) i fear no fate(for you are my fate, my sweet)i want no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing… Read more Belated Valentine’s Wishes

The Sisterhood of Girlfriends

“Mom, you have friends?!” It was my 5-year-old’s innocent response to me mentioning my girlfriends. Since having twins five years ago and then another son, I don’t get a chance to chat with, let alone see, my girlfriends as much as I would like. Yet, they still carry an important role in my life. Girlfriends help each other carry their burdens, celebrate each others’ accomplishments and bring joy to each others’ lives. Girlfriends also have a keen sense of intuition. Despite miles of distance and months without communication, girlfriends are there when… Read more The Sisterhood of Girlfriends

It’s Okay to Speak Up, Really (Part 2)

Last week, we posted the first three aspects of assertive communication: 1)speak openly, honestly and directly; 2)state thoughts and feelings without becoming defensive; and 3)be courteous and respectful.  Here are the next four steps.  Exercise timing.  Discuss important matters at a time which is good for all involved.  Discussions late at night when your partner’s tired or first thing in the morning before they’re fully awake, is not recommended.   Make certain you each have the attention and energy for a constructive conversation.  Make clear requests.  If there’s something you want, ask for it. … Read more It’s Okay to Speak Up, Really (Part 2)

Healthy Relationships: A Must for Self-Care

Cultivating healthy relationships and eliminating harmful ones is essential to proper self-care.  Whether it’s with a spouse, child, parent, sibling, friend or co-worker, a healthy relationship is one that is characterized by RESPECT- for us and the other person. This includes: Courtesy – Be polite. Follow through. Be on time. Avoid shouting, insults, nagging, and manipulation. Boundaries- It’s okay to set limits, to say “no,” and to expect respect. Honor the other’s personal limits as well. Personal safety- Violence is NEVER justified or okay. Everyone has a right to be safe from… Read more Healthy Relationships: A Must for Self-Care

It’s Okay to Speak Up to Your Children, Too!

In my grandmother’s generation, “children were to be seen but not heard.”  Only parents/adults deserved respect.  Next, parents learned to “listen so their children/teens would talk,” but still expected respect from them.  Today, it seems that many children and teens openly disrespect their parents, and we allow it. What’s happened?  When did we start worrying more about our children’s love and approval than teaching them to be considerate and thoughtful?  A few months ago one mom told me that she was so hurt by her three year-old yelling at her “I hate you,” she collapsed… Read more It’s Okay to Speak Up to Your Children, Too!

It’s Okay to Speak Up, Really (Part 1)

Last Wednesday Susan from Working Moms Against Guilt posted about having difficult conversations with loved ones instead of an uncensored “snarkfest” brought on by repeatedly withdrawing from confrontation.  Sound familiar?  Most of my female friends and clients describe struggling with this because “nice girls” don’t make waves and depend on approval to feel good. This week, I’m offering some guidelines for assertive not aggressive communication to help with this challenging practice.  Remember,  it’s important to be open and direct about both positive and negative emotions because love and praise often go unspoken too. Be assertive. … Read more It’s Okay to Speak Up, Really (Part 1)

Advice From a Reformed Conflict Avoider

I tend to avoid the hard stuff in relationships. If an issue is painful or difficult to address, I find a way around it. I don’t like conflict, and being the typical busy working mom, I can justify putting off “special talks” with loved ones because I don’t have time. Sound familiar? If you’re a time-crunched, conflict avoider like me, take a moment and ask yourself, ” Is this really working?”   Because, it sure as hell wasn’t  for me.   I was so resentful of my husband’s lack of help around the house and… Read more Advice From a Reformed Conflict Avoider

January:The Journey of Self-Care Begins

This month we’ve talked about how to make self-care changes which will stick, and how to appreciate the blessings of everyday life which is self-care in practice. While we’ve heard these ideas before, it’s “doing” them that’s challenging. To summarize what we’ve said about making self-care part of  our daily routine:  Set small attainable goals, like 15 minutes a day.  Break the change into smaller steps.  Make it part of what’s already in the schedule.  Mommie Kate had some great advice on this.  Intend/visualize what we want to happen.  Don’t become self-critical of missteps.  Learn from the experience and try again.… Read more January:The Journey of Self-Care Begins