Stop Using the G-Word

  Hey daring darlings,  I’m passionate about dismantling mom guilt.  That’s why we’re going to tackle it at the Luscious Mother Winter Retreat. We’ll be putting the past behind us, forgiving ourselves and others, and getting rid of things that no longer serve us. That way, we can create from a clear space. Why? Because most of the time, we’re operating on top of a lot of “stuff.” It’s like throwing a clean tablecloth over a half-eaten dinner: Chicken bones poking up, gravy staining that once white linen, and cold, limp green beans in the way of the meal you would actually like to enjoy.  It’s a mess under your day-to-day routine that seeps into your otherwise clean life. At the retreat, we’re gonna clean up those dishes, utensils and used napkins, letting go of things no longer serving us to find real joy.  It’s about getting sufficient support for yourself before you’re head-first in the trash.  Because when things are really bad, that’s when we get support, and by then it’s much harder to get out of the dumps. When we’re on the floor crying, we know we need help and will usually get support. When your kids are sick, a pal brings chicken noodle soup. When your romantic relationship is going sideways, break out the girls night with wine.   A press-button-in-case-of-emergency only support system doesn’t work long term because we need consistent support all the time. When you’re getting supported like that, the rebound from hard times is much quicker from the breakdown.  What if we didn’t need an emergency or a breakdown to get support and...

Nothing to Do This Year

  Hey there, holiday beauties, Hope Santa brought you everything you wanted. One of my favorite parts of this holiday was watching Mirabelle sing along with her new ukulele. Look at that smile! As Mirabelle’s mama, I’m committed to her completely — her general health and well-being, in addition to her living a full, rich life. Last week, one client reminded me how that ride-or-die commitment can apply to other parts of life. She’s an actor in New York City. On her best days and worst days, she’s an actor. I’ve never heard her consider quitting — and I’ve been working with her for years. She’s even talked about leaving her marriage before (on the super bad days). But I’ve never heard her say she’s out of the acting game.  There’s a ferocious power in that commitment. Even when it’s in breakdown, even when it’s not going well, or turning out how she wants — quitting isn’t an option.  Few areas in my life are like that. Strong enough to weather any storm.  Mirabelle is one of my ride-or-die commitments. Matt, too. He is actually my #1 commitment. My parents, my sister, brother, aunts, nieces and nephews. My in-laws. My clients. My colleagues at Accomplishment Coaching. On my best days and worst days, and for most moms, my commitment to my family is gold. Nothing could break it.  And I notice it isn’t like that everywhere in my life. My well-being? Not so much. Writing every day? Hardly. Getting birthday cards/gifts out on time? Rare. Regular money meetings with Matt? HA!  And I’m not mad at myself about it. I’m just...

6 Things I’m Super Excited About

  Holy moly, it’s almost Christmas. This is the week for everyone to decorate for the holidays, from hanging keepsake ornaments to brushing up on homemade hot toddy recipes.  Well, I got bit by the spirit of it all.  In lieu of a traditional gift guide stuffed with laptops and yoga pants (no shame in treating yourself, sister), I’ve punched up my Luscious Mother Gratitude Guide.  The following people spice up my eggnog all year long. From parenting solvers to firebrand coaches and everyone in between, you’ll catch this spirit that’s been lifting me up.  Wendy Petricoff, Charlotte Parenting Solutions. This woman is a godsend for parents, period. I work with her personally (you may remember my Wendy SOS when I was at Disney World with Matt and Mirabelle). As a mom, I’m always beating the drum of having support, and Wendy helps you craft solutions even when you feel like you’re at your wits end with your kids. When you’re like WTF, she’s here’s what we can do. She helps you get over the line, stay sane, see the big picture. A top rate professional, well trained, funny and smart to boot. You’ll want to have a cup of coffee with this beaut. Colleen Nolan, Soar Speech Therapy and Consulting. This speech-language pathologist has some high level, specialized training. She brings a lot of play into her work and flexibility for clients in terms of meeting times and length of working together. I like to say Colleen is the concierge doctor of speech pathology. While the clock is ticking for traditional service providers, Colleen offers specialized one-on-one service. Parents have access to...

To Go or Not To Go

  Last weekend, Matt, Mirabelle and I went to Asheville with some friends. Two couples were staying in one house (with our kids) and two couples were in another house (no kids).  No, this isn’t a math equation, or at least not one you see on fill-in-the-bubble tests.  The set of couples without kids were off to paint the town red, even orange and a dab of fuschia, too. The set with kids, well, all the town-painting we could get in before 7:30 p.m. bedtimes.  My sister-in-law reminded Matt and me that our regular babysitter in Charlotte was also in Asheville this weekend, visiting her family. “You should see if she’s available to watch Mirabelle,” she said. I called her and sure enough, she was not only available to babysit, but THRILLED to do it. Matt and I felt like we’d won the lottery. Dreams of painting downtown Asheville all the colors of the rainbow danced in our heads.  But the other mom in our house — a superstar mom, I might add — was hesitant. She’d been having a hard time putting her daughter to bed lately because of her little one’s pre-bedtime anxiety. (It’s actually pretty common for lots of kids.) She was worried the babysitter might trigger her daughter’s anxiety more. I told her if she wanted to stay in, I’d stay in and the guys could go out. Beyond the needs of her daughter, my heart squeezed for this mom’s own personal struggle. She felt badly about leaving her daughter AND she wanted to go out and have fun. She felt torn. She knew the...

What I’m Most Thankful For

  Hope you’re all getting ready for Turkey Time. I’m super excited for our day. Matt, Mirabelle and I will relax in the morning, watch the parade and bake. I’ll be taking advantage of yoga classes in the AM too.  In the afternoon, we’ll go to the movies and then to a restaurant with my dear friend Lisa and my in-laws. We’ll serve up dessert at my house after dinner.  Friday morning, we head off to Asheville to be with friends.  This is my idea of holiday perfection. And in the spirit of being thankful, I wanted to tell you about someone special. She was a major part of last summer’s Luscious Mother Retreat and is hitting up our Winter Retreat this January.  Her name is Anna Cranage Conathan and she’s a marvel.  I’m floored by this amazing human. She had a real breakthrough during her time at the retreat. I’d tell you more but, well, she can tell you even better.  She tagged me in this epic FB post earlier this week: Scurry, hurry, fret. These are not words written on traditional holiday cards. But they’re in the subtext, no? Our winter holidays were designed to add light to a dark time of year. To bring us together in gratitude and love. They are points on the calendar that tap us on the shoulder and remind us that it’s important for us to be together, to care for one another, and why not take the time to do it now while we’re all sitting in the pitch blackness of winter? Let’s light a fire, sing some songs, drink...

Forgive-ish?

I forgive-ish you.  That doesn’t quite have the same ring as “I forgive you,” does it? No warm fuzzies with that ‘ish on the end. No closure on the fight with your mom or disagreement with your spouse over why you’re the only one gassing up the car. What does forgive-ish even mean? It’s when you let go of something (an event, hurtful conversation, etc.) enough to feel better, but not fully. The feelings you had still linger. The next time you’re reminded of the event or get hurt again, you get mad. At that point, it’s clear real forgiveness hasn’t taken place, because you’re just taking out your “file” on that person instead of letting them off the hook. For me, when that something happens again, I get extremely right and righteous, gathering allies to convince them of how right I am. But I only get more upset and suffer in the process. This is actually a pattern, and a lot of people do this and experience this. Often, we say we forgive, and we don’t forget. But that’s not true forgiveness. Instead, it’s a conditional pass until the next hurt comes along. The funny thing is, we let go of things every day. People cut us off in traffic. Someone bumps us in line at the grocery store. You choose to let go of stuff every single day. If there’s something you can’t forgive, it may be something you’re unwilling to own on your side of the street. And it’s not wrong or bad or shameful. It’s something to be aware of. We get something from the...
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