Tips from The Go-To Mom
Kimberley Clayton Blaine, MA, MFT
Make a concerted effort to engage in "Mommy Cherishing" activities -- How many times this month did you do something just for yourself? Did you take a nice long bubble bath, read a great book, or get your toe-nails painted fire engine red? Moms are happier and more mentally balanced when they can plan activities that fuel their passion for life.
Stop Competing With Other Women -- A perfect mom is hard for anyone to bond with. We feel we can never live up to that type of mother so we shy away with intimidation from the so called, 'perfect mom.' However, a mother who is confident and a tad self-deprecating is alluring. She shows us her strengths as well as her weaknesses, which allows others to bond with her in a non-competitive way. The more women continue the cycle of female or mommy competition the less chances we have to build a universal female support system.
Ask for help when ever possible -- It's not easy asking for help. You may think just because you wanted to be a parent you have to rise to the occasion all the time. That doesn't mean you can't ask for help. Many people are willing to help. The key is to actually ask.
Simplify your life by doing less -- Doing nothing, or being alone is really doing something. Never underestimate the power of mommy-decompression time. Just like sleeping serves as a restoration for the human body, doing nothing can do the same for moms. It's okay to have nothing on your plate. The most common advice I give mommies is to cut out what is not necessary. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Less is more.
When you run an errand, tack on an extra half hour to do something fun - It's okay to do Mommy-Cherishing activities when you have time off -- So many errands are done out of necessity and tend to use up all the time we have off. I know moms don't have time to grab a vanilla iced blended or flip through the pages of a cool magazine at the bookstore, but why not? We rightfully deserve it. It's okay to add some fun to your day before you run your errands! The next time you have time off, tack on an extra forty-five minutes to do mommy-cherishing activities.
Complaining without action gets you nowhere. It's your choice to either restore or accept your post-baby body -- Women gain weight as they age; however it's a mommy's responsibility to maintain optimal health and good self-esteem. You can sit silently and envy the fit mommies or get moving and get some cardio and Pilates action going! You can take the path of least physical resistance and accept that life changes many things, which includes your figure.
Learn to take "Mommy Time Outs" when you're angry or cranky -- I'm better off yelling, "Mommy Needs A Time Out!" then taking it out on the family. However, that's what happens to moms who don't take a break. I don't mean take a break and sit down for minute. I'm talking about taking several hours off of mommyhood or work to do something that brings back your vitality.
Quiet yourself at least once a day
Taking time for your self is essential for good mothering. No one really ever plans on being a martyr-mom. We all know that in the end that this type of mom will eventually burn out and her children may witness her unravel. Taking time off from chores, work and family can be very mommy enhancing. A happy woman makes a happy mom.
Need a 'pick-me-up?' Read Kimberley Clayton Blaine's, Mommy Confidence: 8 Easy Steps to Reclaiming Balance, Motivation and Your Inner Diva.
About Kimberley Clayton Blaine, MA, MFT
Kimberley Clayton Blaine is a mother, national parenting expert, and licensed family and child therapist who specializes in working with children ages newborn to six years old. Kimberley is currently the social marketing director of a Los Angeles-based Early Childhood Mental Health Campaign funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (SAMHSA).
Kimberley is the founder and executive producer of the grassroots webshow http://www.TheGoToMom.TV. A powerful and inspiring speaker, she lectures frequently and teaches "Early Childhood Brain Development" and "Positive Discipline Strategies" at UCLA Extension.
As the director of the nationally recognized Missouri State "Parents as Teachers" program in San Diego, Kimberley headed up many government research projects on child abuse prevention. In 1993, Kimberley became one of the leading experts in San Diego County Child Sexual Abuse Treatment Programs, writing and designing group therapy curricula for molested children and their families. She became the director of Clinical Group Therapy at the E.Y.E., one of San Diego's established child abuse treatment centers.
From 1995 to 2000, Kimberley was the director of Special Projects and National Conferences for the Children's Institute International in Los Angeles. She arranged child welfare training events which included former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, poet Maya Angelou, California Governor Pete Wilson, L.A. Mayor Richard Riordan, Rupert Murdoch, Rob Reiner, Bruce Perry, Daniel Siegel, James Garbarino, and Murray A. Straus. Kimberley serves as a special correspondent for BabyTV at the ABC Kids Expo. She also is a consultant and presenter in Los Angeles, California and has been featured in the following publications: Los Angeles Times, San Diego Union Tribune, Pasadena Star News, Daily News LA, Arizona Republic News, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, In- Hollywood, ePregnancy, Parenting Magazine, Family Magazine, Fit Pregnancy, Cottage Living, MetroParent Magazine, Mom's Network and LA Parent Magazine.
She is the creator of child abuse treatment activity books for the California Department of Criminal Justice Planning. Her latest publication is the "My Feelings Activity Book for Preschoolers" sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (SAMHSA). She also frequently writes articles and feature blogs for traditional parenting magazines and websites.
Kimberley has been inspired to give back to organizations that care and heal abused and traumatized children through her program, The Growing Ground for Kids.
Kimberley's years of hands-on experience, her work with children and parents, and her own adventures in Mommyhood have made The Go-To Mom one of the country's most respected and popular leaders in the field of positive parenting.