Learn to love YOU!

Hey everyone! Today I want to talk about something a little more personal than my usual “Tip” blogs.

I want to talk about self-worth and self-esteem. And learning to be able to say:

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Everyone has a self-image. Everyone also has an opinion about their self image. This is called your self esteem or self worth. It encompasses and intertwines with all that you do. It touches every aspect of your being and effects every decision you make.

The problem is, a lot of times, our self-image is distorted. We look in the mirror and when we see ourselves, we do not see the real person standing before us.

self-esteem-view-of-selfSeriously, just ask yourself, when you look in the mirror do you ever:

Think about your flaws?

Do you point them out one by one?

Or think about how you could do this or that better?

Do you ever feel worse about yourself after looking in the mirror?

Even if there is no mirror, do you ever just think you don’t quite measure up?

Do you feel like you could have done more, when you have done all you could?

I have news for you, these symptoms are a part of a very serious condition. It is not fatal, but it can be life threatening if not monitored carefully. This condition is called: Motherhood and it is associated with a general feeling of “I could do better”.

The feeling that you can always do better, is one that I have always dealt with throughout my life. But that feeling never had as much weight, as when I had my baby girl. With every choice I made, I questioned myself. Wondering if I could be doing more or doing better. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t always make sure you are making the right decisions and I’m not saying that you shouldn’t want to do more and better. But, when it begins to weigh on your self-image, that is when it becomes a problem. An encouraging criticism of “You can do better” is perfectly acceptable, so long as your self-image and therefore your self-esteem is not affected. When self-esteem is affected, you have to take a step back and look “through the mirror” to see the person you really are inside.

5 ways to better your perception of yourself

1. Make a List

This tip is one I have suggested to many people over the years. It was a simple homework assignment I had during my days of therapy. For 2 weeks straight, every morning, I had to make a list of 5-10 things that I liked about myself. I had to include, at least, one physical trait and one personality trait. The rest could be anything that made me feel good about me. The first day, I struggled for about 30 minutes to come up with five. Especially that physical one! The seventh day, I could easily come up with five (including a physical one) and often had 2-3 more. By the end of the two week period, I could easily list 10 things I liked about myself every single day. Usually, I would come up with a few new ones each day, meaning I had more like 30 things I liked. It really helped me to see myself differently. I started seeing that, though there may be things I don’t like, there are far more things I do like about myself. I don’t do it everyday anymore, but when I am having a bad day, I just look at myself in the mirror and start with #1.

2. Take Time

Often times, the reason why our shortcomings seem so big is because we are already run down. When you become a Mom, you become a Hub. A hub is like the central location that is used by all. As the MomHub, it’s not only your job to manage the entire household as a whole, but to be there individually for each family member. Ask yourself, when is the last time you took a day for you? A day where you didn’t do anything for anyone else? If you’re like me, your answer is probably something like “Um… well… There was that solo grocery trip two weeks ago where I took my time picking out a new shampoo!”. Most Moms find it hard to find time and then to keep the time. But, if you don’t take time to recharge yourself, then when things get stressful, you tend to put it all on your shoulders. And, unlike when you’re refreshing yourself and recharging, you get so broken down and weak, that you can’t handle the weight. You end up letting it alter your perception of yourself. So, make sure to make time for yourself. Whether it’s 30 minutes once a day or a whole day once a week. Just take time, to relax and de-stress yourself. Make a list while you do it, lol.

3. Ask for Help

If you have a significant other, this is their time to shine! If you don’t, find a friend or family member and let them help you out. I once thought there was something wrong with me for wanting someone to reassure me of my value. But, as my psychiatrist, oh so long ago, explained: We need positive feedback from people we value. This allows us to strengthen our bond and to reaffirm all of the positive things you struggle to accept about yourself. It’s one thing to say to yourself you are beautiful, believe me, there is a HUGE value in being able to do that. But there’s something about hearing it from someone you love. It helps make the idea concrete. And you don’t have to necessarily ask someone to compliment you. You can always just ask someone for a hug. Or if they can just let you cry with them. Either way, just remember, the people in your life see the real you, so they can offer a real vision of your true self.

4. Lighten Up

I still struggle with this often. Every time I make a mistake, I tend to take it to the extreme. If I am late getting my daughter to school, suddenly I am a bad mom. If I forget to wash my husband’s work clothes, suddenly I am a bad wife. With every mistake I make, I connect it deeply to a personal flaw. Often, creating the flaw simply because of the mistake. It wasn’t until I met my current husband that I learned I needed to lighten up. Every time I would begin to freak out about some minute detail, he would just start laughing and joking about it. He wouldn’t stop joking until he had me laughing. So, I learned to adopt it. Like I said, I struggle with this one, but I work on it. Any time I start feeling like my mistake is really some great character flaw, I stop and say this: “Does ________ really make me a bad ________?” And, I start to think about how this one mistake is a drop in the ocean of who I am as a Mom/Wife/Daughter/Sister/Whatever!

5. Stop Comparing

However much we struggle as Moms with the previous problems. I would say, no problem is more common than comparing ourselves to other women. This isn’t just a Mom problem, it’s a WOMAN problem. All our lives we compare ourselves to models, movie stars, singers, friends, family… pretty much any woman with which we come into contact. We compare our clothes, our looks, our Facebook posts, our life position, EVERYTHING! And we end up either secretly or subconsciously trying our best to out-do all of the women around us! But here’s the deal: We are all so different that really, there’s no way to compare. Everyone is a different combination of nature and nurture: genetics and raising. It is in our differences that we see the beauty within us all. I know, it sounds so cliche, but it’s true. We have to stop comparing ourselves to one another and instead, learn from each other.

I hope these tips can help you see yourself as the Wild Mommy you are to everyone around you! It’s not easy changing the perception you have of yourself. But with those 5 tips, some time and some patience, you can truly begin to love and accept yourself.

Until Next Time,

Wild Mommy MC

@WildMommyMC

WildMommyMC@yahoo.com

Pregnant Thoughts

by Meagan Ashburn

meaganashburnThe Beautiful  Meagan Ashburn

You know you’re in your last month of pregnancy when…

1:  You buy new pants on your lunch break because the ones you wore to work are no longer comfortable.

2:  Your outfit originally included heels but then you settle for flats for fear of swelling.

3:  You have perfected the “roll” out of bed, because your core muscles no longer exist.

4:  You have priced rib reconstructive surgery because you’re convinced they are all broken.

5:  You leave stuff on the floor you dropped because bending over is not really an option anymore.

And finally…

6:  You suck it up and allow people to do things for you even though you’re a stubborn stubborn woman…

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Right on Meagan! And the most important lesson here is to ACCEPT HELP DURING PREGNANCY!

We so often forget that we are actually growing another human being inside of us!

So, don’t turn down the free dinners, the back/foot rubs and the other extra help! Trust me, you need it.

And Remember, once that baby is born, you have to KEEP accepting that help! It’s never a bad thing to accept help!

PS: I also recommend learning to pick things up with your toes, lol

Until Next Time,

Wild Mommy MC

EXCUSE me? What did you just SAY?- Bad attitudes, meet Wild Mommy!

Continuing with the Mommy BLUES, our next topic is BAD ATTITUDES and how to handle them!

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Of course, with all of my advice, not EVERY CHILD has each and every particular issue.

I have been lucky in some areas and troubled in others. We have had easy success and troubled triumphs.

But one thing we have struggled with in particular is today’s topic, BAD ATTITUDES. And I have seen it a LOT in children today.

To begin with, I want to reiterate something I mentioned in my “Children and Cursing” Blog: It all begins with YOU. If you have a bad attitude, or exhibit any negative outlets of emotion your child will begin to employ those very techniques in their own lives. Especially when they are YOUNG. Their minds are  like SPONGES, taking in ALL information and employing it in their lives. So my first piece of advice, which UNFORTUNATELY comes from experience, watch your OWN attitude!

Now, there are different ways that a bad attitude can show in your child’s behavior.

It may be:

A Smart Mouth

A Spoiled Disposition

An Angry/withdrawn Temperament

And of course, there are MANY little things that they do like crying, tantrums, etc. that are manifestations of a BAD ATTITUDE.

The issue with these kinds of behaviors is that they ARE, in FACT, a DISRESPECT.  By doing any of these they are undermining your authority and disrespecting you, as their parent.

The first thing I ever suggest is to simply say “That behavior is unacceptable.” Of course you may need to alter it like “That attitude is a NO-NO” or WHATEVER, just a clear, concise statement that the remark and/or action is NOT going to be allowed. And you have to nip it in the bud, IMMEDIATELY. Don’t ever let them get away with it. As soon as they have shown their bad attitude, you call them on it and let them know EXACTLY where you stand on that behavior.

Then, depending on your type of parenting, there are a multitude of things you can do. Spanking, Time-Out, Grounding… Heck, I actually had my mouth washed with soap, at least one time, I can remember! I personally find that if the remark or action is BAD enough, one swat to the behind can really nip it, but that is MY way. Not for everyone. But, I also employ time-outs and groundings.

But an important aspect of ANY disciplining is that in the end, you have an open conversation explaining the negative effect of their attitudes and make them apologize. I cannot stress how important it is to create the habit of apologizing for negative behavior. Not only does it help them to become caring and considerate people, they learn to have humility when they have wronged someone. And, in the beginning of their little lives, they simply will not KNOW and sometimes not REMEMBER the need to apologize and make amends, so you HAVE to MAKE them apologize, but you also need to explain WHY they should apologize. I think I have said this before, but I like to use the “In my Shoes” technique and tell them to imagine how they would feel if I had done or said the same thing to them. Often, that will get them to apologize on their own.

Join me FRIDAY as we continue with MISBEHAVING: NOT LISTENING. Where we will discuss how to get your child to pay attention and respect your rules!

Until Next Time,

Wild Mommy MC

@WildMommyMC on twitter and facebook

WildMommyMC@yahoo.com

Children and !#@*# Cursing!

Continuing with our Mommy Blues, we take a look at Potty MOUTHS!

When discussing children and cursing, you have to decide what you want to do.

Are you wanting to prevent childhood cursing or prevent lifelong cursing?

Preventing Life-Long Cursing-

I know more parents that choose this option, not wanting their children to ever  pick up the habit of cursing. Well, the best, easiest, most efficient way to prevent cursing from ever entering your child’s vocabulary is by not cursing YOURSELF and not allowing your child to be around anyone who DOES curse. You can also limit what types of music, movies and TV they are subjected to, therefore limiting the RATING and amount of cursing. Now, I’m not saying they will not get exposed to cursing ever, But you have the power to greatly limit their exposure. And when your child IS exposed to foul language, you point out that that language is not acceptable. If your child begins to curse, I suggest using whatever punishment you would normally use. It needs to be as important an offense as any.

Preventing Childhood Cursing-

However, I have known some parents that choose this option, teaching their children when and where it is appropriate to curse. Though this way of parenting means allowing your child to speak freely, I recommend following the procedure for life-long cursing (limiting exposure to cursing) until your child is mature enough to COMPLETELY COMPREHEND the limits of appropriate cursing. Then, when your child is mature enough to understand, you can explain to them who it is appropriate to curse in front of and what it curses are appropriate and when they are appropriate. And of course, there should be punishment for breaking any rules of appropriateness.

There are probably many parents that would argue for either side of parenting on this aspect. But, in my opinion, either one is fine. I personally, have chosen the second type. My daughter is allowed to speak freely, because I couldn’t honestly say to her “Do as I say not as I do”. And I curse. So, I told her that she needed to make up her own mind on cursing, but she should ONLY do any cursing when she was ALONE or in front of me or my boyfriend (daddy) because we were okay with it. But she was also taught to never curse AT us. and she has only had to be punished ONCE for doing that. But, my daughter is fairly mature when it comes to commanding language, so I trust her to not curse. And well, even though we’ve given her the freedom to curse, the most she ever says is “freakin”, which really doesn’t bother me. And she never uses it TOWARDS anyone.

But if you choose to prevent cursing for LIFE, the best thing you can do is set the example. But I found a technique that can help. Give your child ALTERNATIVES to curse words. When my daughter was younger, and sometimes even now, she would say “Jive turkey”, “sucker”, “fool”, “don’t be a square”, etc. My boyfriend and I had noticed her beginning to pick up cursing from hearing us and other various friends and family, so we stepped in on the offensive and gave her an arsenal of non-curse, curse words. It really worked. She stopped picking up other people’s curses and started using hers. And, it was SUPER CUTE! lol

The most important thing is decided what you want to do, then sticking to it. Remember, if you do not want you kid to curse, you really have to not curse yourself. As well as monitor their exposure to other cursing. If you don’t do that, their sponge-like brains will simply absorb all of those words and begin spitting them out, usually at the WORST times!

121115_FAM_PregnantCursing.jpg.CROP.original-original

So, join me MONDAY as we continue with the next Mommy Blue, which also involves bad MOUTH habits. Talking about kiddos having a BAD ATTITUDE. I know I have struggled with this, but I have a few tips and tricks along with basic ideologies that can really help cool their attitudes.

Until Next Time,

Wild Mommy MC

@WildMommyMC on Twitter and Facebook

WildMommyMC@yahoo.com

FLUSH your FRUSTRATIONS!!

pottytrainingblues

The very FIRST thing you have to do when beginning the wonderful journey of Potty Training (from now on, referred to as PT) is throw your TIME-TABLE and EXPECTATIONS down the TOILET!  I’m not saying there aren’t CERTAIN expectations that perhaps SHOULD exist, but they need to be the big milestones. For example, I feel a child should be done with PT by the time they enter school. (Roughly 4-5yrs) As to WHEN, it is up to them (and you) to figure out.

When a toddler first begins PT, if they have NEVER been introduced to the toilet, it can be quite SCARY. Not only can the SOUND be very loud, but the idea of the toilet sucking things down the drain can be scary as well! The best way to get your child COMFORTABLE with the toilet is to have them around it even before they begin PT. Allow your child to be in the bathroom when you are in it. Especially if you are going to the bathroom. I know a LOT of people would talk about PRIVACY here, BUT, really privacy doesn’t need to come into play until LATER, once, you know, they GET privacy. And, honestly, this is the BEST learning tool I know! Not only can it work with PARENTS, but with siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles etc. And, if your child is the opposite SEX of you, it can be beneficial to have a trusted (by you AND your child) same-sex adult to set an example every so often.  If you just CANNOT have your child in the bathroom with you WHILE using the toilet, have them in there as often as you can. Let them flush the toilet after you’re done or just flush it for fun, to get used to the sights and sounds. Let them sit on the CLOSED potty while you wash your hands or brush your hair. Anything sort of POSITIVE INTERACTION your child can have with the potty and/or bathroom will help with PT.

The first thing I want to address, however, are the SIGNS that your child is READY to begin PT. Some signs can be VERY OBVIOUS, but others can often be overlooked due to their subtlety. So, you have to be watchful and ready for when it comes.

The most obvious and probably most common sign is TAKING OFF THE DIAPER. Sometimes it’s right after ONE USE, sometimes it’s randomly after a FEW USES and sometimes it’s BEFORE USE. Either way, if your toddler begins removing their diaper, it’s usually a sign that they are ready for PT. At the very least it is a sign that they are uncomfortable with their own waste being on them, which means you can show them an alternative that will eliminate that situation! Many kids will respond positively!

Additional signs include being fussy when re-diapering, pointing to the potty, climbing onto the potty or saying “potty”, “peepee” and/or “poopoo”.  Any sort of verbal or physical recognition of the potty should be accepted as a HINT.

Especially if they are verbally or physically cuing you to WHEN they need to go.

The MOST DIFFICULT aspect of potty training it getting your young child to know WHEN they need to go BEFORE they go!  But there are certain things you can do to help with this. The first, is to begin LIMITING and SCHEDULING their intake of liquids. What this means is, you don’t allow them to sip on a drink throughout the day. Instead you schedule when they can have drinks and limit how much they drink.

LIMITING their drinking doesn’t necessarily mean not allowing them to drink to much EITHER. It means that when they do drink, they should drink the entirety of the drink in one session. (Not all at once! But within a time frame! lol) and the entirety of the drink should be no more than about 4oz. (Of course, each child is different). By doing this, you cause them to fill their bladder FULL at ONE TIME. And a SUDDENLY FULL bladder is easier to identify than a SLOWLY FILLED bladder. (Just be aware that it only takes 15-45 minutes for liquid to pass through, so BE READY!)

SCHEDULING their liquid intake is also, doubly, important. As your child is learning to FEEL when they have to go, it’s almost necessary to make sure YOU can try and predict when they will need to go, as well!

Best way to do that, start a SCHEDULE for pottying! Now, during potty training, I recommend a strict wake up time so you can get them on the potty FIRST THING. but as long as it’s the first thing the DO, you’re good! Then, just time it! Every 1-2 hours let them go try. As well as 15-25 minutes after drinking! Of course, always make them try to go before care rides and bedtime. While out, I usually try to take her as soon as we get to our location, as well. Also, try to stick to the schedule while you’re OUT as well. And anyone who babysits needs to stick to it too! 😉 Set alarms, leave reminders OR make a Potty Clock. (Check out my Arts and Crafts category for instructions on how to do that!)

If after about 5-7 minutes of trying your kiddo just CANNOT go, let them get up and return to whatever it was they were doing. Then try again in 10-15 minute intervals until the next hour.

Not only will limiting and scheduling liquids and bathroom breaks be good for their growth and learning of this habit (also make it easier on YOU!), it also helps to support a healthy urinary system. Getting them into the habit of going EVERY TIME they feel the urge. While being able to “hold it” is a lesson you’ll have to teach them, it should ONLY be if there isn’t ANY SINGLE OPTION. I mean not even the side of the road or in a cup! lol And getting them to stop “sipping” is really beneficial for their tooth health!

Now, the next step is ABSOLUTELY CRUCIAL  you MUST, and I mean MUST, make a HUGE deal about EVERY SUCCESS!!

Easiest way to do this is to cheer and applaud! Encourage them to do so as well! But there are PLENTY of other things you can do to make each SUCCESS a big deal! You can give treats like small treasures like dollar store toys, stickers, temporary tattoos and stamps or small treats like ice cream, candy and cookies or you can make a board where they collect stickers or check marks for every SUCCESS and then when they have reached a certain number of marks, they get a LARGE treat or treasure!

But make sure not to allow these to become BRIBES! That doesn’t creates an unhealthy balance of power in your relationship with your child, meaning, THEY are in control, not you. You simply stick to the schedule, place them on the potty and if they SUCCEED they get the reward. If not, they just go back and play and try again later! Be strict about this.

Other ways to encourage PT are to allow your child to wear a costume or crown after every SUCCESS. Let them wear it until the next allotted potty time. Then,if they succeed AGAIN they can wear it or choose another. (Of course this requires buying/making/assembling costumes and/or crowns, but doing that with your kids can be fun!) However, if they do NOT succeed, they have to take it off, and try again later.  If your child gets really upset, distract them with some other toy they have in another room. But if that doesn’t work, just let them cry it out. You HAVE to be STRICT and CONSISTENT with this as well!

Once your child has successfully managed to go potty ON THEIR OWN, you can begin only giving the treats for WHOLE DAYS of going potty. Of course, I feel you should make the treats bigger, as well. As your child succeeds at having whole days without accidents, you up the treats to once a WEEK. At this point, I like to make the week treat a trip to mcd’s or chuckecheese or the park. Something you don’t normally do. After a few weeks of that you can make it a month and eventually it will become habit. But, keep it up as long as they remember, at least until they reach school-age, in my opinion, lol

In addition, I think it’s always best to figure out your child’s PERSONAL POTTY CUE. This is their GO-to action when they need to GO! It can be obvious like HOLDING THEMSELVES, SAYING POTTY, “PEEPEE” and/or “POOPOO” or doing a POTTY DANCE. But it can also be subtle, like squeezing their legs together or rocking. You just have to keep an eye out! Once you learn it, then keep an eye out for that particular action. A small amount of attention can save you from a LARGE amount of MESS! 😉

 

Now, the other side to PT, and I do like to separate the two, is Bedtime PT (BPT). BPT is completely DIFFERENT from regular PT, because there are a few things you can do, but a LARGE MAJORITY of it relies on your kiddo! One thing you can do is RESTRICT liquid intake about 1 hour from bedtime. This allows them 1 hour to use the bathroom before bed, emptying their bladder and NOT REFILLING IT! I DO allow 3 sips of water, upon request, but that’s up to you. (and now that Boo is completely potty trained, she gets to have one glass of non-milk, non-sugar, non-caffeinated (excluding tea) liquid at night.) Another trick I picked up along my PT days was to put underwear on your child, UNDERNEATH the diaper. You can, of course, also buy the “alert” type PT diapers, but I find the underwear method works better! I think it’s because the wet material is just a little bit more UNCOMFORTABLE than the diaper “alert system”. But this CAN mean some ruined underwear, so buy cheaply! This also works for during the day with kids that struggle.

The only other piece of advice I have is for Mommy’s with kids that actually REFUSE to potty and not because they are SCARED. I got this idea from a friend who tried it and had success. All I ever had to do with Boo was threaten it. This friend of mine told her kid that if he refused to use the potty (or even TRY), she refused to clean his messes. Which meant HE had to clean them. And she wouldn’t allow him to use the shower, because he’d mess it up. He had to use the hose in the back yard. The COLD hose. To some, this may seem a bit much, but I think she was right. And like I said, I only ever had to THREATEN this consequence and Boo started TRYING. (Of course, this is ONLY for children who have an ATTITUDE issue with pottying)

Honestly, I was pretty lucky when it came to PT and Boo. She began removing her diaper around age 1. At first it was AFTER going, but then she began doing it BEFORE HAND! After SEVERAL, pretty disgusting, messes, I started limiting and scheduling her liquids and meals! It was too far into that when I started noticing her cues for needing to go and allowing her to go instead of following the schedule. Then, around 2.5yrs old she had 2 things happen. One, she had a few nights in a row without using her diaper during sleep and Two, she woke up twice because she needed to potty. So, I told her if she could go 2 days more without using her diaper at nighttime, she could wear BIG GIRL panties instead of her pull ups. After two dry nights, she had her first panty party! We made a BIG DEAL out of her wearing panties at night. We also agreed that in the she could either a. wake up in the middle of the night and use the bathroom, then sleep late or b. wake up early in the morning to use the bathroom. She wanted a. So Mommy woke up at 3am and she DID use the bathroom. Though my enthusiasm was LOST on sleepy ears at the time, the next morning she got a TREAT! We had maybe a dozen accidents after that point and ALWAYS the rule was that the following night she had to wear a diaper OVER her panties. But, by the time she was 3 she had already been sleeping through the night, clean and dry for a few weeks!

So, there IS proof that my methods CAN  work. But the most IMPORTANT thing about ALL of this is picking the right method for you, your child and spouse, then being CONSISTENT! As long as you start with that, and throw in a little open-mindedness, you will get there. At your family’s own pace as well, which is ALSO important!

Join me FRIDAY as we continue with the MOMMY BLUES, discussing a DIFFERENT kind of POTTY… a potty MOUTH! I’ll give you tips and tricks on how to keep your infant from picking up BAD MOUTH habits!

Until Next Time,

Wild Mommy MC

@WildMommyMC

WildMommyMC@yahoo.com

P.S. On a side note, something, which after some deep thought seemed disturbing to me, is this thing that I have seen MANY parents do. Although I have NEVER understood it, sometimes parents will say the toilet wants to “Eat” their kids waste or attribute life-like characteristics to toilets and/or the process. But, in my mind that makes the toilet seem ALIVE. When I realized that, I asked myself, “How would I feel about going potty in some creatures mouth? Even if he DID like it?”  Just a thought…

Picture via   www.all4humor.com