Be Yourself

Photos from Pinterest.

When people ask, “What do you do”, I feel confused about how to answer that question. Sometimes I want to say that I’m a writer, editor, or an artist of sorts, but then I think just because some of my writing and edited material has been published doesn’t necessarily make me a “professional”, so I feel like I’m kind of stretching the truth if I say that I am a writer.

Hmm…what do I do for a living? I’ll tell you what I do…

I listen to my inner voice, follow my own unique path, pay attention to my surroundings, connect with an eclectic mix of people, and see where that all takes me.

Is that an acceptable answer? More

About these ads

Over-Scheduling

Sometimes it’s difficult to resist the temptation of over-scheduling ourselves and our kids. At the beginning of each school year, I fill Bella & Olivia in on their options and they chose what they want to do. I don’t let the girls participate in more than two extracurricular activities at a time. Sometimes I think they can participate in “just one more” activity because it’s hard to turn down all of the exciting opportunities that are available for kids these days, but I know that if we add just one more organized activity we all pay the price. Free time is essential.

There are times during the school year that I feel too busy, hurried, and pressured to go-go-go. I have good intentions, but sometimes I over commit to too many activities myself. I absolutely love summer because there is a simplistic relaxed vibe and much more time for unstructured creative play.

Over the extended Memorial Day weekend, the kids ran wild outside for four days straight and did not participate in one structured event. They did not complain of being bored once and they played so hard they practically fell asleep before even falling into bed. They had a great time. It was awesome.

Yay. Summer is almost here…

I don’t want to be over committed. Studies have shown that unstructured, creative play is crucial for optimal child development. If you are feeling the pressure of over-scheduling yourself or your kids, just remember that free time is just as valuable, if not more, than structured time. Don’t cave into pressure. The kids won’t “fall behind” if they don’t sign up for every possible activity available to them. They will just end up feeling pressured, stressed, hurried, tired, anxious, and disconnected if they are over-scheduled. So go outside, play, be creative, and have fun! That is good for everyone!

Striving For Perfection—Wasting Time on Unrealistic Expectations & Comparisons

I have always been a Type A, high-energy person who has lots of goals and “to do” lists. My goals don’t include flying to the moon, being a rock star, becoming a neuroscientist, or anything amazing like that, but they are mine and they are important to me. I’m at my best and happiest when I’m meeting challenges head on and juggling lots of things at once. Sometimes, I feel like a hummingbird flying here and there trying to get it all done. I love that feeling. I’ve always enjoyed striving to reach new goals–until suddenly I wasn’t having fun anymore.

I’m not sure why or when it happened, but something shifted within me. I was trying to make everything “perfect” instead of enjoying the process of learning, creating, and reaching goals. Somehow, I got it stuck in my head that I needed to up the ante. I did this to myself—no one else did. I wanted everything to be “just so”. We all know there is no way to have the “perfect” body, hair, complexion, clothes, relationships, marriage, kids, career, or life. Perfection does not exist, but still… More

Making New Friends–I’m Not Talking About The Kids

Megan and I have been friends for 20 years. This is a case of two people randomly being thrown together, opposites attract, and becoming the best of friends for life.  :) Thanks, Meg!

Making new adult friends isn’t always easy…

I’m not talking about acquaintances. I’m talking about a true friend who you feel completely comfortable being yourself with. Someone you can goof off with, have fun with, be serious with, and can behave like a complete dork and idiot around without worrying about what they think. Someone you can share your innermost deep thoughts and feelings with knowing that they will not share your information with others or judge you, even if they don’t agree with you. Mutual respect and honesty are present.

A true friend is a part of your “team”. You want what is best for each other and you want each other to thrive and be happy. You don’t compete with each other and you always have each other’s back. You bring out the best and funniest in each other, but you feel safe enough to be at your lowest in their presence.

A real friend is someone who will not maliciously talk shit about you, but she may talk smack to your face.

It is someone who cares enough to tell you when they are upset with you, so that issues can be resolved. Uncomfortable topics are discussed; not swept under the carpet to fester or be ignored. A friend is someone who does not suddenly disappear from your life forever. It is someone, you know deep down, whom you can count on—no matter what. You may not talk for days, weeks, or even months, and things are not always perfect between you, but you know that you are solidly connected. It takes time to get to that place.

I’m not interested shallow relationships. My desire for intimacy and mutual understanding in relationships has led to me having a small eclectic mix of trusted friends. I like it that way. Those friendships are very special to me.

Meeting new friends like that, as an adult or a transplant from another state or country, can be challenging. I’ve spoken to many women about this topic, and the unofficial poll results seems to be that meeting new acquaintances as an adult is easy, but making new real friends with depth is a challenge. Do you think that’s true?

When we meet someone as an adult, many different factors play a role into whether or not the new acquaintance becomes a true friend.

You may see a woman several times…you both smile, there is chitchat and small talk, you enjoy each other, you may share a few stories, books, recipes, and shopping, event, or childcare information. You may wonder–Would I feel comfortable fully expressing myself to this person? Do I want to? Will I be able to trust her? Will our husbands get along? Does that matter? Do the kids get along? Does it matter that they go to different schools? Is she a nice-to-your-face and talk-about-you-behind-your-back type of woman who cares about labels, social ladders, cliques, and being connected to “important” people? If so, I disengage as fast as I can. Who wants to invite that in your life…I want genuine authentic relationships that are not tainted by nonsense—at least it’s nonsense to me. More

Pride or Prejudice by Tracie Stern

I love this piece by Tracie because as a woman and a mother, I can relate to all the thoughts and feelings she wrote about–even if for just a few moments. Haven’t we all felt like these characters at some point in our lives?

Here’s Tracie…

You are walking down the grocery store aisle. As a mother of three, you are dressed for comfort and mobility as your list of “To Do” things is long and exhausting. Approaching you from the other end is a woman whose appearance is the kind that makes you take a second look. Her hair is done, not overly but naturally, soft curls pulled back into a half bun, her nails are done and her makeup is natural but enhancing. Her fashion is modern and understated yet as a whole she draws your eye in with an almost sense of admiration because she looks so well put together. At first sight, do you take the stand of pride or prejudice in how this woman is presenting herself?

This situation takes an out-of-body approach. Imagine you are watching the scene unfold as an impartial 3rd party. You see the mom, dressed in a combination of stretchy pants and flats with an over sized sweater. As a description goes, frumpy may come to mind. There is a small child in the cart, eating Cheerios from a plastic bag as mom goes over the list she has written so as to not forget anything. The baggy clothes could be hiding anything–a great figure or in the moms eyes, maybe figure flaws brought on by years of neglect, children, or a forgotten sense of self. No one really knows, as it’s next to impossible to see through it.

When the mom notices the woman approaching from the other end, she will in that instant make a decision. That mom will either judge this woman with a sense of prejudice due to her own self-confidence issues or she will embrace the pride this woman has in herself and give her some mental applause. Which one are you? More

French Women: Do They Know Something That We Don’t?

“Kiss at the Hotel de Ville” by Robert Doisneau

I have recently read several books about French culture and the French women’s attitudes about relationships, parenting, sex, personal style, food, marriage, and the way they live their day-to-day lives. I read What French Women Know About Love, Sex, and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind, by Debra Ollivier, and I was so intrigued that I read another book by Ollivier called, Entre Nous: A Woman’s Guide To Finding Her Inner French Girl. I’m currently reading Lunch in Paris: A Love Story With Recipes, which is a memoir by Elizabeth Bard. It’s quite entertaining and the recipes look delicious. The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain, is on my nightstand waiting to be read next. It’s pretty obvious that I’m slightly obsessed with the French at the moment.

The French women seem different from American women. I’m not saying their way is better by any means, but they come across as free-spirited, yet sophisticated, self-possessed, and refined. The French women don’t like rules, do’s and don’ts, how to articles, relationship experts, gyms, or tools and techniques to finding love or looking like so-and-so. The French don’t seem to give a damn about what people think (unless you are talking about food, wine, chocolate, sex, politics, books, or pleasure). They simply live their lives as they please.

A typical (or maybe stereotypical) French woman doesn’t want to look, dress, buy, and behave like other women, actors, or models. They want to be independent minded, intelligent, sexy, and cultivate their own unique style and inner world. Apparently, that is the social “norm” in France. I think Americans want the same things, but sometimes we seem to have a harder time being honest about who we really are or want to be because we care too much about being liked or about being like everyone else. French women are not brought up to care about that sort of thing.  

I was telling one of my friends, Kaia, about the book What French Women Know, and I blurted out, “You know all this time I thought maybe I was a freak, but now I think—I must be French!” We both laughed. Yeah—ha, ha, real funny. But, there is a little truth to that statement in some areas of my life. It’s not that I’ve thought of myself as a freak (whatever that means…what’s “normal” anyway? It’s all relative—the way we choose to live our lives.), but there are definitely times when I feel as though I swim against the mainstream. I like it that way; I really truly enjoy it actually. More

Beauty & The Media ~ The Reality Behind The Images by Liz Nord.

Every day, we are bombarded with unrealistic beauty images through the internet, television, magazines, billboards, and movies. When I was younger, I had no idea that what I saw was not reality. I naively thought that all the gorgeous models and actors looked that way naturally. I remember looking at magazines wondering how someone could possibly be so beautiful. The standards seemed so high and unattainable, and there was little positive representation of diverse looks, ages, or body types. The constant messages seemed clear, if you want to be successful, happy, and popular you must look a certain way. As a pre-teen and teenager, I compared myself with those images and did not feel beautiful. I felt short, plain, and not pretty, which equated to not good enough—in my mind. I figured out, much later, that the images are fake, the messages are wrong, and that I am good enough as I am.

For women, intelligence still seems to take a back seat in the media—it’s not enough if you are “just smart”, as I mention in this previous post. The message is that you have to be smart and “perfectly beautiful” to succeed or be over-the-top sexed up to get attention. Girls, boys, men, and women are still buying into the bogus images and false messages today and the effects are not good for self-esteem, self-worth, confidence, healthy body image, and respect issues. More

Labeling People by Liz Nord

 Source

People laugh at me sometimes because I don’t remember where I buy things. People look at me sideways when I say I don’t know the designer of the clothes or shoes I’m wearing, or what type of car someone is driving, or when I honestly don’t have a clue about the current “it” product. I remember thinking at times, maybe I’m just not that smart. What’s wrong with me? Why don’t I remember those details? I was talking with my friend, Megan, about my concerns. Megan has known me for over twenty years and she knows me very well. She said something like, “You don’t remember those things because you don’t care about those types of things. You are really smart about the things that you are interested in and care about.” Why didn’t I think of that?

I don’t care about labels. I don’t care if I buy my clothes and make up at Target, Nordstrom, some fancy boutique, Fred Meyer, or an unknown about-to-close-down-hole-in-the-wall store. I know what I like and it’s just stuff to me. Material things that don’t make me any better or worse than anyone else because of where I bought it, how much it cost, or how popular it is. What and where we buy things may put us in a certain “social class”, but do you think I care? Not in the least. That is meaningless to me in terms of how I think or feel about myself or someone else. Don’t get me wrong, I like nice things and I appreciate beautiful artwork, clothes, and homes, but we are so much more than what we buy, have, or sell. I’m more interested in getting to know someone based on who they really are—their depth and their story. More

Hello, world! Welcome to the Secrets of Moms Who Dare to Tell All!

Hi, everyone!

This website is for all you parents out there who want to hear the real ins and outs of being a mom. We will discuss the moments, days, feelings, and experiences that most moms don’t usually share with anyone but their closest friends. Almost every mom I’ve met has said that no one ever told her what it’s really like to be a parent. You hear about how wonderful, fun, and lovey everything is (and that’s true), but people don’t tell you about the craziness, unpredictability, and all-encompassing reality of what it’s like to raise kids. I wish I would’ve known the truth sooner, so that I never would’ve felt like a failure for not being perfect. Thankfully, I don’t feel that way anymore–what is perfect, anyway!?! I am perfectly unperfected and so are you. Let’s help all the mom’s out there feel good about themselves and their children, by being real.

This is a place for EVERYONE to have honest, direct dialogue without judgment. Secrets will be told and almost anything goes. We will cover every topic imaginable–the good, the bad, and the funny. Several of my friends will be on-going contributors, and we hope you will comment often. Let yourself be heard! Dads are welcome too. Please share your stories, send us comments and pictures, and tell the truth. As long as you are speaking your truth, you are welcome here. Please be kind to each other, interact, and ask questions.

No nude pictures or completely deviant comments, please.

Liz Nord is the creator of www.secretsofmoms.com. She is a wife and mother of two daughters ages six and nine. She loves family, running, reading, seeking knowledge, baking, laughing, innovating, traveling, in-depth conversations, sunshine, and outdoor adventures. She earned a B.A. in Communications, and completed graduate editing courses at the University of Washington. Liz has published articles in a number of magazines, newspapers, and on numerous websites. She has been a guest on the Leeza Gibbons talk show, Hollywood Confidential, and serves on the Editing Certificate Advisory Board at the University of Washington. She is also the co-creator of Plus-Size Models Unite. She is passionate about promoting healthy self-esteem, positive body image, and confidence.  She believes in cultivating who you are truly meant to be and embracing your unique self.

We are an eclectic, intelligent, fun group of women, who are all here to share our parenting experiences. Introducing the rest of the team: More

Archives

I'm listed in Life & Lifestyle

Copyright © 2011. All rights reserved

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 224 other followers

%d bloggers like this: