It’s about showing up

They say how you show up in one area of your life is how you show up in all of them.

 

Showing up with smiles on the first of several 12 hour flights.

Parenting is like writing this blog.

It’s about showing up.

Consistently, reliably, on time.

Whether I feel like it or not, whether my hair is having a good day or not.

Showing up, and putting out content, showing up and loving my daughters, in however they need that to look today.

Every single time.

Without the ability to see if what I am doing is really working, if it is failing, if anyone at all is listening.

But still, I show up.

On the good days, on the bad days, and most importantly on the mediocre days.  Those always seem the hardest.

Here I am.  Are you here?  Is there anyone out there?

Let me know in the comments below.  What does being part of the Mommy Rebellion mean to you?

What does showing up, no matter what look like in your life?

Chase Young is the founder of The Mommy Rebellion a place for judgment-free parenting.  She’s created a place to get tips, tools and support for what it is truly like to be a mother, stories from the trenches that show you you’re not alone.  Tips that real mothers use.  Tools to give to yourself and to your parenting friends to feel more focused, have more patience and energy, and feel less tired and snappy .  
You can follow Chase here on this blog, sign up for her newsletter here and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

How To DeStress Yourself and Your Child through Tapping

Today Sheila Henry brings us a short video on how to use the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or tapping to lower our and our children’s stress levels.

Have you ever done tapping before?  I love her suggestions of how to do it with your children. Join Sheila in this under 10-minute video below and let me know how your experience with EFT is in the comments!

 

Sheila Henry, MFT

Speaker

Licensed Counselor (MFT #8408) for 30 years

Member: ACEP (Assoc. Comprehensive Energy Psychology)

Former member of the Los Angeles Chapter National Speakers Association

Member of the California Chapter Marriage & Family Counselors

Former board member of the San Diego Chapter of Marriage & Family Counselors Active Rotarian for 15 years

Professional Mom’s Success Coach

Author of Professional Mom’s Guide to Success & Sanity, How to Balance Career and Home Life with Less Stress.

The Gifts of Healing

What gifts can breaking an ankle bring?

 

I broke my ankle on 6 August 2017 for the second time.  Different ankle, then the last time 17 years ago, but I still broke it.  And just like before, it still came out of nowhere.

The first time I broke my ankle I was 19 years old and taking my first real vacation from my first real corporate world job.  I was at a pumpkin festival with family swinging out on a rope swing and falling into a pit of packing foam.  I was doing it with an over 6foot tall guy and he wasn’t hitting bottom.  But of course, on the last time, I swung out, instead of swinging and landing on my back I managed to get a leg tucked under me and the only metaphor I can use to describe it was that it felt like someone had stepped on my ankle and compressed it like, when you step on an aluminum can.

That was a huge break, breaking both my tibia and fibula and needing surgery and a long recovery.  I still have a plate with 7 screws on the outside of that ankle and big long screw on the other side, and scars to show for it.  But I did eventually recover.

And there were gifts.  I read the first Harry Potter book in 24 hours and then proceeded to read the next two (all that were currently published at the time), I had the opportunity to “wake up” and realize that I did not want to stay working in the corporate world anymore and that I really wanted to go be a camp counselor or park ranger and have an adventurous life.  I left my job about six months after healing, got a job at my old Girl Scout Camp and then went to France with my Dad who was attending a conference, which in a long way around led to my visiting New Zealand and getting engaged.

So this August when I was hiking a local trail that my family and I have hiked many, many times before (including at least a half dozen times this year) while also with one of the neighbor kids, I was completely taken by surprise when I slipped on some wet rocks and fell, having first one ankle tuck under me and then hearing a loud pop from the other ankle.  I pretty much knew instantly that I broke it.  But there was getting down off the hiking trail that had to happen first.  Hiking boots saved the day.

This fracture has been much different from the first.  In part, because it is a stable fracture, the bone has stayed in alignment and so it has simply been a matter of providing support while my body works on healing the bone.  Did you know you can walk around on a healing bone?  My first broken ankle had required surgery and 6 weeks in a cast followed by 8 weeks in a walking boot.  So far I have skipped surgery, had an air cast for six weeks but was able to start walking without crutches about 3-4 weeks and am now spending six weeks in a lace-up brace that I can wear with or without my shoes on.

I know there are other gifts to have happened during this break.  I can’t see them all yet (hindsight truly is better for somethings) but I know the reorganizing of my fall has brought gifts with it.  One of which being that I no longer do the dishes or much to do with the laundry, that my older two girls have added that to their responsibilities.

As I heal more fully I expect to start to realize the other gifts have been given.  Healing comes in many forms and sometimes we have to break something first.

Chase Young is the founder of The Mommy Rebellion a place for judgment-free parenting.  She’s created a place to get tips, tools and support for what it is truly like to be a mother, stories from the trenches that show you you’re not alone.  Tips that real mothers use.  Tools to give to yourself and to your parenting friends to feel more focused, have more patience and energy, and feel less tired and snappy .  
You can follow Chase here on this blog, sign up for her newsletter here and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

Busy Bee Chase

 Katlin Puchalski  shares with us a picture of what it is like in her busy life, and how sometimes slipping into the orderly life of social gaming is just want she needs to put her oxygen mask on first before continuing on with her day.  Katlin says it better than me:

 

I don’t want to write. I don’t want to read aloud. I don’t want to cook dinner. I don’t want to fold laundry or clean the living room. I don’t want to harvest tomatoes or feed chickens. I don’t even want to pick up children from dance classes. I want to sit in my own clean, quiet, little bedroom and play Gardenscapes, or Two Dots on my phone. Yes, today has been a hard day; but aren’t they all? There is always something: a crisis, maybe big or maybe small, or a situation, an event, that needs my immediate attention.

There are so many shoes that need to be found or tied, homework that needs translation or to simply to be found, or some piece of missing clothing is necessary “right now” and nothing else will do. There are games and events to attend, as well as animals that need tending. Not to mention work, an actual paying job, that needs me to be able to focus and fix mechanisms and tools. There is wood to bring in and the lawn to mow, one more time. Oh, and there is a shower to be had, some time! I am in high demand all day, from my children, from myself, from the chores, from work, from the garden or the house. There is always SOMETHING.

I would like to retreat into my room, with my colorful wool blanket from Ireland. I would sit in the sunshine that is streaming onto the bed, or with the moon shining brightly through the picture window. I want to pretend there is nothing, (or not much), that needs my attention, if only for 30 minutes. I want to play mindless and ‘silly’ games, quietly, alone.

In my ‘silly games’ things are predictable and reliable, (even if that predictability is running out of lives). The outcome is easy to see and the steps fairly regular, (although with just enough twists and turns to hold my attention much longer than it should!). There are several ‘do-overs’, and helpful hints buttons. Real life doesn’t have those. Real life is messy and complicated and stressful. Real life goes fast and slow, and round and round, all at the same time. But real life also has love and cuddles and fairy kisses.

Real life has stories to read while snuggling all together, morning and night, in anticipation of the next plot twist. Real life is busy, but it is MY busy. My busy has moments of laughter and giggles, as well as times of quiet contemplation. I start my day with a cheerful breakfast, bonding with my 13-year-old. And at the end of my day is snuggling my nine-year-old, among all her stuffed animals and dolls and books. And the middle of my busy day is hearing about capture the flag at recess and the crazies of sixth-grade girls from my eleven-year-old, quiet, but steady middle daughter. Mountains are waiting to be climbed and rivers to be explored. Family adventures abound around here! One daughter has mastered a new piece of music today and another perfected a tricky dance step this evening, and a third is riding her ‘horse’, otherwise known as a bike round and round the house. And then there are so many bedtime stories and snuggles to be had, (before they don’t need them anymore). My day is busy and messy and crazy but full of energy and love.

Soon, I will go read the book, while helping with Algebra and cooking dinner. Then I will do some endless laundry, and drive somewhere for a practice pick up or drop off. And I will end the day snuggling each one and marveling at their growth. … But for now, I will slip away for a few moments, and plant some imaginary trees, or pop some bubbles or dots of varying colors, until I run out of ‘play’ lives. I will be refilled to happily rejoin the rest of my Busy Bee day.

Katlin Puchalski is a mother to three daughters, a professional gardener, a fixer of tools, a maker of dinners, lunches and intricate schedules (requiring cloning of herself), and also a worker of miracles. Over the past several years she has discovered the therapeutic healing in writing, honestly, about her daily struggles.
Like many mothers, she tries to do too much and often ends up struggling with balance, as well as taking time for herself. Writing, and then sharing that writing through her blog gives her the necessary time to herself, as well as a chance to reflect on the wonderfulness of her Busy Bee life.
You can find, and follow, her blog at Finding My Bees Knees.

Driving

One of my little-known talents is that I have been writing poetry since I was probably about 11.  It’s something that has gotten me through super hard times, and yet has been something I have continued to push away as an adult.  I am working on re-embracing myself as a writer.  This was written 23 October 2015, but sums up life as a mother sometimes.  All we do is drive.

 

Driving
I’m always driving
Constantly
Stuck behind
This
Wheel
The road rarely
Changes
Only the stories
In our heads
And the words
Left unsaid
Driving
I’m always
Driving
Never
Arriving
Or leaving
Just driving
And if it’s about the
Journey
And not
The destination at the
End
Then what
The
Hell
Am I doing
Again?
Driving
Always
Driving
Without
End.

Chase Young is the founder of The Mommy Rebellion a place for judgment-free parenting.  She’s created a place to get tips, tools and support for what it is truly like to be a mother, stories from the trenches that show you you’re not alone.  Tips that real mothers use.  Tools to give to yourself and to your parenting friends to feel more focused, have more patience and energy, and feel less tired and snappy .  
You can follow Chase here on this blog, sign up for her newsletter here and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

At Peace with Screens…

This we are joined by Michelle Thompson, P.h.D, JD who writes about what screen time has meant to her only son.  And how she is at peace with it, at least for the moment.

 

I remember when Angry Birds was released as a game you could play on your device of choice. My sister’s partner let my son James play it at a restaurant. He LOVED it. He was five.

I downloaded the game on my laptop. That worked well because I wrote my dissertation on it, so he only had access to it when I wasn’t writing . . . and I was writing all of the time.

Fast forward to 2012, and I bought an iPad. I had games on it (Angry Birds and all its iterations), but it was MY iPad that I used to deliver college lectures and . . . edit chapters of my dissertation. That’s right, while James was hooked, he had limited access to that device.

Then James earned and was given rather large chunks of money as gifts. Do you know what he did with that money?

Buy an iPad.

I gave him an old smartphone of mine that didn’t work well. He wanted a new one. He bought an old model iPhone. With money he earned.

 

While Angry Birds no longer capture his imagination, YouTube, apps with endless memes, and Clash of Clans absolutely do. It’s not infrequent that you say something to him and get silence. I’ve been known to FaceTime with him – in the same house! It’s often the only way I can get his attention. My partner often gets nothing because he isn’t listening and she doesn’t use FaceTime (I think it’s fair to say that electronically, she’s the EXACT OPPOSITE of my son and I. She doesn’t use apps!).

However, he is the child who comes home and does his homework well. He participates in soccer and track. He’s actually really good at them. He twitches all the time if he doesn’t get enough exercise. He’s a great traveler and loves to cook. He spends time with our dog and practices the piano. His friends’ younger siblings LOVE him. He babysits.

He’s an only child, so I know that he’s easily bored. I know that boredom is often necessary to create.

But the screens get in the way.

Yes, I want this to change. I won’t give up the fight for figuring out how to separate him from screens without becoming entertainer-in-chief.

I don’t want this to be a never-ending fight. I want his mind in this with me. I want him to understand why this doesn’t work well for him. I know that much more connection with him is needed.

So for now, I’m at peace with his screens. For now.

Michelle Dionne Thompson, Ph.D., JD is the Founder and CEO of Michelle Dionne Thompson Coaching and Consulting, a primarily coaching business that works with women in law and academia to set and meet aligned goals sanely in the midst of insane industries. A recovering lawyer and a historian, she also teaches college and is writing her first book, Jamaica’s Accompong Maroons (1838 – 1905): Retooled Resistance for Continued Existence.

Visibility

What does it mean to be visible as a parent?  Am I ever going to be able to go to the bathroom alone or put my makeup on in silence?

 

Visibility.

It is something I think we all struggle with.  Because we are women because we are mothers because we live in a society that cares so much about what we look like.  We are immediately judged and are judging everyone on how we look.

It is written in our DNA, we are supposed to find the people who look like us so that we can be protected as babies.  So we can be cared for and nurtured.  So that we can belong and therefore be loved.

Yet if you have any small part of you that is an introvert, if you have ever told a secret in confidence and had that confidence spread like wildfire, then you have met up with issues around visibility.

It is not always safe to be visible, as women we inherently know this, even if we fight against it, we have been oppressed in so many different ways for so long, that we know this.  We know this. We have been oppressed in so many different ways for so long, that we know this.  We know this.

It isn’t always safe to be visible as moms.  I remember having my young daughters point out the truth of things.  My butt was getting big because I was pregnant and they told me about it repeatedly.

They watch my every move, all the time, from the moment they wake up until the moment they go to sleep and they have been doing this since the moment they were born, and they will always be doing this.  This was the burden I picked up when my first daughter was born.  This constant watching, and being the model for everything.  Because that is what our role is as mothers, there is no real getting around it.  We can deny it and pretend it doesn’t exist, but it is still there.

Because that is what our role is as mothers, there is no real getting around it.  We can deny it and pretend it doesn’t exist, but it is still there.

Lately, I have been noticing more gray hair.  It could just be that I inherited the early gray hair gene that runs in my maternal line.  Or maybe life has been stressful lately and this is the way my body is choosing to express it.  As a redhead, it is not as obvious as it would be if my hair was darker.

And so far my daughters haven’t commented on it.  But I wonder if my gray keeps coming if my youngest will remember me with red hair?  What gifts of visibility will I be handing off to her?

I constantly work with visibility in my business, in writing this weekly blog post and posting a weekly video on Facebook.  So far I am not going to lie and say it has gotten any easier.  What comes up each time changes, but easier.  Nope.

Being visible in the current world is not always easy or safe.

But the more we can be, the more we can shine our light in the darkness.  Which may help more women, daughters, mothers to shine their light as well.

How does visibility affect your parenting?

Chase Young is the founder of The Mommy Rebellion a place for judgment-free parenting.  She’s created a place to get tips, tools and support for what it is truly like to be a mother, stories from the trenches that show you you’re not alone.  Tips that real mothers use.  Tools to give to yourself and to your parenting friends to feel more focused, have more patience and energy, and feel less tired and snappy .  
You can follow Chase here on this blog, sign up for her newsletter here and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

When God Laughs: A Birth Story

Even with the best of intentions births do not always go the way we planned.  Actually, I am not sure any birth does, but sometimes they are more extremely off plans than others.

Today  Katie Gall shares what didn’t go right in her son’s birth, and her journey to motherhood.  And if you would like to hear more about her journey, check out her previous post here.

My little boy, Finn, was born on May 11 via C-Section.

He was due July 8.

The plan was thus:

  1. 1- Go into labor at home on or around July 8
  2. 2- Wait until contractions are close enough together
  3. 3- Grab our pre-packed go bag and head to the hospital
  4. 4- Do my best to deny drugs and at all costs avoid anyone sticking a needle in my spine
  5. 5- Have a vaginal birth
  6. 6- Start breastfeeding
  7. 7- Recover for 4-6 weeks at home
  8. 8- Back to work by mid/end of August

Yea, literally NONE of this happened.  

But you’ve probably heard this phrase before:

“Man plans and God laughs”

Now, I don’t love the term “God” personally.  There’s a lot inherent in that word that I don’t connect with.  But if there is an all-knowing being out there in the universe somewhere then he has been having a good old chuckle watching me try to navigate the past 4 months.

Here’s what happened instead, number by number:

1- Went into labor 2 months early on May 1.  Didn’t enter the hospital till May 3 because I was told I was just peeing myself.

2- Contractions started May 1, but then subsided until May 11 (which, in this case, was a great thing).  I ended up being in the hospital myself for one and a half weeks because leaving the hospital AT ALL meant putting Finn at risk for an infection (because apparently tons of shit just crawls up your vagina every day?!?!)

3- There was no go-bag ready.  Instead, my best friend sprang to action and packed all manner of things into a bag to be carted to Portland so that I had something besides a hospital gown to wear.

4- Right from the get-go we knew he was breech and that I didn’t have enough fluid for him to turn, so since this was my first pregnancy that meant a c-section.  Plus, during labor, they didn’t want to give me anything to help with the pain for fear of it slowing down his breathing AND they kept hoping that it was false labor so I couldn’t do any of the things to make labor more bearable (i.e. birthing ball, walking, etc.)  So I guess I sorta got half of this one?  Though since it ended in surgery, I’m not counting it.

5- …See above.

6- Once he was out he had to stay in the hospital till he could feed himself (among other things, but that took the longest.)  Which ended up being four and a half weeks.  And research has shown that babies grow best at home, not the NICU.  And it’s easier to feed out of a bottle than breast.  So we went the easier route and I pumped like crazy so that he could eventually eat out of a bottle (not exclusively). The hope was to transition him to breast exclusively when we got home but it turns out he HAAAAAAATES breastfeeding.  My child will probably be an ass man.  Or gay.  Which I guess also makes him an ass man (ba-dum ching!)

7- My recovery took place in the NICU.  Though, this was a blessing in disguise.  Because I am sure it’s hard as fuck to try to recover AND take care of a baby 4 days out from major surgery (which is what happens in the US of A.)

8- I’m close on this one.  Heading back just after Labor day.  But starting two months early makes this a lie too.

So imagine this.  There I was, pumping every 2 hours, feeding Finn every 3 through a feeding tube, then a bottle, and having to choose between my husband and my baby every night since both of us couldn’t stay in the hospital room.  At the nurse’s suggestion, I went back to where we were staying every night except 2 because they pointed out that we still had quite a road ahead of us once Finn got home.  There would be plenty of sleep deprivation in my future.

I cried almost every night I had to leave him.  And I cried during the days when they had to nick his heel to test his blood, or move his IV because a vein had blown, or any time he had to endure pain in any way.

And I let myself eat whatever the fuck I wanted.  This was a big deal for me, because I’m a health coach so being good about food and fitness are usually my forte.  I tried to make generally healthy choices, but I was pumping and emotional and hungry all the time and just couldn’t really get myself to give much of a shit about being perfect with my food.  And I just had surgery, so no fitness.

And as I mentioned, Finn didn’t like the boobies.  After many “fights” trying to get him to just FUCKING TAKE THE BOOB ALREADY (I never actually yelled at him… don’t worry), I broke down, did some soul searching, got some great counsel, and grieved the loss of my grand plan.  

Breastfeeding was a no-go, and I couldn’t keep pumping every 2 hours, feeding him every 3-4, and expect to stay sane.

Honestly, I’m still having a hard time with it.  I worry that I gave up too soon.  That I became too selfish about the schedule.  That a “good mom” wouldn’t choose her emotional needs over the most basic need of feeding her child.  How dare I be thinking and stressing about getting back to work when this little nugget in my arms needed my love and attention?

But the fact is, I was so unhappy.  My husband, mother, and friends all noticed.  Tears were constantly under the surface and, really, that is also not something that a “good mom” should allow.

Nothing went as planned with my birth.  I was hoping to do all the perfect mom things, to have this picture perfect moment in life, and instead I was thrown into the turmoil of imperfect solutions and constant self-doubt.

And so, with this piece, I hope to provide myself some relief.  And, hopefully, for those of you too who had a perfect “plan” for parenthood.  I give myself and you permission to release that frustration and surrender to whatever “higher power” you have.  I also give you permission to drink a glass of wine and scream into a pillow when you need.

Because ultimately, your child needs a parent.  A parent that loves them, feeds them, changes their diaper, listens when they are sad, and is always ready with a giant hug for their sorrows or a fire to light under their ass when they need to get it together.  

We aren’t here to be perfect.  We’re here to give love.  In the best way we can.

Katie Gall helps people discover the full power of their body’s ability to achieve optimal health, create a habit of self-love, and live in harmony with their body.

Katie Gall is a Health, Wellness and Empowerment Coach. She helps people discover the full power of their body’s ability to achieve optimal health, create a habit of self-love, and live in harmony with their body.

Bounce and Sway – What to do when you have no energy!

This is one of the first videos I ever did back in August of 2015.  But it is still something I do anytime my energy is low, even if I have to try and do it from a chair due to the broken ankle these days.

 

Posted by Chase Young on Saturday, April 25, 2015
Chase Young is the founder of The Mommy Rebellion a place for judgment-free parenting.  She’s created a place to get tips, tools and support for what it is truly like to be a mother, stories from the trenches that show you you’re not alone.  Tips that real mothers use.  Tools to give to yourself and to your parenting friends to feel more focused, have more patience and energy, and feel less tired and snappy .  
You can follow Chase here on this blog, sign up for her newsletter here and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

It’s Back To School Time

It is back to school season around the country and while my kids are homeschooled, my friend Kim Calichio volunteered to say some things about the adjustment period that is going on right now.

Kim runs The Connected Chef in New York and loves helping families connect to each other through the medium of food.  As a former sous chef at one of the best restaurants in NYC, Kim understands food at an intuitive level.  Instead of teaching recipes, Kim teaches techniques, because as a mother of two active little boys, she understands that sometimes reading a recipe takes more brain power than we have!

Join Kim in the video below and get some inspiration for making the adjustment to back to school.

Kim Calichio is the owner and visionary behind The Connected Chef.

The Connected Chef works with families to use food as a way to connect with one another.  Our children’s gardening and cooking classes and individual family programs both allow us to work with clients to problem solve the struggles of parenthood and food. The results: Kids who feel empowered to make independent & healthy food choices and develop a natural respect for their environment and community; Parents who are able to take a breath and connect with their kids instead of engaging in the ever present struggle of mealtime.

You can get your Quickstart Guide to Easy, Healthy Meals as a Family from Kim here.