Learn to Think Like Your Child: Mindset For Moms

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Photo Credit: Melanie Alvarez | Papergirl Press via Compfight cc

Today when your child misbehaves, look for ways to see beyond the behavior to the root. That one sentence was a serious challenge to me. To paraphrase Bill Cosby, more often than not, parents aren’t interested in justice, they are interested in quiet. Too often I don’t care why my kids are misbehaving, but I want it to stop. But as Jamie points out in this chapter, kids’ minds don’t work like adults. I find this to be especially hard with my 2 year old. I often don’t understand what he is saying, let alone why he’s throwing things on the floor. Sometimes he’s just being two, other times there is a reason.

I think the root of much of my children’s bad behavior comes from need for reassurance. They want to see if I notice and care enough to correct them. I’ve often wondered if letting them run wild would be easier. (I do know that it isn’t, but as any tired parent can attest, the temptation is always there). But I think they get security from knowing that I won’t let them do anything really dangerous or terrible.

But roots matter, motive matters. When my two year old bites his sister is it because he’s angry that she took his toy, frustrated that I won’t pay attention to him or does his mouth just hurt? When my five year old whines at me, is it because she just wants me to drop everything and give her my attention for a minute or is something really wrong?

I want to be more aware of what is going on in my kids’ heads, even if they can’t always understand it themselves. Sometimes I try to remember what it was like to be a kid, and I often do. I remember thinking that all I wanted was to be a grownup, so that I could do whatever I wanted. I had no idea how good I had it having hours to read and play and the whole summer to have fun. I remember feel the sense of injustice when both of us got punished for what one child did. I remember feeling angry at the lack of control I felt I had over my life. (In some ways that feeling has never entirely gone away). So in those moments when I’m tempted to disregard the way and just deal with the how, I’m going to try to bed better at slowing down and trying to see my kids’ perspective, even if the end result/punishment is the same. I hope knowing that I get them will make it easier.

Mindset for Moms From Mundane to Marvelous Thinking in Just 30 days

How Do You Want to Change? Mindset for Moms

Talk Less: Mindset for Moms

Remember the Promise of the Seasons: Mindset for Moms

Want What You Have: Mindset for Moms

Fake It: Mindset For Moms

What Are You Expecting?: Mindset For Moms

Don’t Expect Kindness From Your Kids: Mindset for Moms

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Lost: Five Minute Friday

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Today’s prompt is Lost.

I’ve skipped FMF for the last few weeks, mostly because I felt like I didn’t have anything to say. I’ve felt a bit empty and lost the last few weeks. There have been good things, like family vacations to the beach, preparation for the visit of long time friends and looking forward to a weekend without kids to attend a family wedding. But mostly it’s been lots of laundry, a toddler who never listens, not enough sleep and trying desperately to get my eating and exercise habits under control. (With more success in the former than the latter). I’ve fallen admittedly into my usual trap of using food to relax. Sweet things at nap time and after the kids are in bed for the night. Are these things inherently bad? No, but I know that they shouldn’t be my coping mechanism.

We’re approaching some big decisions in our family. How to handle our first year homeschooling more formally (though still not required to register with the state yet), when/if we will grow our family, how we will augment our income to help us pay off our debt. It’s overwhelming at times. Most days I try not to think about it and just keep moving, as though if I stop too long I’ll realize how confusing things really are. But then when I finally do stop I’m not sure where I am. Are these goals I’m working towards still something I want? Do I need to let go of some long held responsibilities? Create more margin in my life? All I can see around me is the forest and the path seems so unclear.

These are the times when I should be standing still and wait for help to find me. Seeking the wisdom of my Father and Creator, knowing that he has a plan. I’ll admit that I haven’t really been doing that lately. So I’m going to try and start again. Forget what I haven’t done in past and just strive to do better until I am found again.

Want to join us? Read more about Five Minute Friday here.

Fit2B on Vacation: A Week of Relaxation

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Photo Credit: Michael Foley Photography via Compfight cc

Since I was on vacation last week, I decided that I should try out the Week of Relaxation. I wanted to continue my exercise goal, but while cutting myself a little bit of slack since we would be away from home and busy with the kids and extended family. Sharing the house also meant that I couldn’t easily steal the main living area in order to work out. I didn’t workout every day. I did a few of the relaxation routines in the days leading up the trip, when my stress was highest, and after I came home, another time of increased tension. While we stayed at the beach house, I often got up early and enjoyed the peace of the living room filled with the early morning light before the rest of the house was awake. I went running twice with my sister and brother-in-law (with their two sons in the jogging stroller) as we tackled the first week of a Couch to 5K program. Below are my reviews of the Relaxation Pathway. If you need a break from regular workouts, or a slower start after some time off, this is a great way to ease in.

Face & Neck Yoga

This is a very focused workout. Bethany does it standing but I just sat on the floor in a cross legged position. This works all the little muscles of your face and neck and is great for releasing tension. It looks a little silly, but it definitely does what it’s designed to do.

Bedtime Meditation

So I didn’t do this at bedtime, but it was still a great way to relax, especially at the end of a hard day, or maybe just a time during the day when you need a moment. (For me this is when both my kids are having quiet time in their rooms in the afternoon). This really isn’t a workout per se so much as a guided meditation. You don’t need to look at the screen and it could be easily done using your smart phone in a park or on the beach.

Neck Routine

This workout was so good for neck tension. I’ve always had tight neck, shoulder and upper back muscles. Between the college years spent studying and sitting at a computer to my years working in an office and now looking down at little children all day, my neck is a regular source of pain. I used to get weekly headaches that would run up the back of my neck and around my forehead. I wish I had known this workout then. I did this in the early morning so everything was very tight. But like the other workouts in this series, it was a wonderful way to start the day.

Simply Stretching 

This is a great workout when all you want to do, or feel up to doing, is stretching. I did this as an early morning warm up while I was on vacation. I love that Fit2B is so portable. In the early morning light of the living room of our beach house, my laptop on the coffee table, I was able to greet the new day with gentle stretching. Later, when my sister and I tackled day one of a Couch to 5K program, it felt good to already have my muscles gently awakened. Normally, long stretching workouts aren’t something I usually have time for. What little time I have for exercise I want to focus on cardio or strength building. But since we were on vacation I wanted to focus on relaxation. This workout, both its length and the gentle stretching therein, was exactly what I needed.

Basic Transverse & Mula Bandha 

I’ve done this workout tons of times and it never really occurred to me before how relaxing it can be. It is in every way a gentle core workout. Bethany’s encouraging words of honor for your core is also a good focus, especially if you feel like you should be doing something more. As she says, sometimes we need simpler, easier workouts not harder more complicated ones. Simple can be the key to regaining our awareness of our bodies again and relaxation can make future workouts more effective.

Kelly’s Total Body Stretching

I’ve done this workout before, but I especially enjoyed it this time. I appreciate how Kelly covers several of the major stretches that she integrates into her program. I needed the reminder. I feel this could be done equally well at almost any time of day.  It was a great start to a busy day of playing on the beach and walking on the board walk. I’m really enjoying using this pathway to start each day. By the end of the day, I’m usually too tired to do much, but starting my day early with one of these has really helped to set the tone for this trip and helped me to feel like I haven’t entirely abandoned my exercise goals. (Even if my healthy eating habits have taken a hiatus).

The PMS Routine

So even if you don’t have PMS this is still a great workout to help release tense muscles, especially in the hips. I like that it is a little longer, a good choice if you want a longer stretching routine. Check out my more detailed review here.

Foam Rolling Routine

A pool noodle is not a foam roller, so I probably didn’t get the full benefit of this workout. But I can see why it would be a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. I’ve seen foam rollers, but I’ve been reluctant to invest in one (another thing I have to find a convenient place to store or otherwise I won’t use it). But even with the pool noddle I still got some of the benefit of the stretching, though anything involving rolling wasn’t really an option. If I ever get around to purchasing a foam roller I’ll definitely give it another try.

Bedtime Relaxation with Kelly Dean

So what makes this different from Bedtime Meditation with Bethany Learn? This focuses more on readying your body for bed, as much as your mind. While both workouts have their merits, this one is best at helping you to focus on each muscle group that needs to be released and relaxed. Kelly isolates various muscles groups, slowly working her way through the body until you feel like you are ready for bed.

Did I accomplish all the exercise goals for vacation? No, but I’m glad that I did something. I also managed to play on the beach with my children and read several books. I enjoyed a quiet dinner out with my husband and many nights we went to bed early to read. The whole family played board games on a night or two and overall it was a fun time. Was it relaxing? Not entirely, but these workouts helped. Coming back to real life wasn’t easy, but I’m trying to get back into my consistent routine and I’ll have more reviews for you next week.

So what are you Fit2B? I’m Fit2B Home and Fit2B Mom.

 

Bringing Back Fit2B: An Update

What Are the Foundational Five?

Kelly Dean on Fit2B: A Tummy Team Collaboration

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Don’t forget you can use the coupon code laundryblog to save 30% off a Fit2B Studio yearly membership. That’s less than $7 a month.

Don’t Expect Kindness From Your Kids

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I love that in her first line of this chapter Jamie acknowledges that on the face of it, this looks like a contradiction of last week’s discussion. However, I think a better clarification of this chapter is “Expect Your Kids to Be Kids.” Too often I only notice the bad things my kids do. But sometimes those are just normal kid things. I get angry at my daughter for spilling her milk at dinner or falling off her chair. But these or normal behaviors and usually not intentional.

Jamie points out how important it is to remind ourselves of the positive progress our children make as they grow their character. My kids usually get more of my attention when they disobey. Why? Because when they are getting along I take that as an opportunity to try and get work done. However, they need me to notice and acknowledge these times so that they can see it as preferred behavior (and hopefully desire to repeat it). I need to compliment my daughter for sharing with her brother rather than just reprimand her for ripping toys away from him.

I am very easily frustrated with my kids lately. This isn’t easy for me to admit. I always feel like they should be behaving better and doing more for themselves by now. I have to remember that they are only 5 and 2. My two year old has to be constantly reminded, supervised and assisted with putting away his toys. He often resists and throws tantrum. I get angry that he does this and blame myself for poor parenting. Except he is behaving like a two year old. He is still learning and eventually he will get it.

I know that I need to teach and discipline my children, but I also need to let them be kids, with all the messes and mistakes that entails. I am raising them, not training or managing them. Better to be pleased with the kindness they do show, then disappointed when I expect to see it and don’t. This is not however to say that we shouldn’t tell our children that we know they are capable of wonderful things. We should. If they know we expect positive things from them, they are more likely to believe it of themselves. But in our own minds and hearts it is better to focus on the process rather than lament the lack of finished product.

This is something I especially need to address when it comes to my own emotions and my kids. My kids are really mean to me sometimes. We don’t allow them to be rude or disrespectful on a regular basis but the often say hurtful things to me. (Yes, even my two year old). Sometimes I remind myself that they don’t mean them, but other times it really cuts me, and if I let it, I start to feel bitter towards them. Aren’t they supposed to love me? I gave them life, carried them for nine months each (with an extra 10 days tacked onto the end of my son’s gestation), suffered through delivery and breastfeeding difficulties. I make their meals (and myriad snacks), make sure they have clean clothes. I change and wash their diapers and help them in the bathroom. Aren’t they grateful?

Then I feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit. My Father God has supplied all of my needs, yet there have been plenty of times when I not only forgot to thank him, but complained about what he had given me. If I can’t always manage to behave lovingly toward my perfect Father, how can I expect my children to always behave kindly to me, the imperfect earthly parent? So I pray for heavenly wisdom and latch onto the loving moments, like when my daughter cuddles up next to me on the couch or asks me to read to her. When my son asks me to come and play or brings a book and insists that he sit in my lap. I can’t expect the kindness and love all the time, but I can hope for it, while I continue learning how to better love my Father, and ask him to help me be a better mother.

Mindset for Moms From Mundane to Marvelous Thinking in Just 30 days

How Do You Want to Change? Mindset for Moms

Talk Less: Mindset for Moms

Remember the Promise of the Seasons: Mindset for Moms

Want What You Have: Mindset for Moms

Fake It: Mindset For Moms

What Are You Expecting?: Mindset For Moms

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Kelly Dean on Fit2B: A Tummy Team Collaboration

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My first official week since finishing up The Tummy Team rehab. As I resume doing Fit2 and The Tummy Safe Path, it seemed like a fitting time to try the rest of the Kelly Dean workouts on Fit2B. (I reviewed the Wall Workout and Total Body Toning last week). Some of them are familiar but not all of them.

Kelly Dean’s Floor Core Workout

This is a great workout if you need or want to be on the floor. It is entirely on the floor. As Kelly mentions in the workout, this will give you ideas if you are ever in a group fitness class and everyone else is doing crunches, so you don’t feel left out. I took a ballet class once where we did a ton of planks. I found myself wishing I had known a better alternative. (I usually opted for incline planes) So it’s nice to see a workout that includes one for crunches at least. Is this a favorite? No, because I prefer to work my core in a standing position. As Kelly also mentions, the core is stronger in a standing position so that’s what I shoot for. (That and my kids take any opportunity that I’m on the floor as a chance to wrestle).

Kelly Dean’s Total Body Stretching

I did this workout early in my ab rehab and it was great for relieving some of my upper back pain. It basically takes you through many of the stretches that Kelly covers during the 8 week core rehab program. If for some reason you are unable to do abdominal rehab with The Tummy Team. This workout combined with the Foundational Five, will help. It won’t totally replace the benefits of rehab but it will help give you some of the benefits. The upper back stretches especially are helpful. I still have chronic upper back pain, even after having finished the program, so I’ll definitely be coming back to this stretch from time to time.

Kelly’s Core Cardio

I’d done this before, but I’d forgotten most of it except the hula hooping, or as I should call it phantom hula hooping. The backbone of this workout consists of hula hooping, without a physical hoop. That works just fine for me, given that I have never been able to keep a hula hoop up, not even when I was a kid. It will get your heart rate up but also keep your core engaged if you follow Kelly’s cues. If you are just starting to include cardio in your routine again, this is a good choice.

Bedtime Relaxation with Kelly

This is a great way to relax at the end of a hard day. If I could manage to remember, I would do this routine lying in bed each night before I fall asleep. I love the way Kelly takes you through each muscle group from bottom to top, all the while focusing on your breathing and releasing of the days troubles. This might also be good to do during kids naptime. I’m usually feeling the mid-day slump right around then and need something to keep me going. I might end up napping afterwards but at least this would definitely take the edge off of a rough day before plunging into the pre-dinner and dinner hours. (Which is also the crazy hour at our house.).

If you’ve completed abdominal rehab and are working through way through the Foundational Five at Fit2B Studio, these workouts are a great transition back into full body fitness with cuing that will remind you of your abdominal rehab exercises.

 

Repairing My Core: Reviewing the Core Foundations 8-week Online Training Program with the Tummy Team 

Tummy Team Week 1: Awareness

Tummy Team Week 2: Connection

Tummy Team Week 3: Neutral Pelvis and Core Strength

My Skype Session with Kelly Dean

Tummy Team Week 4: Pelvic Floor

Tummy Team Week 5: Neutral Rib Alignment and Core Endurance

Tummy Team Week 6: Consistency

Tummy Team Week 7: Challenge

Tummy Team Week 8: Independent Core Strong Lifestyle

 
The Tummy Team Online Core Training Programs

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Don’t forget you can use the coupon code laundryblog to save 30% off a Fit2B Studio yearly membership. That’s less than $7 a month.

What Are the Foundational Five?

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This is the best place to start your Fit2B journey. Maybe you are coming to these workouts having just had a baby. You feel sleep deprived and like you don’t fit in your own body anymore. Maybe you are more than a year post partum, like I was, and you realize that while you may or may not have lost all the baby weight, something isn’t right. For me, that something was diastasis recti, a separation of my abdominal muscles.

If your separation is larger than 2 fingers, these workouts will help you, but I also recommend that you check out abdominal rehab with The Tummy Team. I wish I had discovered it sooner, but ab rehab seemed like it was something for women who were bigger than I was or had multiples. Yes, the cost scared me too, but if you have a large abdominal separation, it is totally worth it. Now is the time to do the work. While ab rehab can benefit you at any time, the sooner you do it after your injury, whether it be via pregnancy, surgery or both, the better and faster your recover is likely to be.

Check out this video to help you figure out if you have diastasis recti. It is more common in women who have had babies, but it can happen to anyone, including men, regardless of how active you were before. In fact, athletes such as weight lifters or Cross Fit enthusiasts offer suffer from this conditions. I’ll leave the science of it up to Bethany Learn at Fit2B, but suffice to say, don’t assume that it can’t happen to you.

If you decide that abdominal rehab is not the right path for you, for whatever reason, then Fit2B Studio is the place you want to be and you will want to start with the Foundational Five.

If you were previously very active, you might find this a slow start, I know I did. If you have a large diastasis (2-3 fingers or more) you will probably want to splint. Fit2B does not sell splints, but some does recommend some. The Tummy Team also sells splints. I’ve used both the Scott splint sold by the Tummy Team and the ModBod splint recommended by Fit2B. (Check out my review here).

If you feel like these routines are just too simple for you, I encourage you to keep doing them anyway. Try to focus on quality rather than quantity of movement. Walking is a great choice to give you some cardio as you get started, but running is not recommended unless you splint, and even then it’s still not preferable until you get further into the program.

These were some of the few exercises that I felt safe doing while I was completing my 8 week core rehab with The Tummy Team. As transitioned out of it, I tried to do at least one of these 5-6 days a week, in addition to anything else I did. They are short, and therefore easier to fit into a busy mom day.

 

Basic Transverse & Mula Bandha

This is a go to sick day, blah day, don’t want to exercise day workout. It’s done sitting so it’s perfect if you’re just returning to exercise after having a baby, have never exercised before, or have balance issues.

 

Totally Transverse

This is still my favorite of the Foundational Five. Bethany gives a great core workout while also explaining a lot of what you need to know about how your transverse abdominus works. If I had to choose one workout from Fit2B to do every day, this would be it. This is also a free sample workout, so if you aren’t sure yet if Fit2B is right for you, then try this one on for size.

 

Align it Flat

At first I didn’t like this routine, but it has grown on me. This isn’t as difficult a workout as the others and it doesn’t feel like you are doing much. But, it is very important as far as helping you find correct alignment and figure out how to maintain it throughout your day. So you’ll be practicing engaging your core in lots of different positions, but not working your core quite as hard. For me, it’s a great reminder of many of the principals that I learned with the Tummy Team.

 

Mula Bandha

When I first did this workout I had no idea of Mula Bandha was. I was familiar with the concept of the pelvic floor but the only exercises I had ever heard about the Kegels. Well, this isn’t much like doing kegels at all and is much more effective. I’ll admit that I did struggle with it a bit in the beginning as I tried to learn how to access the proper muscle groups. This won’t feel like a super hard workout, because it will be providing more internal than external effects, but it is still well worth the investment in your pelvic floor and your core.

 

Totally Transverse II

A slightly, longer and more advanced workout than Totally Transverse, this workout assumes you understand the concept of working the core a little better and therefore Bethany spends less time explaining and does more actual exercise as a result.

 

I think that these workouts are an important part of any tummy safe exercise regimen. I used to think that when I moved on to more complicated workouts that I had outgrown these. But I think that I’m going to keep trying to do them regularly to help maintain all the hard work I’ve put into my core so far.

Next I’ll be reviewing The Week of Relaxation, for those times when you don’t want to stop exercising, but what you need more than anything is stress relief and relaxation. See you then.

 

Bringing Back Fit2B: An Update

Join Fit2b.us

Don’t forget you can use the coupon code laundryblog to save 30% off a Fit2B Studio yearly membership. That’s less than $7 a month.

What Are You Expecting?: Mindset For Moms

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Photo Credit: Omar Eduardo via Compfight cc

I love this chapter. It brings to mind an on going conversation my husband and I have been having about cynicism. My husband has been reading a book called Faith Without Illusions: Following Jesus as a Cynic-Saint. According to the book cynicism is the result of repeated disappointment. While I would never call myself a cynic, I am someone that used to always assume the worst. I struggled for years with sometimes debilitating anxiety over what could happen. I told myself that by worrying I was preparing myself for the possibility of the bad things that could happen in my life.

But you know what? My anxiety was so high that it kept me from fully living my life. Recently I read this quote from Michael J. Fox.

“If you get caught up in [thinking about] the worst case scenario and it doesn’t happen, then you’ve wasted your time. If you get caught up in the worst case scenario and it does happen, you’ve lived it twice.”

It really put into words how I was feeling about wanting to let go of my anxiety. It took me years to get past my anxiety, mostly through prayer and the practice of gratitude. However, I still feel its evil tendrils creeping into my mind from time to time. Then I realized, if the worst happens, I’ll deal with it then. I’m not talking about having life insurance or an emergency preparedness plan (though I probably should have one of those). I’m talking about long nights spend running through every possible outcome to a scenario. Creeping into my children’s rooms at night to make sure they are still breathing. Obsessively running the financial numbers and feeling overwhelmed with what would happen in the case of a job loss or major fiscal calamity. This also includes sinking feelings of doom about the state of our government and the world at large. Those things are not emergency preparation, they are pointless worry over things, that in many cases, we have no control over.

So I’m really striving to expect things to go well. As my husband I discussed the book he was reading, I explained it to him like this. If I assume things will go well and I’m wrong, I will be disappointed. But if I always assume the worst and see the world through a cloud of cynicism I will miss out on the good things in life as well; love, joy, peace. Not to mention the fact that my negative attitude may very well influence the outcome in some situations. So why not choose to embrace life and face difficulties as they come and no sooner? I have nothing to lose but a whole world to gain.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:7 (NIV)

 

Mindset for Moms From Mundane to Marvelous Thinking in Just 30 days

How Do You Want to Change? Mindset for Moms

Talk Less: Mindset for Moms

Remember the Promise of the Seasons: Mindset for Moms

Want What You Have: Mindset for Moms

Fake It: Mindset For Moms

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