Monday, November 12, 2012

You're Never Too Old to Kegel

Hello parenting enthusiasts!

I have been neglecting my blogging duties of late - OK for the last YEAR or so, and yet no more! I resolve to return to my regular activities, filling your heads and hearts with tips and tricks for navigating the treacherous waters known as PARENTHOOD! Let's begin with:


You read it correctly, kegels. Moms everywhere were probably coached numerous times on the importance of building up the pelvic floor muscles in preparation for childbirth and beyond. I remember a particularly militant Bradley Instructor (Shout Out to Lori Charleson, BEST Bradley Coach and Doula EVER!) hounding her students constantly about this very mundane activity. She wanted her moms-to-be squeezing those puppies upwards of 200 times a day!! And because I'm afraid of her - not really : ) I did them. And it helped. A lot.

Fast forward four years and two babies later. I'm working full time, parenting as best I can and completely neglecting my kegels. Those exercises went by the wayside ages ago. Never even game them a second thought...until last week when I was experiencing a sneezing episode so intense that I tinkled a little in my pants. What the *&^? I could not believe it. My pelvic muscles had let me down! Or rather, due to my lack of maintaining them, I let myself down. My leg, in dribbles to be frank about it. Absolutely horrifying. Thank goodness I was at home and needed only to swap out some clothes in a quick minute. What if I had been elsewhere? Ye gads.

Did I learn anything from this? Yes, you'd think. She WAS horrified, you say. She must have mended her ways, you postulate. And yet, no. Apparently this event did not significantly alter my reality to the point where I jump started those kegels again. I wrote it off as a fluke. That I was unprepared for this most severe and probably uncommon sneezing fit. It won't happen again, I thought.

I thought wrong. It DID happen again. And I DID pee my pants just a little, AGAIN! Only this time I was not horrified. I was chagrined. It was my fault. I had only myself to blame for my pants wetting. Oh the humanity!

So, for once, I ask you to NOT be like me. Do not wait until wetting your pants just a little every time you sneeze becomes a regular event in your life. Take charge of your pelvis and do your washing machine a favor. Start keggeling. Here's how. Go to this link and squeeze your way to a better you. You'll thank me later!

Mayo Clinic - How to Kegel

Happy Parenting (and Keggeling!)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Parenting: In It To 'Win' It!: Twin Cities Bullying Workshop Series Starts Soon!

Parenting: In It To 'Win' It!: Twin Cities Bullying Workshop Series Starts Soon!: Hello Fellow Parenting Enthusiasts! Bullying Workshop Series I'm sharing this information about seminars offered in the Twin Citie...

Twin Cities Bullying Workshop Series Starts Soon!

Hello Fellow Parenting Enthusiasts!

I'm sharing this information about seminars offered in the Twin Cities area on Bullying I received from one of my Bunco moms. I'm going to try and make the evening sessions, if anyone wants to join me. I'm passionate about addressing this pervasive issue in a multi-disciplinary approach so we can treat both the victim, the bystander and the bully with fairness, understanding and compassion. Understanding the nature of bullying is KEY as we find our kids face ever greater complexities in their social lives.

Thanks for giving this your thoughtful attention.

Ever searching for the Win-Win Parenting Solutions,

Monday, January 2, 2012

Things You Won't Learn In School, Yet Need to Know Anyway

Happy New Year Fellow Parenting Enthusiasts!

Nothing like a few 'Rules' to get the year started, eh? The origin of these little ditties is unclear- some say Bill Gates, others not. I saw it posted on my FB page and thought it was interesting enough to share. They will most certainly evoke a response, be it positive or negative. What do you think?

Rule 1: Life is not fair – get used to it!

Rule 2: The world won’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3: You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault; so don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from 
paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.

Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you “FIND YOURSELF”. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television and video games are NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

More on Gratitude, 'Tis the Season After All!

"The Giving Inoculation"

·         Altruistically motivated teens are 3x happier
·         Generous behavior reduces adolescent depression and suicide risk
·         Teens who volunteer are less likely to fail a subject in school, get pregnant or abuse substances
·         Teen who volunteer are more socially competent and have higher self-esteem

The above information was used as part of the advertising campaign for a pilot program aimed at youth where I work. I am a big fan of this kind of stuff, so of course I had to use it in my own blog.

I've written several times about how important being grateful and embracing gratitude is in my life and my parenting. Seeing how being involved in a giving way can help me raise a better human being makes my heart sing. I even went on to the UC Berkeley web site and took the Gratitude Quiz. Gladly, I learned I'm walking the walk because I got 94 our of 105. Go take the quiz and tell me how you measure up. Even if you're not a 'gratitude superstar' just raising your awareness of the concept is an important step in the right direction. I even took a few moments to read the comments section, with some of whom I disagreed. No matter, at least people are talking about it. That's the whole point.

So that's my parenting advice for today. Help create win-win parenting solutions at home by talking about those things for which you are grateful. Do it while sitting around the dinner table- it's a two-for-one in family bonding!

Happy Parenting!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Morality Obsolete? Egad!

Hello Parenting Enthusiasts,

Once again, I have found something interesting while reading on the internet. Today we take on a short discussion about morality. We know this topic is deserving of more than a single post. I'm simply making a foray into these waters to see what floats to the surface. Check out a recent NY Times article, which summarizes, "If it feels right to me, then it is". In it, columnist David Brooks states that sentiment pretty much sums up the moral philosophy of most young Americans, who have grown up unmoored from any cultural or religious framework for knowing right from wrong. In a new book, Lost in Transition, a group of sociologists documents how people in their late teens and early 20s have come to view moral choices as “just a matter of individual taste,” and seem perplexed when asked to make judgments about behavior that earlier generations would clearly label as wrong.

Cheating on tests? Infidelity? Drunken driving? Brooks continues that in interviews, young people say that decisions about such behavior are “up to the individual.” There is virtually no sense of any overarching value system or obligation to society or to others. “I guess what makes something right is how I feel about it,” is a typical refrain. For this, he says, we can only blame schools, institutions, and families. From blind deference to churches and authority, our society has swung to the other extreme, and now morality is purely “something that emerges in the privacy of your own heart.”

I am especially interested in this subject as my husband and I are on different pages from an organized religion standpoint, therefore our children, as yet, have had no formal introduction to that moral framework. Also, we don't come from a particularly strong cultural background; we're just average middle class Joes originally from parts of northern Europe. Like most people in my area I expect. Moreover, my sister is struggling with the morality question regarding her teenage son. Although in no way a criminal, some of his actions have called his moral compass into question of late, making my sister wonder, 'where did this come from'? We raised you in a certain way, with certain, set values, and where are they now? What is happening? She's fearful she and her husband haven't instilled their morals deeply enough onto their children. Which is ridiculous, as her son is a straight A student and is just doing the teenager thing of exploring his boundaries and beliefs. He's not adrift in moral ambiguity. He knows what he's doing is wrong and chooses to do it for completely different reasons. But I digress. That's a topic for another post.

So how accurate is the author of the book and the columnist who wrote about this phenomenon? Have you yourself witnessed or worked with young Americans seemingly operating in a moral vacuum based on 'if it feels right, it is right' mentality? How serious is this? Should I / we be worried?

I'd love to hear you weigh in.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Strengthen the Parent - Child Bond, Create Memories

Hello Parenting Enthusiasts,

Once again, in my endless search of the web for interesting material, the universe has directed me to a great article I would like to share. Frank Love writes about family, relationships and all other matters of the heart. He posts on the Humorous Speakers Bureau to which I belong on Linked In. His latest, "How to Create Remarkable Moments for Your Children" is one of my favorites.

A few years ago, before my mom died, she gave my sister and me a 4 inch, D-ring binder filled with letters she had written to her mother since she married and moved away from home in 1959. It chronicles her life with my father before kids, her announcement and subsequent pregnancy with my older sister and life with her new family. It was, in short, mind-blowing. I was amazed at the level of detail she included in her everyday doings. Reading about her pregnancy and delivery with me made me feel so connected to her and to the Great Divine in general. Hundreds and hundreds of letters home. All saved, duplicated and assembled for my sister and me to have for our own. A greater gift from my mother simply could not exist. I am even more grateful for this familial archive as, sadly enough, my children were born after my mom died. They may never know her in person, yet they will know her legacy as I share her stories with them as they grow.

Even if you're not into writing, find some way to express yourself to your kids so they'll always have something to remember you by and cherish. Spoken word -- my dad recorded our voices every year for the first 20 years of our lives: art, music, home movies. Do something. It could mean everything someday.

Happy Parenting