If you’re a working mom you’re probably already getting stressed out between trying to home school and work remotely. 

Now more than ever it’s important to set up an exercise routine for your kids as well as yourself.  Not only will it destress you but get you into shape for beach days that we can hopefully enjoy in the not-too-distant future. 

Here’s a list of some of the gyms and facilities around the country offering online workouts:

YMCA – Whether you below to a Y or not, head over to Y360 on YouTube for workout at any level.  There’s Barre and Yoga classes, Boot Camp and Active Older Adults (super important to keep older adults active right now!)

Planet Fitness – The workouts will be live-streamed at 7 p.m. ET each day for the next two weeks. And if you can’t make it live, the workouts will be available on-demand on Facebook and in Planet Fitness’ YouTube channel. No equipment is needed, and the classes last 20 minutes or less.

Pamela Reif’s Video Workouts – Even though 20 minutes may not seem like a long enough time to get your sweat on, you will be breathless halfway through this video. Squat jumps, push-ups, and planks, oh my! Choose between full body, arms, abs, and even yoga sessions.

Yoga With Adrienne – I’ve been doing Adrienne online yoga sessions for over a year now. She has them broken down into different categories and there’s something for everyone – Runner’s Yoga, Yoga for Digestive Health and a perfect one for now – Yoga for Uncertain Times.

Free Trainers  – I’ve never tried this site but it caught my eye because they create a full body workout plan that’s customized for me.  I don’t need anything except a mat and some dumbbells (or cans of food.) I’ll be posting some videos of me doing this one!

In the summer I live for my late afternoons at the beach with my girlfriends.  After a rough day at work, the chance to unwind and share some laughs – and wine – can change things around pretty quickly. 

Ladies, I found some great products that make your time at the beach together even more enjoyable!

I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Beach Vacation Accessory Turtleback Sand Coaster Drink Cup Holder Floating Wine, Beer, Cocktail, Drinking Glasses for the Beach Waterproof Universal Floating and Underwater Phone Pouch Easy Set Up Beach Tent with SPF UV 50+ Protection Tovolo Outdoor Wine Holder Bamboo Table

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day who’s going through a divorce.  She’s filled with anger towards her ex.  Whether it’s justified or not, it’s how she feels.  But what I pointed out to her is that this anger that’s raging inside of her is not changing or affecting him in any way.  I mean, it’s not like she made some sort of voodoo doll and was able to cause him some real physical pain (although I’m sure she’d like to.)  The only thing that her anger is accomplishing is making her stress level go up, most likely causing health issues and definitely preventing her from moving on with her life and being happy.

As I’ve begun my journey as a motivational speaker and blogger, I’m coming in contact with many people who are struggling with anger at their significant other, friends, kids, co-workers and neighbors.  And yes, they’re even angry at themselves for choices they’ve made that they deeply regret.  Their thoughts are consumed with how they’ve been wronged and how life is unfair.

Whether it’s trying to understand why a good friend has chosen to walk out of your life, why an ex-spouse continues to try and hurt you or why a family member has said hurtful things, you’ll probably never learn the reason.    You could also be struggling with feeling like an inadequate provider for your family, a “slacker mom” who never does as much as the other moms or poor body image.  The holidays tend to accentuate these feelings as we think back on previous years when things might have seemed better.

Let’s face it, it’s hard letting go of a grudge and equally hard letting go of feelings of inadequacy.   But the old cliché is true – the only person you’re hurting is yourself.  And so I’m asking you to give yourself the most valuable gift you could ever receive this year – acceptance.

Accept that people are making the choices they’re making and that’s there “thing.”  Stop trying to forgive or even understand.  Allow them to go on their way down their own path.  You can’t control them or change them but you canturn the energy inward and make peace with yourself about the situation.

And next, accept yourself.  The idea of “perfection” is imposed by outside people and doesn’t exist.  You’re strong, beautiful and have the power to create the life you want.

Are you ready to be happy?

AlisonKids

Let me start out by saying I love my kids more than life itself and I wouldn’t trade being a mom for anything in the world.  The minute my first baby was born I was changed forever.  I’m also not debating the pros and cons of being a stay-at-home mom versus a working mom.  I respect each woman’s decision in that regard.

BUT, every mom needs to be more than just a mom.  Once I had kids I had no choice, I needed to continue working for economic reasons.  But I also wanted to continue working for my own personal fulfillment.  I knew that I could support myself no matter what happened – and everything did happen. By no means am I saying that every mom should work, but there needs to be something to fulfill you spiritually, emotionally and mentally along with being a mom.  As moms, we get wrapped up in our kid’s activities and social lives.  Usually, their friend’s parents become our friends, but oftentimes we have very little in common except the shared friendship of our children.  When we stop talking about our kids and their activities, what’s left?

Too often I hear moms saying that they’re “getting by” for now or they’ll live their lives once the kids go off to college.  But, here’s the problem.  None of us are promised a tomorrow, we only have today.  And even if we’re not hit by that proverbial bus, once our kids are in their late teens we have so completely forgotten who we were as women before we had kids that we fall into a depression.   Yes, we all have a warm glow about being a mom at Mother’s Day but it’s kind of like the day after Christmas or New Years – now what?  We return to the same old/same old.

We can’t live our lives through our kids nor should we.  They have their interests and activities and we need to find what makes us passionate in addition to motherhood.  Is it training for a 10K marathon, taking a painting class or going on a mission trip? Or, possibly, it’s turning a hobby into a business.  I know the response most of you will have – “I don’t have time with everything I need to do as a mom.”

There are so many reasons we come up with as to why we can’t find time to develop ourselves personally and/or professionally, but here’s why we should:

You’ll be a better mom – Let’s face it, when we’re stressed, overwhelmed and don’t feel appreciated we snap at everyone around us, including our kids.  Discovering or rekindling a passion for something will make you happier and more energized.  And, as we know, a happy mom is a happy family.

You’ll teach your kids valuable life skills – Unfortunately too many ‘tweens and teens suffer from “entitlement issues.”  They think they deserve to be driven everywhere and not have responsibilities at home.  People are amazed that my intellectually disabled son at 15 years of age cooks, does his own laundry, vacuums and snow shovels the driveway.  My kids know that mom has to so they need to pitch in.  All three of my kids, including my 8 year old, are self-sufficient and enjoy having responsibilities around the house.  They understand that each family member chips in and shares responsibility equally.

You’ll be healthier – Whether it’s starting some physical activity, joining a group that shares a similar interest or taking a class, you’ll reduce your stress level tremendously because you’ll be stepping away from your regular “mom routine” as chauffeur, event coordinator, cook, housekeeper and peacekeeper. Stress reduction is critical for everyone as it can lead to high blood pressure, asthma, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome and a host of other chronic issues.

Have you carved out time to develop your “other side?” I’d love to hear what you’ve done and how it’s made you feel.

 

Heather Borden Herve´ is bringing GOOD News back to her community

GoodMorningWilton

Recently I joined a women’s small business group in my town.  It started out, as most things do with women these days, with a question I happened to post on our town Facebook page.  I wanted to see if anyone had some marketing tips they wanted to share with me.  Within a day, there were at least eight women entrepreneurs who also had questions.  It became apparent that all of us were looking for business support for our companies and yes, somewhere to commiserate about the challenges of owning our own companies while being mom.   While all of us are at different growth stages for our businesses and our challenges might be different, what struck me is how dedicated and passionate we all are about what we do.  Nothing against men, but there’s something about a mom with a mission that’s truly unstoppable!

So I’ve decided to start highlighting some of the incredible women I meet who are doing amazing things to make this world better, happier, safer and healthier.  I already have a bunch lined up but send in some suggestions about moms you know.

First up is Heather Borden Herve´, editor of GOOD Morning Wilton.  Heather, like so many of us, was tired of reading about violence, natural disasters and just plain nastiness.  Local community sites seem to be filled with criticism and gossip.  Heather wanted to do something different. She wanted a nice community newspaper that focused on the good parts of our community—new businesses, longtime businesses that haven’t gotten as much exposure, profiles of good people to know in Wilton, and things that happen and make news around town and in our schools.

And so, this month Heather launched GOOD Morning Wilton.  As Heather explains, “This was about wanting my kids to see that supporting good news was a way to make the local world around us safer, better and stronger as a community. I wanted to make sure that a main part of that was celebrating kids who do good, who aren’t afraid to step outside what all their peers are doing and stand up for the right and good thing. The category of “Teens Caught doing GOOD” is part of that, for kids who create programs, help others, stand up for what’s right should be celebrated and held up for community accolade, to hopefully encourage role modeling for other kids.”

GOOD Morning Wilton is the kind of news you want to read, with the kind of information you need to know. News that’s reported, written and told by writers who live in this community and who care a great deal about it.

Just as crucial, here’s what you won’t find on GOOD Morning Wilton: There’s no police blotter. Nor will anyone have to slog through news that doesn’t involve Wilton or the people who live here. Most importantly, it’s a news source about the community that respects what the word community means.

Heather’s vision of what a community newspaper should be is something more places should adopt!

Disclaimer – I have a material connection because I received a gift or sample of a product for consideration in preparing to write this content. All opinions stated within are my own.

Kid ZoneRecently the folks at ZonePerfect sent me new bars for my kids to try – Kidz Zone Perfect. Thank goodness they were smart enough to send me three so I wouldn’t have my kids fighting over them! I figured my ten-year old would like them as she’s my competitive cheerleader and is always looking for something to grab before practice. My son, who’s 14, will devour everything in the house if I let him. But I was most curious about my youngest daughter’s opinion. She’s my pickiest eater and I worry that she doesn’t eat enough healthy foods. I sneak fruits and veggies in where ever I can but snacks for school are always a challenge as she’s been known to simply throw out the healthy snacks if she doesn’t like them.

Well, as the old Life commercial goes, “She liked it!” I was impressed to learn that ZonePerfect asked everyday moms and their kids to help design the new bars. They held “build-a-bar workshops” where moms could discuss what they expected from a nutrition stand point and kids got to help create the flavors (Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Caramel Crunch, and Yellow Cupcake.) My daughter loved the Yellow Cupcake. I tasted each one of them myself and they really were good. Plus, each bar has 23 vitamins and minerals, five grams of protein and three grams of fiber.

If you want to check them out yourself, here is a $1.00 off coupon for any flavor Kidz Zone Perfect bars.

Disclaimer – I have a material connection because I received a gift or sample of a product for consideration in preparing to write this content. All opinions stated within are my own.

VTechConnecttoCell

My Vtech phone in my beautiful tree house/office

I love my home office and being a Work at Home Mom (WAHM). I look out over the woods and have my very own “tree house.” I’m truly the multi-tasking queen and no one ever knows that I’m usually sorting laundry or cleaning a toilet while I’m doing a conference call. The only challenge I have – and I’m sure I’m not alone – is the dead zones around the house for my cell phone. My cell phone is my lifeline to the outside business world and the only problem I run into is when I’m walking around the house and calls get dropped or I miss what someone says. Also, I’m notorious for leaving my cell phone in one room and having my home cordless in another so I’m always racing about trying to find the right phone to answer. Vtech has created a great product that eliminates these problems – the VTech® Connect to Cell™ Answering System. Now, when I’m home, my cell calls go directly through to my land line. The voice quality is great and two separate cell phones can be connected so my husband, who’s also my business partner, can also get his calls on the land line. It’s got all the typical features you would expect – digital answering system, handset speaker phone and caller ID/call waiting – and it can download and store the cell phone directory from two different cell phones.This is the perfect gift for the multi-tasking mom!

As I’ve mentioned in my Facebook and blog postings, I’m slightly apprehensive to start anything called Boot Camp – especially when it comes to clearing out clutter.  But I was given the opportunity to sign up for Buttoned Up Boot Camp and I figured it was a sign that it’s high time I start getting myself organized.  I readily admit, I could never do this onmy own, I need someone “gently” (OK, kicking my ass) to stick to it.

I’d already put it half out of my mind when I woke up this morning.  My general routine is to get up around 5:30 and check e-mails before the kids get up.  And there it was waiting for me – my first cheery e-mail about my task for the day from the Buttoned Up Boot Camp team. What I like about this program is they let me break it down into small, manageable portions.  As a full-time working mom, time is precious item.  So, everyday, I just need to spend 30 minutes.  I can even set a timer.

Today is Detox – not trying to organize, simply throwing out stuff I don’t use.  They’re even giving me a pass on recycling – just a massive toss.  Considering I couldn’t locate my second slipper this morning since it was buried under a pile of shoes that are old (OK, half are my hubby’s so I’m not going to take the full blame) I figure this is a great place to start!

Stay tuned….