December 2021: Manifesting… What’s the Trick?

Follow your sense of wonder.

Since writing my last blog post about taking your fears and transforming them into positive statements of  “What ifs,” I’ve run into a handful of people who were going to experiment with taking their anxieties and making them “what ifs.” But, is there a trick to making it happen? 

I have learned that change happens by following your sense of wonder. This means being open to literally whatever catches your attention and running with it.  In this way, the choice of living by intuition is an immersion in desire through the act of listening, being hopeful, and staying patient. You must be fully invested in body, mind, and soul to create.  Any half-heartedness creates obstacles.  

I’m going to be very open about  some of the many things I did to manifest finding the love of my life and hope it inspires you to think outside the box about things you can do to manifest whatever your heart desires. 

I’ve mentioned before that I had an internal panic when I turned forty because I just thought that, by default, that special someone would have already shown up.  After going through a rough patch of being upset about my situation, I decided I would do whatever I could to manifest this dream.  

The first thing I do when I want to create something is to start looking to the universe for clues. It’s like a game of “find it.” What will I find next to lead me to my dream? Will I speak to someone? Will I read something? Will I find inspiration in an email? Will I hear it in a podcast or in a video?  I never know the answers until I open myself up, but what I do know is that I have to be ready for all opportunities that might lead me to my dream.  

Books have always been an outlet for me, a way for me to find my way.  So, one of the first manifesting tools I was led to were books. I read any book that I thought would be helpful for attracting a compatible partner. I picked those books up any time I was feeling frustrated and realigned my energy to be hopeful. I would often do this at night before drifting off to sleep.  

Next, I signed up for at least three dating apps -even though I hate dating apps- and decided it didn’t matter what I didn’t like, I had to do what my grandma always said, “Throw enough sh-t against the wall and somethings gotta stick.”

 

I spoke with a love coach. Yes, they exist.  I came across this love coach’s info and spoke with her,  getting suggestions on how I could redirect my energy. I took her advice about making sure I embraced my loving and feminine energy each day.  On days I didn’t feel outgoing or was depleted, I’d usually just throw on something casual, but even on these days, I made sure to be intentional about my presentation. This helped me remember my goals, create a vibe within myself, and project it to the world.  

I met with matchmakers. Despite my skepticism for dating apps, I find matchmakers tell it like it is and they don’t always say what you want to hear.  I resisted the feeling of not wanting to be judged by them and decided to just let them judge. I was looking for the right man.  

I told people I knew and trusted that I was looking for love and that I wanted to start a family. Having these discussions with more people than my usual small circle was very unlike me. I decided I was in an urgent manifesting state and had no time for shame or embarrassment: I had to put the word out to whomever I trusted.  I was going to do everything in my power to manifest my dream even if it made me feel uncomfortable.  

Through all of these steps, I was vulnerable, but I was also immersing myself in desire through the act of listening, being hopeful, and staying patient. I’m glad I did, because then, in the midst of a usual day, I got a text from a friend asking if they could give my number to a really nice guy. I said “Sure,” and didn’t allow myself to think anything of it.  Two months later, I got a text from the guy. I was in no rush to return his text because I was in the middle of a busy day.  I did respond to him at the urging of the person who gave him my number. Eventually, this man ended up being my husband. 

Can I prove that my manifesting energy created this union? Perhaps I cannot prove it, but I know that everything I did led up to this introduction, so I would have to say yes: my manifesting energy created this opportunity. Throughout this whole process, I was open; I was not half-hearted. I let the universe lead the way. I trusted, I hoped, and I used books or whatever resource I needed to keep my mindset positive. 

All of these things were mind, body, and soul work. Whatever your goals, whether it be long term or even for the upcoming new year, you can do the same.  There’s no downside to using all of your manifesting energy for one thing.  The trick is- pay attention and let the universe lead the way. 

MM

What to ask yourself if you haven’t created that dream yet

I’m a planner.  I love to have a plan, and when I don’t, I figure out how I can create one. Manifesting and planning the life you want is a journey and it’s one that we all have to be flexible and sometimes patient in creating. But how can you make things transform more quickly when you want to create that something, whether it be a relationship, a job, an experience or a situation? I can tell you that discipline and keeping at it, while at the same time letting go, is a large part of the recipe. This, however, is easier said than done when you wanted that something yesterday.  

I remember wanting to conceive my son.  When I turned 40 I had an internal panic.  Where is my husband?  How can this be possible that he still hasn’t shown up- and what about that baby I want to create?  I was filled with so many “why?” questions. The most immediate solution in my head was to not give up and believe in all my heart and trust my intuition that someone was out there for me and a baby was in my future.  

My husband did appear when I was 40 and my intuition told me he was the one, but it unfolded more slowly than expected. The planner in me said, “Great, if this is the right guy and we are in our 40s, this will go quickly and by 42 I’ll be pregnant.” 

Whew. Not so fast. Wrong. 

I was 42 and I still wasn’t getting pregnant.  How could this be?  My mom birthed ten children until she was 44.  How could my path be so different?  

Once again, I went into planning mode. I went to a fertility specialist and started IUI procedures.  I was convinced it would work.  It didn’t. I tried again.  It didn’t work. I tried a third time and I had a chemical pregnancy.  I thought this was a sign to keep at it, it would surely work. But, six IUI’s and still no baby. 

Your intuition is truth and that is why it is our most powerful guide on this journey.

I was mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted.  

Like many, I go into fighter mode when I’m exhausted.  I decided IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) was my last resort.  I had originally feared the thought of putting shots in my body, but I was beyond that concern.  I couldn’t understand why it was difficult and why I thought in my heart I should be pregnant and it wasn’t happening.  So, I said to myself, “What if this is what I need to do to bring this soul into the world?”  The first IVF was unsuccessful and the doctor told me I should use a donor egg.  

I won’t even write in words what I wanted to respond when that doctor said that to me.  Needless to say, I went to a different Fertility clinic for my second IVF and eventually conceived my son.  

If you are reading this and you are a woman who wants to be a mom, don’t give up. And if your intuition tells you something, don’t let anyone- not even a doctor- sway your intuition.   

Your intuition is truth and that is why it is our most powerful guide on this journey.  That’s why I write what I write.  I wish everyone would  use the gift of intuition and use it as often and as much as possible. It makes your own life journey easier and ultimately, enhances the lives of others.​​

What I learned from this experience, was not just to trust my intuition, but to face my fears. The second IVF cycle I was at my max and I said to myself, I’ll find another way if this doesn’t work. I have done everything in my power to create this dream and I will let the outcome go and figure out a different path if this doesn’t work.  The outcome was my little boy, who I cherish every day. 

Always ask yourself, What if……

What if that doctor was wrong in his assessment? (he was)

What if you will have that baby with your own eggs?(I did) 

What if you can be just like that pregnant woman walking down the street very soon? 

That upset thinking, “why isn’t it me?” is your intuition telling you, this is what you want to create for yourself. So say thank you to the universe for the communication.  

What do you fear about your desire or dream?  Can you turn it into a “what if”?  Energetically, I had been fearful of a number of things about getting pregnant, along with IVF and concerns that almost everyone has in having a child.  But I knew I needed to face that obstacle, and what came of it was well worth the difficulty. 

Face your fear.  Be flexible with creating the outcome. There is always a way. 

 

10 Years Ago, Revisited

Update: I originally published this article in 2011 as a reflection of the 10-year anniversary of September 11, 2001. This year, as the 20th anniversary approached, my intuition kept nudging at me to find this original post from years ago. On this 20th anniversary, keep those who we lost on that tragic day and their families in your mind. I like to think that the inner voice I was hearing was all those souls up above, wanting to remind us of what is important during these challenging times!


Well, we all know what is on everyone’s mind this week. It’s unavoidable in so many ways and not just because of the media.  The way I’m dealing with it is I can’t look.  I can’t look at the articles or the pictures; it’s too upsetting.  I’m not forgetting, I just can’t look back. I don’t know if that is a bad thing or just a coping mechanism. The one thing I do know is that the three men I knew that died in the towers that day were the type that didn’t look back. They forged ahead. They were trailblazers.

The first, was my 2nd cousin, George Cain.  George was 35 years old and a New York City Fire Fighter of Ladder 7 on East 29th Street.  Minutes before he finished his shift, his company got the call to go to the towers and, of course, he went.  Because he was a 2nd cousin of mine, the memories I have of him are limited to when we had big family reunions, which usually happens about every 5 years.  I have 9 siblings and just as large an extended family, so when you get together you don’t get to speak to everyone, but you definitely see everyone and observe who they are.  I observed that George was happy and full of life. His passion for life was evident in how he lived it.  He would spend extended periods of time in Colorado each year doing what he loved: skiing. He was also training for the NYC Marathon just before he died.  He did run that marathon in spirit. My brother signed up for the NYC Marathon and ran it for him wearing a T-shirt with George’s picture on it.

The second person I knew that died that day was Mr. Peter West.  Mr. West was the father of my good friend from high school.  Of course, all of our dad’s worked hard so you had limited times that you would see your friends’ fathers, but I remember Mr. West very clearly.  Most vividly, I remember his excitement for life and positive voice.  He was very active, loved to have fun, and was extremely generous and kind.  He absolutely adored his wife and children.  I had lost touch with my friend from high school, so the last time I saw Mr. West was my junior year of college. It was Christmas time and over the holiday I was working at Nordstrom when I ran into Mr. and Mrs. West.  Sure enough, he had that same wide smile he always had when I visited their house in high school. He worked at Cantor Fitzgerald that final day.

Finally, the third person I knew was a guy from where I went to College, Loyola College.  His name was Sean.  I didn’t even remember Sean’s last name.  Like so many in New York that day, I will never forget that morning in the city. I remember walking home, uptown and then crosstown in silence just dazed, trying to process the devastation that had just occurred. I got home, turned on the TV and watched until I couldn’t look anymore.  While watching TV I was looking at all the pictures they were showing of the missing individuals and I saw his face. It was Sean’s face from College. I remembered it so clearly, always with a big smile.

Sean was the reason I chose to go to Loyola College.  I went to visit a friend from my high school who went to Loyola to decide if it was the college for me.  It was the night that I visited that I met Sean.  He actually took me out.  My friend couldn’t take me out, so she promised me her good friend Sean would take care of me and he did. He was so friendly, warm, kind, and inclusive that night that I decided with no doubt Loyola was the place for me.  His full name is Sean Lugano.  The Sean Lugano Memorial Field is dedicated to him at Loyola.  So appropriate in my mind.

Although I only knew each man that died that day briefly, they all had a common thread.  They all had infectious smiles and were absolutely full of life, but most of all, they were kind souls.

I think about how to celebrate them at this ten year marker.  I believe they would all say the same thing: “Go have a good time on us.”  Maybe we can all do that in their loving memory?  All create the intention that one night this week we are going to meet up with friends and family and celebrate and laugh exactly as they loved to do.  So, nothing sad, just all joy and kindness, like they gave to everyone’s path they crossed, whether brief or not.

Love to all those remembering those they lost.
Now go have some fun.

August ’21: Children Keep Us Present

Here we are.  We had a brief break from the intensity of Covid, but the intensity is here again via the Delta variant.  With yet another scare, back to school, back to office, and back to any sort of normalcy seems like a dream we just keep trying to catch. We put our hands out and we are ready, stretching towards and happy to go back to modified old routines we once had, but yet again, it feels like it’s distancing itself from us.  

How are we going to get back to our new normal?  Unfortunately, this pandemic is not leaving us anytime soon.  So, how do we dig down deep again for this roller coaster of a ride? I look at reality and tell myself, “I’ll do whatever I need to do.”  Make judgments, but don’t judge others? Keep dreaming of better times? These are tough times; ones that most of us never dreamed of. Personally, I remind myself of all the things I am lucky to have, especially my health. How many times has it been said that health is the most important thing?  It really is. After that, everything else is “extra.” 

But how I miss the extra stuff! Like so many others have, I have lost a part of what was once my every day: my city life. It was my usual for over twenty years: the conveniences, the pace, the people, the resources, the ease of getting wherever you want, whether it be within the city or a plane ride away.  Yet this feeling I and so many others have right now still lurks. It is the dread of reversing the freedoms we temporarily returned to until the delta variant showed up and knowing that there will be other new variants. It’s just disheartening, and mostly for our children.  None of us want our children facing what they are living right now.  

Like we have done since this pandemic started, we do whatever we can to create the safest “normal” that we can.  In that spirit, my husband and I love taking our son to the beach.  We have gone to the beach either separately or to meet other friends, but for the first time this summer, we just went there alone as a family. I sat and I watched my son happily play in the sand, listened to the calming waves, and took in the smell of the ocean. Watching my two-year old son grounded me and brought me to the present moment.

As I sat there I realized that I was really tired. I knew that I needed to get home, get my son to bed, and then take care of myself.  I also promised myself that for the rest of summer I would do just this: go to the beach multiple times a week. Not just for me, but for my son too. Even though I say it all the time, I can and do still forget how much creativity and nature heals. 

So, I’m reminding anyone reading this to please don’t forget to do whatever it is that keeps you in the present and allows you to take a breath. Don’t forget this simple lesson during what have been hard and tiresome times: creativity and nature bring us back to the present, and by bringing us to the present, can heal both us and our children.  

In my reflection, I know this tiredness I felt at the beach that day- and that I still feel at times- stems from concern for my child.  My biggest wish right now is to end the worries from the past year and half. Right now, the vaccine is the only immediate thing that can protect our children. I hope that all the unvaccinated adolescents and adults who are eligible for a vaccine and have concerns would feel confident in going tomorrow to get the Covid vaccine. There have already been one too many children who have gotten infected, and my heart sinks each time I hear of another.  We all need to put aside whatever fear or reason that is holding us back from getting vaccinated for the betterment of our kids. 

Protecting our children’s health when they can’t protect themselves- that’s all that it comes down to. Maybe then we can put this virus to rest, and take a rest for ourselves. 

April 2020: Will NYC Ever Be the Same?

It’s April and oh boy, what a ride it’s been through COVID. We are all tired, but It sounds like if we can keep the pace of vaccines increasing, we are going to be in a better place soon. You might be asking yourself, where can I find the patience and energy to get through the rest of this with so many more challenges ahead?

Over the past year, we have all been given a different snapshot of how we deal with stress on so many different levels. Some of us become angry in so many forms (depression being probably the most common, because depression is anger at its core), some become more compassionate towards ourselves and others, some go numb to realities, and some just trail blaze through the different circumstances we all have never seen.

I think for many, the stress highlights where home is for you, where your heart feels content, and how important it is to surround yourself with like-minded people who share your values and concerns. I’m lucky to be able to live outside of the city while things have been so intense, to have a less stressful situation for my family. I miss the city, but I know right now the city is not the same, just as many other towns and cities are not the same. I go back and forth to the city only for necessary trips like the doctor, dentist, and anything essential that I don’t have with us. Every time I go back to the city, the streets look as if it’s a holiday weekend, when the city empties out.

Most recently when I visited, though, there was an increase in the amount of people walking around the streets– nothing like pre-pandemic, but not empty like my other visits during the winter. The city will have its challenges from this pandemic, but this visit assured me that it will work its way back to being the New York we all read about, where dreams are made of. Each time I see people I know on my visit, I feel a sigh of relief knowing these people are like-minded, sharing the same tolerance and concern for others despite the common stereotype that New Yorkers can get about being self-absorbed. Yes, there are self-absorbed people in the city, but you can find self-absorbed people anywhere. New Yorkers live at a much faster pace, and I think people often mistake the pace as rude or short.

The thing is, New Yorkers keep it real, and real can sometimes come across as brash, or not as soft as one might like. But there is a persistence to New Yorkers that is often hard to match. It’s this persistence that creates those dreams and makes it the wonderful city that it is. I have lived in NYC for over twenty years and every time we get knocked to our knees, that persistence reappears and we build it back up again.

This is going to be what the rest of this country and world will need to do and can do. We are all being tested like no other and wow, has it been hard, but we can all find that source of strength within to start building life back to a new normal. It can’t be done alone. It just can’t; it’s too large of an undertaking and requires those like-minded people that surround you with the same values to keep kicking until we don’t have to kick anymore, and the door stays open so the wind of renewed energy can come through. We do this through helping one another. So keep helping. Keep helping those around you get this vaccine if they are willing to get it. Keep helping even though you are tired. There is always someone more tired than you and if you need help, ask. The resources are there and better times are ahead. We also have support from above. I know this in my heart. We have an entire army of spiritual beings looking out for us, guiding us, giving us nudges, connecting us. They want to help us heal. Lean on those spiritual helpers. Speak to them. They will respond in ways that speak back to you so that you know they are there. Guaranteed.

The marathon is coming to an end and we will go back home to the city when we feel it is right for us. It will be different, but it will build itself back up again just as all the other cities, towns, and really the world will do. In the meantime, take lots of deep breaths and know better times are ahead for all because of the innovation of humankind. When we work together, we are all miracle makers in our own way and don’t forget the powers above for some added support.

December 2020: Manifest a New Year

As the new year approaches, why not gear up to manifest some wonderful new things? 

I recommend starting with your environment. Clear out your space and pass along those things you don’t use. There are so many people in need this year and if you aren’t using something, someone else will!  It’s a great way to start your new year with good vibes and high energy.  

Then, sit and take 15 minutes to just quiet your mind and focus on your heart and what you would like to manifest. Don’t tell yourself it’s too hard; you have tried this before. Instead, tell yourself it’s going to work this time, because you are going to really be open and push away any doubts. Every time a doubt comes up, think of something positive.  Know in your heart you can create your desires.   

I remember when I moved into my one bedroom in NYC, I had been living in an L-shaped studio apartment for years. Once I finally got into a one bedroom I had so much more physical living space than I was used to and it energetically felt like someone new had to show up in my life to fill the physical space. 

And guess what? He did. My husband showed up within three months of moving into that one bedroom.  I put a lot of effort into manifesting my husband thought-wise, but also physically. I read every book I was drawn to about manifesting your soulmate. Energetically, I found that I had developed a strong masculine energy that was necessary and even helpful for navigating the workforce of New York, but found this wasn’t the best energy for cultivating loving relationships. So, I had to remind myself to let my softer side show and began making every effort to bring my feminine side to the universe. At times I thought: “Is this ridiculous?” Well, my husband showed up, so for me, it wasn’t ridiculous.

When trying to manifest my dreams, I have to remind myself that whatever path I’m on has to be for the highest good of all, whether I can understand the reasons or not. I remember this feeling when four of my sisters were pregnant all at once and it felt like the one thing I wanted was to be pregnant too. In my heart, I wanted to be pregnant, but I had to believe that it wasn’t for the greater good at that time, despite my desires. I did end up having my son 2 years later, but it was a hard thing to be patient for at the time. I was in different circumstances with a different path and just had to accept that.  

Do your best to trust there is a larger plan you cannot see. It’s not easy when your heart aches for something and it hasn’t shown up. How many times can you ask for this something?  Keep asking, keep believing, keep seeking, be open to something different, and pay attention to what you are drawn to in 2021.  

Happy New Year!

-MO

November 2020: Pace Yourself

As a kid, my dad was the catalyst behind a couple of sports that my siblings and I participated in.  One was soccer; the other was running. He was a runner in college and always felt that running taught you so much about life: it’s about keeping your pace so that you don’t peeter out and can make it to the finish line; it’s about literally leaning into hills and pumping your arms to take you up the hills. To him, these parts of running taught us about moderation and persistence. 

 

It’s actually simple: the people who can pick themselves up and keep moving, no matter what their circumstances, are powerful.

 

Both these lessons are very relevant to this pandemic.  Innately, we all want to do our best, whether it be while running a race or participating in life, but it’s been an intense nine months in which we have all had to figure out how to pace ourselves through the intensity of everything. 

Right now, I think we are all on a hill, pumping our arms trying to make it to the finish line until this vaccine shows up for some relief.  We can decide to lean in to the hard stuff, walk up the hill, or just stop entirely. What we all need to do right now is lean into the hill and let our best, most powerful selves show. 

How do we do this? 

It’s actually simple: the people who can pick themselves up and keep moving, no matter what their circumstances, are powerful. It’s these people who know that in life there are hills and mountains, but once you get over those hills, there will be a plateau and relief.  Knowing and remembering this… is power. 

Power is knowing you can sustain yourself through any situation, through any circumstance and know you will find your grounding.  You will find a solution even though you don’t know what or where that solution will be found.  You believe in the power of having faith in yourself.  This is the only tool you really need in life to be your most powerful.  

We can also never forget that love equals power– loving yourself through whatever situation you are in and coming out on the other side with more love in your life even though at the time, it may not seem apparent.  You always have someone on your side whether you are conscious of it or not. Always. And this is you in your power. 

My dad is in his 70’s and although he doesn’t run anymore, he takes daily walks in the state of mind of a runner.  Keep pumping those arms, people. We are almost there.

A New Kind of Muscle Tee

Last year, I was so proud to have published an article for Conscious Magazine. I have done work with Conscious in the past, and I love the life-affirming content they publish every month.

This particular article was really successful! It garnered even more feedback than usual, and seemed to have its own life even months after publication. When I sat down to look back at some of my work in 2019 to see where we wanted to 2020 to take me, one saying jumped out of that article more than any other: Optimism is a muscle. 

I decided I wanted to make tee shirts with this saying to spread the conscious choice of optimism. Just a few months into 2020, it became more apparent than ever that our world was desperately in need of some optimism.

Please take a gander at these vintage-inspired tees in the web store and share your optimism with pride.

July 2020: Priority Shift

The “new normal” that we are all getting used to is quite an adjustment.  What is the “new normal” really going to look like in the next year? There is no definite answer other than we all have to continue to take it day by day and go with the flow, that it is a work in progress.  How is this “new normal” affecting our families? our jobs? our priorities in life? This pandemic is pulling these answers out of us whether we like it or not- ultimately, it all comes down to answering the question, “How have your priorities shifted?”  

I don’t like to camp, but camping does force you to simplify and prioritize what is needed.  Maybe we can look at the circumstance of socially distancing as a form of camping away from what was our everyday life?  This is a very long camp out, and I would like to go back to my everyday life just like everyone else. I want to go back to doing the simple things, like walking the dog with my son and then stop to pick up a tea latte with the morning bustle of the city amping up, head back home and put the baby down for his morning nap, giving me a little bit of quiet time. Tea at home is my new normal and I’m fine with that, but I imagine I will always enjoy having someone else make me that latte in the morning. My new normal also means there is no babysitter, so I cannot take a break, run out and do some errands or go out to a quick drink or lunch with a friend. Babysitters are just not happening. 

What is happening, though, is my family life is getting stronger each day, because my husband and I have no choice but to lean on each other, and no one else, for whatever we need. Then, I think of how lucky my son is to have his dad at home working; when my husband is able to take breaks throughout the day, my son can see his father. I think of how the family structure and the priorities of families are having light shed on them, just like the extremely bright spotlight on your cell phone that you reach for when you are in the dark. That flashlight illuminates what you need directly in front of you, just like this forced social isolation is shining a light on what our priorities and limitations are in life, reshaping not only how we live, but how we show up in our families and relationships. 

All of our relationships have shifted. Who do you now facetime with every day or once a week? Who do you check on out of sincere concern? What groups of friends or family do you zoom with?  Where is the silver lining in all of this isolation and loss?  

I think this camping out and flashlight spotlighting our priorities is a big part of the answer.  Families are spending more time together than they ever have before. Sure, they can sit on their devices, but no one can keep that up for this many weeks in a row. It forces human interaction with those closest to them whether we want it or not. As a result, families are going to bond differently and relationships hopefully will be strengthened more than harmed. Parents are making hard choices about their careers because the state of daycares and schools is unknown. Companies are completely restructuring how things are done, realizing much of the workforce can in fact work from home.  We are also making more small decisions, like when my husband decided to cut my son’s hair.  As my husband said after the attempt, his limitations are clear.  My son will wear a hat for a while and we will forever laugh about it. 

I am curious though, after all that society is experiencing, will we go back to the old times, when one parent stayed home more than not with children or when a relative lived with a family in order to help take care? Perhaps we will, partly out of necessity and partly out of choice. Will people be happy to go back to the old fashioned ways of society, or will people have morphed into a new way of choosing to live their lives? Once a vaccine is found, will people have missed the old ways so much that they will try to cram even more into their lives, or will they let things fall to the wayside and choose to simplify and fill their days with less in order to recharge?  

I suspect people will realize how much they were not allowing themselves to recharge and how they were filling their days with too much “stuff” that they felt had to get done.  We cannot ignore this new sense of gratitude for how easy things used to be. Perhaps people will slow down and really enjoy and listen in a way we have forgotten to since the invention of the internet. Our children have never been so stressed as they are today, and as much as this situation is not easy for our children, perhaps getting through this will start to heal a part of our youth.  Maybe having to be at home and figure out how to be creative with their time within the confines of the home with family will ultimately have positive outcomes. The social time they are missing out on has been substituted with an emphasis on family. How can we use this time to actually give our children  what they need to emotionally heal?

My hope is that by the time we have a vaccine, as much as we have lost in this tragedy, we will have gained through renewed priorities within our daily lives, our families, friends, and especially our youth … all from a forced “camp out.” 

-Mo

Parenting in the Pandemic: Advice from a Mother of 10 (yes, ten)

It’s not going to be a typical Mother’s Day this year. Nothing is typical during these times, perhaps other than having to go with the flow. Whether you are a working mom or a full time mom, tending to the needs of children at home during this pandemic is a constant juggling act. My little boy recently turned one years old. My hands are full, and we haven’t even reached the “terrible twos” yet. When I think about my sisters who have more than one child I remind myself that I have it easy.  Then, I think to my mother who took care of all of us- ten children, every day. Compared to her, we all have it easy!  My mom did it on her own- no nannies, no babysitters. We did have the occasional relative come to help, but it really was all on Mom, with the older kids chipping in on a regular basis.   

Whether you have one or ten children, we are all mothers who simply want the best for our children.  We question, research, and discuss our concerns on a daily basis. We always know there will be surprises that create a never ending list of lessons we learn from these little people who we pour our hearts into.  

I can’t tell you what my top lessons for mothering during this time are yet, because my little one is only one years old.  So instead, I wondered what would my mom say are the most important lessons she learned raising ten kids? I asked her.  Then I asked her if I could share these answers with the hard working mothers out there, in hopes that her lessons would ease any extra worry or concern during these challenging times.  These are my mom’s top seven lessons for mothering:

  1. Choose your battles. You can’t fight about everything. If you do, that is all you will be doing. Pick the thing that means the most to you. The kids will understand that.
  2. Try not to reprimand your children in public. Children should be allowed to make mistakes. That is what this growing up is all about. The whole neighborhood doesn’t need to know about your child’s learning experience, or be given an excuse to label them negatively.
  3. Tell the children your family stories, and not just the good ones. If they see that you or your relatives have fought to overcome troubles, the children will believe they can too.
  4. Don’t tell your kids that you just want them to be happy. Being happy is important, but it is the wrong goal. To be a good person is what they really need to hear. Character, conscience, confidence, and compassion are among the goals they need to be a better person.
  5. Watch what pessimism you reinforce. Sometimes we don’t understand that we can give off negative messages that your kids hear loud and clear!
  6. Self worth is very important. Kids need to believe in themselves and that we are here for a reason. It is not stickers, soccer goals, or 99% in school that gives a child worth. Their whole view of the world and how they fit into it comes from your love and a belief that there never was and never will be another them. They have a unique part to play in history.
  7. Love, love, love! Love can heal any mistake we make. Our children know that we are not perfect- they can see that; but as long as we keep demonstrating to them how loved they are, we won’t fail.

Happy Mother’s Day!

-Mo