You Are Not The Failing Mom – There is Hope!

Dear Mom Who Feels Like She Failing

I see you watching your child struggle. Struggle with anger, aggression, anxiety or depression. You watch helplessly, as your child sinks further into an abyss you fear they will never return from. I see you tell yourself “this is just a phase, I struggled in high school too.”, but a piece of you knows this is bigger than that. You see how the behaviours of one child affects the entire family.  How it affects you.

  • You are riddled with emotional injury – every angry outburst directed at you, is like a gunshot wound straight to the heart.
  • You are exhausted – you can’t sleep at night because your child is out somewhere, with someone and all the horrible scenarios are playing through your head.
  • You are isolated – there is no-one to talk to about this.  Friends & family tell you how to “fix” your child, but they truly don’t understand just how difficult that is.  You are a social outcast, because everyone is judging you as a failure, and you know it’s true.

You have tried everything;

  • You buy them all the latest gadgets, brand-name clothes, vehicles – because they said that would make them happy.
  • You are spending hundreds of dollars on Therapy, but your child refuses to fully participate, if you can even get them to go.
  • Legal fees, court appearances and probation are forcing you to take too much time off work, but you have to go, because you know they won’t go if you don’t drag them.

Searching for Answers

You have spent countless hours searching for answers and all you’ve found is another vicious cycle of hopelessness:

  • Therapy
    • Too expensive
    • Free Programs are short term
    • Your child won’t go.
    • And the worst – “Your child is not bad enough to meet our service criteria.”
  • On-line Parenting Groups
    • Finally a place for you to openly talk about the issues at home.
      • But still – no real guidance, no solutions, & loads of underlying judgement.

What Am I Looking For?

If you could take a few minutes, with a clear head and really assess what it is that you are looking for in a solution, what would you come up with?

  • Something that can help me decide what kind of services we need?
  • A group just for women who support, guide & empower each other? No judgement, just unconditional acceptance? A place that will allow you to rediscover YOU?
  • A group of forward-thinking Moms who truly understand the emotional turmoil of raising a child who is struggling and are sharing helpful tips, suggests, support & understanding?
  •  Someone who could remind you who you were before all this negativity weighed you down?  Remind you of your inner Badass?
  • On-line courses that understand that you are over-stressed, under-appreciated, exhausted, overwhelmed and will still provide simple solutions to begin the healing process?
  • A person who has “been there, done that” and is able to support, guide, listen & understand (and it would be nice if this person was available exactly when shit hit the fan to help you effectively get through it)?
  • Hope, possibility, encouragement, support, guidance, love & acceptance?

I was searching too,

I spent over 10 years searching for solutions for my family.  I know the anguish, so I have done all the research for you!!  All the services, all the resources & all the supports; complete with direct links – and it’s FREE!!  Because someone needs to cut you a break!!

A clear, practical, easy-to-follow guide to the services, supports & resources that specifically meet the needs of you & your family?

I’ve made this so simple, because I know you don’t have the patience for complicated right now.

  1. Click on the link above.
  2. Enter your email address.
  3. Check your “other/junk/spam” folders.

That’s it.

You got this, Momma!  You are on the right path now. 

Much love to you & yours.

If you need me, I’m here.

 

 

 

 

26 Years of Parenting

parenting

As of today, I have been a parent for 26 years.  Most of those were good, actually all the years were good, but we sure did have some rough moments.  Let me take some time to review a few of our struggles now that time has put them into perspective.parenting

Croup – there is not a parent in the world who wants to deal with this one.  Your tiny little baby is so sick.  Leaving her in a croup tent for a week, just about killed me!!!

Asthma – probably should have seen this one coming.  Other than a few misguided supply staff at school this wasn’t a big one.  Just the odd trip to emerg for a quick treatment and we were good again.

Rockin John – your imaginary friend.  Not sure where he came from, but he lived under the stairs and you loved hanging out with him.

Sister – you were skilled at tormenting your sister.  I’m not sure how many times I had to rescue her from the clothes dryer….come to think of it…I should have seen this one coming too – I vaguely remember lifting the lid to the toilet at 3 am and having a very pissed off cat jump out at me…..

Pulmonary Embolism – this was the worst.  I was never so scared.  But you were a trooper, took it all in stride…

High School – had I known, I probably would have sent you to an all girls school….

Driving – you were so happy when you bought your car, you were never home.  You were everyone’s chauffeur….until you weren’t…

Car Accident – “you hit a mailbox, took out 7 trees,  jumped a fence and did a barrel roll in your car and lived to tell the tale…”  Please don’t do this one again….

Concussion Collection – the next few years were interesting….I’m glad you are finally receiving recognition for the symptoms.  Try collecting stamps…

Boyfriends – some were abusive, some were just idiots and a couple of them were really nice guys.  I kinda like the one you have now, he’s my fav so far…

College – I am so proud of you for choosing a career path that suits your nature and desire to work with people!!!

parenting26 years and we’re both still alive.  I have never been more proud of you (I know I say that every year, but honestly you amaze me time and time again!!!)

Here’s the point of my story, parenting, in the moment, is difficult, confusing, heartbreaking and gut-wrenching; but when you look back on all of it, the pain, the suffering and the heart ache melt into love, pride, admiration and the realization that all those tiny moments, were just pieces of a greater puzzle that is creating the most beautiful memories.

Hang in there parents, it will all be worth it.

If your family is struggling to adjust to or accept some of life’s hurdles, I can help you all get “Back On Track“.

Loads of Love

<3 Andrea

What is the most outrageous thing your child ever did?  Leave a comment below.

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Surviving Life with a Teenager

Surviving Life with a Teenager

Back when we were teens

Twenty-five – thirty years ago, the world was a different place.  The internet was in it’s infancy, cellphones were massive & usually installed in your car and satellite dishes were just making their way into homes (or backyards).  Kids played outside with their friends and were involved in after-school programs, community groups and sports teams.  At home, there were chores to help out around the house.  In high school, you had a part-time job with the responsibility of getting there unsupervised.  School projects were researched in the library using a very heavy set of Encyclopedia’s and pictures cut out of magazines (cut & paste had a much different definition).  If there was a question to be answered, you had to go find an adult.   Back in the 80’s or 90’s, life was a little simpler and the world just a little smaller.  Our basic needs were met through interpersonal relationships that do not exist today.

Today, with the internet at our finger tips and cable TV, our children have access to information 24/7.  Not all the information is helpful or accurate.  Today, we have an extreme influx of Teens diagnosed with Depression & Anxiety.  Today, we also have a government that feels they are being helpful by making prescriptions free to those under 25 (but we’ll talk about that in a later post).

I recently read an article  by Johann Hari “Is everything you think you know about depression wrong?“**  Hari talks about his search for answers regarding his own clinical diagnosis and comes across some very interesting points to ponder.  The outcome is a new thought process surrounding depression & anxiety – yes there are biological components in some cases that may require medications combined with therapy to over-come, however; there are key factors to how we live today that directly contribute to these diagnosis.

So, let’s compare 1980 to 2018.

 

In the 80’s, kids played outside.  Their friends were physically connected, by streets, school, teams, relations.

Face to face relationships teach us a multitude of skills:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Social skills
  • Team-work
  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Compromise
  • Accountability
  • Honesty
  • Self-esteem
  • Patience

Physically connecting with people also serves our basic psychological needs of belonging, acceptance and value.  We, as humans need to belong to a group.  We were not designed to be solitary and thus we live in colonies or families and communities.  We need to feel as though we are a valued member of the group; our thoughts, feelings and opinions matter.

It is believed that some diagnosed cases of depression or anxiety are rooted in denying basic psychological needs and thus we have the influx that we are seeing today.  There is also growing research that tells us that technology has the same effect on the brain as heroine or cocaine.  Creating a strong, debilitating addiction.

Creating Stability

If you are depressed and anxious, you are not a machine with malfunctioning parts. You are a human being with unmet needs. The only real way out of our epidemic of despair, is for all of us, together, to begin to meet those human needs – a deep connection, to the things that really matter in life. ~ Johann Hari

If you have a Teen that is struggling, take a look at the broader picture.  Are their basic needs being met? Do they have the skills they need to succeed?  Do they belong to a group?  Do they feel valued?

When one member of the family struggles, the entire family struggles.  I have found that the best way to create stability in the family is to look at the family as a whole.  Raising children today is difficult, I know that.  We are rather quick to point the blame to external forces rather than admit that perhaps we are less than perfect.  There are no perfect parents, but I will tell you, the best ones are the parents who are willing to take a look at themselves to find solutions for their children.  It’s not about what you’re doing wrong, it’s about finding processes that fit your family, and the needs of every individual in your family.

Getting your family back on track may not be a long, complicated process.  We may be able to find solutions and implement processes  that will see dramatic results in as little as 6 weeks.  Together we will explore the processes that work for your family, and through simple conversation, a few fun & engaging games, we will begin to implement strategies that ensure basic needs are met.  We will expand your awareness and allow you to visualize your family’s unlimited possibilities.

Let’s start a conversation.

I’m ready when you are,

Loads of love,

~Andrea

 

Reference:

**Johann Hari 

To Our Children;

To Our Children;

In light of all the hatred spread across social media this week, I ask that your voice be louder than those that hate.  Your voice of love and acceptance be the voice that is heard.  By giving the haters a platform, they have won.  Create your own platform.  Stand united in acceptance – race, colour, creed, religion and ability; become one.

I do not follow a specific religion, nor am I political.  I am, however; a person who still believes in the power of love, acceptance, compassion and the human spirit.  I’m not really sure what my message is here, except that Good must triumph of evil – always.  We must learn from past mistakes.  We can do better, because we are better.  We have learned the consequences of inaction & silence.

Stand up against injustices, feed the hungry, dress the poor, house the homeless, educate the  sheltered but above all….teach those that hate to love.

Everyone of us needs a hand at some point, whether its in recovery, financial ruin, loss, disaster or empathy. Help those that do not understand the power of  unconditional love and acceptance.  By hating the hater, we have become haters.  Please do not do this. 

The stage is yours.  As young adults or up & coming adults; today is the day you decide what your future planet looks like.  Is it divided by hatred or is it a world where differences are appreciated and love is nurtured ?

RandomYou can sit idle and hope this just passes, after all it doesn’t really affect you….or you can make a difference; small, simple acts of kindness.

The choice is yours.  What will you do?

Here is a little  John Lennon – Imagine, if you need more inspiration….

Loads of Love

~Andrea

My Name is Jenny

My Name is Jenny 

Written & submitted by Jenny Ambrose of Puree Fantastico

I am the Best Small Graphic Design Business in Los Angeles for 2014-2017, winner of Addy awards, owner of all of the awesome. Spreader of the joy, font knowledge, and endless gradient (and glitter!) love. Encourager of the silliness, the feeling of freedom, and the loudest laughter.

But I am also the same person who suffered through PTSD, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder from 10 to 28, has had to deal with colonoscopies and laparoscopies BECAUSE of those disorders, but I am also the person that found a way to heal. Really, fully, entirely heal. I’ve changed things about myself I used to take wholly for granted. In my mind and my heart, I’ve changed right down to the cellular level. My mitochondria sing the mantra Sa Ta Na Ma

Joy

To walk away fresh and renewed, happy, fulfilled, and whole by 32; walking away from a life of chaos and parents each emboldened with their own special flavors of narcissistic personality disorder and into a life full of heart and authenticity. My inner voice is my own, and the boundaries I have are grown from a solid foundation within myself. I lovingly nurture a life composed of a wonderful equally strong and tender marriage, FIVE relentlessly needy (but totally loved) animal babies, hilarious, intelligent, grateful friends and colleagues who lift me up, support me, challenge me, and contribute to my craziness (aka The Kubrick project!). I am loved in my life, and most importantly, I am loved BY my life.  

I truly believe that it was my multitude of passions that allowed me to connect deeply with my truest self, carving a pathway overriding all of the nonsense that was to come. It was listening to my truest voice when all others tried so hard to drown it out. It was following my gut even though I thought I was diving head first into the deepest pools of insanity. There were times when nothing made sense, and times when even the things I thought made sense was nonsense but sticking with myself has always lead me exactly where I need to be.
So, whatever you do, wherever you are, and whatever you are faced with– always choose you. You will always make the best choice there is. I promise.


Thank you, Jenny, for sharing your story!!  As I said to you, your energy precedes you!!  Thank you also for contributing the artwork for this post!!  It is beautiful and expressive!  

Please Leave Jenny a Comment below and be sure to subscribe to my blog to read more fantastic stories of triumph, adversity, success & survival!

If you’d like to share your story, schedule your FREE Session NOW!

Denyse’ Story

Tina’s Story

LeeAnne’s Story

Kim’s Story

Staci’s Story

The Phoenix Rises

How The Hell Did I Get Here?

How The Hell Did I Get Here?

Written by: Staci Hissong – Staci is a gifted & compassionate Life Coach using her story to empower others.


Standing with my back against the wall, literally and figuratively, with his hands on either side of my shoulders and it struck me; “How the hell did I get here?

Of course, that is not how my story started. That is not how any survivor’s story starts. Most stories start with glitter and rainbows, with affection and love, with gifts and adoration. And then it’s like a fucking switch flips and you are left standing in the dark with confusion and hurt. My story is not the exception. It starts when I was a 19 year old, college sophomore during “Welcome Week,” out with my friends and deciding to leap up and kiss a ‘friend’ that would turn in to so much more. It started innocently enough; a lot of flirtation, hook-ups, and laughter. Feeling carefree and understood, moving from the occasional hook-up to actual dates to staying the night with each other every night. Sleeping alone became a thing of the past, which is quite hilarious to me now that two full sized humans slept in a twin-sized loft each and every night because the idea of being apart was more uncomfortable than the actual closeness the beds provided. The first year continued with butterflies and unicorns and I did not believe it could be possible to be happier. Then summer hit. We were thankfully from the same hometown so we did not have to figure out distance in our relationship, but we did come from different socioeconomic situations. His Dad would write a check for his tuition each semester, and I sit here 12 years after graduation still paying off my loans. This meant I had to work every day that summer, so I did.

 And that is when the switch flipped.

He no longer was the center of my life. I had to do what was best for me, and that was finding a way to sustain living through the upcoming year with work. He started getting angry at me all the time because I could not go to every party. I could not stay out all night. And I would say no to things, which was completely different from how the previous year of our relationship had been. The arguing started, and really never stopped. Everything was consistently my fault because I did not put our relationship first. He hated this and let me know with his words. Very loud and hurtful words at times which I will explain later. He then decided we needed to “take a break until we got back to school,” which I later found out meant he was sleeping with another girl from home but wanted to get back to our relationship when he had my undivided attention. I was devastated, heartbroken; but I figured there were only a few weeks before we went back to school, so it would all work out.

 “Welcome Week” was upon us again and I anticipated things going right back to normal. But little did I know, that was not his plan at all. He wanted his cake and to eat it to. He invited this girl up to school, and SHE was the one to tell me she started sleeping with him. Are You Fucking Kidding Me? This has got to be a joke. All while he was telling me we were “working things out,” he “loved me,” we were “meant to be.” Well fueled by heartbreak and a lot of liquor, I walked in on him with her at this party and instead of being the stereotypical girl and going after the “other woman,” I went after him. I punched him repeatedly in the face and busted his nose. His very fit friend had to lift me off of him with such force I had finger bruises on arms from the strength he had to use due to my adrenaline. As I stood there, he just kept calling me a “crazy bitch,” over and over and over. A term he used quite often when speaking to me. A term that set something off inside of me due to my history with depression and anxiety, as well as self-harm behaviors. All things that he knew about me and used against me at the drop of a hat. Knowing that I was terrified that I may actually be “crazy,” he took every opportunity to reinforce that fear. Every interaction over the last few months between us had been toxic. Ending in screaming and crying and just plain ugly words being spewed.

 At this point, I should of walked away.

That’s what you would have done right? He had finally made it apparent I was worthless and everyone else thought I was crazy, so why in the fuck would I ever even speak to him again? Well, because I loved him. Did you just say, “how?” to yourself? Don’t worry, today that is what I say too, but understand he had taken the power and control from me and from our relationship well before this situation happened. I was dependent on any morsel of attention and positive words he would give me. And without fail, two days later he called, we talked, worked it out, and went back to dating. The thing was, he continued to sleep with this other girl…for what I found out later was months. And I caught him many more times; and he managed to convince me I was the crazy one for driving by his house to see if she was there or going through his phone when he walked out of the room. So, I forgave him every time. Each time, losing more and more of me. I lost like 30 lbs in a month from the stress, lost friendships because I would not allow myself to see what they saw, and just chose to look the other way.

 The Honeymooning

The thing was, if you did not know what was being done and said behind closed doors, you would have thought we were good together. Until we added the alcohol and my insecurity crept out and his vulgarity towards me crept out and we would cause a scene at every party. And then go home together afterwards like nothing was abnormal. He consistently told me what a worthless piece of trash I was and how lucky I was to be with him.

 I stayed in this relationship until right before my 22nd birthday. Almost three years. Three years of questioning my sanity. Three years of him whispering “You’re crazy” to me in front of people where no one else heard until I would lose it and he would be like what are you talking about? Legit, making me look crazy!! In front of friends, at the bar, in an elevator with a stranger in Chicago. Any time he could. Three years of on and off toxicity. One time I followed through with ending the relationship. He called me 53 times in an hour without me picking up. He called my parents who told him I was back at school, when in reality I was not. I got a call from my roommate shortly after that he was at our door screaming and pounding on the door and she did not know what to do. I recommended she call the police, but that never happened because he left and started calling my phone again. Then he left me a voicemail stating he needed to talk because his mom was sick, and he needed me. I fell back in, and within a week, right back to the screaming and name calling. On my 21st birthday, I went hard as many people do on their 21st while away at college. He carried me back to his house, which everyone gave him so much credit for taking care of me. We went into his room and started having sex. Well I was definitely too drunk to do that, and the motion made me vomit down the side of his bed. He picked me up, threw me in the shower and left me on the floor in there for I could not even tell you how long. The next morning his roommate told me he could hear me crying through the wall; saying that I was going to die and he wanted to come in and help me but knew I was naked and felt like that would violate me. My boyfriend was upstairs, so the roommate went up to tell him he could hear me, and my boyfriend did not budge. He kept drinking and left me there. When he finally came to help me out of the shower, we went back into his room where he brought new sheets and stood there while I was made to change them since I was the one who got sick on them. I stayed with him still for almost another year!!!

 It finally ended, 

It finally ended one night when he picked me up from the bar after a bar crawl and he was yelling at me and I just did not care anymore. I had no reaction. He yelled more, I just did not have it in me to fight back. He said it was over and I said ok. (He was also sleeping with a mutual ‘friend’ of ours by this point as well). I felt free. I was ready for it to be over. I finally was done, relief! But it again would not prove to be so easy. He had expected me to fight to keep the relationship as I always did, and when I did not, he became infuriated. He began calling me repeatedly again and telling me he wanted everything he ever bought me back. I finally just said fine and threw up my hands. If that would end this, then I would give it all back. I walked over to his apartment, which by this point we only lived like seven minutes apart on a walk and gave him the bag of stuff. He said he was going to give me back everything I had bought him. I stated repeatedly I did not want anything back because that was not how gifts worked and he got so angry. He began screaming and yelling at me that I was going to take it all. Upon refusal again, he picked up the DVD player I had bought him and threw it at my head. Now I don’t know if you all remember how heavy DVD players were, but they were not these lightweight things like Blu-ray players are today. I moved and did not get hit, but I remember being completely frightened for the first time of him in that moment. He emotionally hurt me, verbally abused me, spiritually broke me, but he had never laid a finger on me. But in that moment, I felt that possibility upon me. He lunged at me and I flinched. I will never forget what happened next. He backed me up against the wall in his dining room with his hands on either side of shoulders and said “You think I’m going to hit you? You really think I am going to hit you? If I was going to hit you, I would have done that a long time ago!” I moved out of the way and left the apartment. That was it, it was the moment, the breaking point. I knew we were completely over. On that seven-minute walk home, he called my phone numerous times and left me four voicemails. The final voicemail stating I was a “fucking cunt who should’ve killed [myself] a long time ago” and would “never amount to anything and be poor” and would be “worthless without [him] because no one else would ever want [me].” I got home, locked that apartment door as hard as I could and sat in my room and sobbed.

 We saw each other out in public regularly following that. There are only so many bars in a college town after all, and we had many of the same friends. Many more ridiculous exchanges, or avoiding one another, for the final two months before graduation. I saw him a few months later back in our hometown. I broke down and slept with him only to find out he was still seeing that mutual ‘friend’ of ours and made sure to let me know after we had sex that he was glad he was done with such a “whore” like me. And that was that. We were over, ties cut. Until three years later when he was at a bachelor party I think, and he called me and begged to see me, still with the same girl from the end of college. He had nothing but negative things to say about her and just showered me with words of affirmation. He just kept saying we were too young when we met and the love he had for me was just too intense for that age. And even then, there was a part of me that believed that to be true. I refused to see him though so at least there was some progress on my part.

 The Journey to Myself

Fast forward to five years after graduation, I was beginning an internship for my Master’s degree in counseling at a domestic violence shelter. Before you can work there you have to go through an intensive 40-hour training course. The first day of the training they defined domestic abuse. HOLY SHIT! I had been in an abusive relationship? Are you fucking kidding me? But he never laid a finger on me! How is this possible? But it all made so much sense. I cannot be around men who raise their voices, I had severe trust issues in relationships, and I felt pulled to this internship for some reason. I had been going to therapy for about four months at this point and I walked in to my next session and said, “Did you know my college relationship was domestic abuse?” My therapist threw her hands in the air and said “Oh, thank god! I have been waiting for you to get there!” I suffered Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder following this relationship. My view on a relationship was so fucked up it made sense why I could not make one work and I kept choosing the wrong men.

 So here I am.

Twelve years removed from the relationship, seven years after realizing that I was in an abusive relationship throughout college. This is the first time I have ever put pen to paper about it, or more so fingers to keys. I actually just verbally told my story for the first time last October during Domestic Violence Awareness Month to do my part in spreading the word that not all abuse looks the same. I can tell you in writing this, I still cannot believe that was me. I am such a different person today than I was then. First of all, I am older and wiser and the regular grey hair I have to color proves that. But more than that, I have grown as a person and as a woman. I was so quick to judge when I was younger, and I can guarantee if someone else told me this is how their relationship was I would ask them what the hell was wrong with them to stay? And now, I understand there are so many underlying factors to an abusive relationship that others will not understand. And yet, almost all of these relationships are the same at their core. It is about power and control for the abuser and stripping you of who you are.

 Healing

This process has taken a very long time for me. This is not something that I got out of magically found glitter and rainbows again. Um, fuck no. It did not happen like that at all. It is only over the last year that I can share this story without shame; still not without anger but I am working on that. It took therapy, self-reflection, and a lot of personal development to get here. And where is here? Well I now own two of my own businesses, I have a Master’s degree and am a Licensed Professional Counselor, and I can finally say that I can see some good in the world. I am mindset coach now for women to help them build their confidence and learn how to move forward in life.

 Empowering Others

I love that I get to empower women each and every day. If you find that you are still in a toxic relationship, YOU ARE WORTH MORE! I know nothing I say to you can make you fully believe that, but I hope that in reading this story you can see that you are not alone and there is a strong network of women who will help uplift you when you are ready.

Follow Staci here:

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If you’d like to share your story, please contact Andrea

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Tina’s Story

LeeAnne’s Story

Denyse’ Story

Kim’s Story

My Name is Denyse

 

My Name is Denyse, and this is my Phoenix Story.

I grew up in a very dysfunctional family.  Abuse, addiction and violence were my norm.  This lead me to a highly dysfunctional marriage.  Today, I am strong, courageous, and FREE!

I struggled for several years caught in the cycle of anger, abuse, neglect, emotional starvation, and humiliation.  It was not only my immediate family, but spread across to members of extended family & friends.  I was abused, neglected & tormented.   This was my norm as a child and as a result, this is what I chose as an adult.  I naturally gravitated towards an angry, abusive husband, because this is how I thought I deserved to be treated.  You see, for 40 years, the very people who were supposed to love me, guide me, nurture me and keep me safe, were the ones who tried to destroy me.    Through years of therapy and Life Coaching, I have discovered that this is not my norm.  This is not who I am!!

Today, I am happy to report that I am growing into my authentic self.  The person I was designed to be and out of the person others tried to create.   Today, I can tell you that they have failed.  I have survived, and I have succeeded.    I am not broken, I am healing.  Today, I am a single Mom of an amazing young man.  We have had our fair share of struggles, but we are learning to accept these as opportunities for growth.  A chance to renew our perceptions.

I am choosing, everyday, to break the cycle.  I do not want my son to know the pain of growing up in dysfunction.  I want my son to know the power of self; self-conviction, self-empowerment, self-growth, self-confidence and self-esteem.  Together we are rewriting our story.

From the ashes of disaster, grow the roses of success.

You can rewrite your story too.  You can share your story to inspire more women, to end the cycle.  Please join me in our fight to #endthecycle

Here is Tina’s Story

My name is Denyse, and I am courageous!

Are You Excited To Go Home Every Night?

Remember When….

…….this relationship first started; full of curiosity, excitement, joy?

……The hopes & dreams that flooded your heart when you first held your child in your arms?

…….You & your partner watched your child achieve all those first milestones; sitting up, holding a bottle, first steps, first tooth, first day of school?

Where did that excitement go?  That feeling of desperately wanting to hang on to a moment and cherish it forever?  Never wanting it to end.  The feeling excitement when you spoke to your best friend about this new adventure, new person, new milestone?  Let’s get that back!! 🙂

Today…

…..you are multitasking meals, work emails, homework, sports, laundry and quickly scanning a blog.  Are you able to offer your full attention to any of them, do you have the  time?

Every member of your family is in a different room, on the internet chatting with friends, responding to emails, checking quotes, playing games,  watching videos, and everyone has 1 thing in common.  Do you want to know what that is…..

Let’s back up….

Remember that feeling the first day you left your tinny toddler at the day care?  Going back to work was something you dreaded for months.  You have to work, but this tiny little creature full of poop & snot somehow brings you so much joy and again, we have a feeling we don’t want to let go of.  We have bills to pay, college to save for and all the toys, sports, clothes that comes with being a parent.  Kids aren’t cheap.  And somewhere down the line, we lost that feeling of excitement.  Somewhere, bills, tantrums and deadlines sucked the excitement out of parenting.

You were so full of joy, it spilled out of you and the whole world knew how happy you were, but now there is barely enough joy to fill your big toe.  The rest of you is filled with stress, frustration, anxiety, worry and expectations.  Now you have teenagers and life is no fun anymore.

I Want YOU To Get Excited About Your Life & Your Family!!!

What’s on your To Do List?

Are you getting everything you possibly can out of LIFE, or is LIFE getting everything it can out of you?

We all have a “To Do” List and most of us have a “Bucket List”.  Which one is more important for you?  What’s on your partner’s wish list?  Do your kids have wish lists?  Start a conversation!!

 

 

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

~Ghandi

Be the change you wish to see in your FAMILY!

~Andrea

I have faith in you!!  Mom to Mom, I know how hard it is to see members of your family struggling.  I understand how incredible hard it is to reach out and ask for the help you need.  There is so much judgement, and we are expected to know how to keep it all together.  I am a Mom and I, too, had a child who struggled.  I spent hours searching the internet for help.  Any piece of wisdom I could grab, and use to make my family better.  From that struggle, I gathered loads of the most useful pieces of information and compiled them together to create a plan to unify my family and all of us  help you create a plan, strategies that will actually work!!!

I know you have the drive, determination & motivation to create positive change in your family and that all of this is fueled by the LOVE you have for each of them.  Get started today.

Reach out with any questions, I’d love to help you stir up some excitement!!!

~Andrea

 

 

What Do You Believe?

I have several philosophies that guide me through life and every obstacle that is presented to me.

  1. Feeling stuck is a sign that it’s time for change.
  2. Even the tiniest step is possible, is progress.
  3. You don’t have it all figured out to move forward.
  4. Nothing changes, if nothing changes.
  5. New beginnings can feel like endings.
  6. Beautiful things happen when you rid your life of negativity.
  7. Believe what your heart tells you, not what people say.
  8. Stop overthinking, whatever happens, happens.
  9. If it is meant to be it will happen, at the right time, at the right place, for the right reason.
  10. Your best is yet to come!

Need some help creating your own set of guidelines?  Find more inspiration here.

As always, loads of love,

~Andrea

 

 

The Day My Child Lost Her Joy

THE DAY MY CHILD LOST HER JOY
In an especially chaotic rush out the door to go on a family vacation, I sat in the passenger seat fuming. Mad because I didn’t have time to put the dishes in the dishwasher. Mad because we were late getting on the road. Mad because the garage door was acting up. I’m talking trivial, insignificant, minor inconveniences here, but that was the state of a distracted woman who could no longer see the blessings, only the inconveniences, of her life.

Before we were about to pull out of the driveway, my husband looked at me as if someone he loved very much had died. In a barely audible whisper he said, “You’re never happy anymore.”

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I wanted to defend.

I wanted to excuse.

I wanted to deny.

But I couldn’t.

Because I knew he was right.

Where had that happy woman gone? The one who smiled at people she passed on the street just because. The one whose friends often spoke of her positive outlook on life. The one who felt happy simply because she heard her favorite song or had a pack of strawberry Twizzlers in her purse. The one who could laugh off mistakes because mistakes happen, and they are certainly not the end of the world.

Where had she gone?

And that’s when I glanced to the backseat to see if my children, then ages six and three, had heard my husband’s words. Staring back at me was my older daughter picking her lip with worry the size of a small boulder weighing down her small shoulders.

As she pinched that tiny piece of fragile skin on her upper lip with wide eyes, I could practically read her mind:

Mom’s mad.

Mom’s tired.

Mom’s stressed.

But there was more. I could practically hear how a young child would interpret her mother’s unhappiness.

Mom’s mad at me.

Mom’s tired because of me.

Mom’s stressed because of something I did.

That’s when an even more powerful question hit me.

Where had my happy little girl gone? The one who woke up with the most gorgeous bedhead and good morning smile. The one who beamed at the words “sprinkler,” “cotton candy,” and “pet store.” The one who laughed so hard tears came to her eyes. The one who licked beaters with sheer pleasure and danced happily to any song with a beat.

Where had she gone?

I knew.

Because my happiness was based on external measures—on tasks being completed, plans running accordingly, goals being met, hairs being in place—I was continually disappointed … upset … impatient … and stressed. In the process of making my own life miserable, I’d funneled my unhappiness straight into my daughter’s once joyful heart and spirit. Her pain was a direct reflection of the expression I wore on my face.

I desperately wanted to bring a smile back to my daughter’s face. I knew I must bring it back to my own. I began praying for small steps I could take to become a more positive, present, and peace-filled person. On brightly colored sticky notes, I posted daily goals and positive mantras that came to me during morning prayer time. Especially prominent on my mirrors and cabinets were these two go-to phrases: “Only Love Today” and “See Flowers Not Weeds.”

I used the phrase Only Love Today to silence my inner bully. Whenever a critical thought would come to my mind or my mouth, I’d cut it off with Only Love Today. I used See Flowers Not Weeds as a pathway to gratitude, to see what was good in situations and people.

As Only Love Today and See Flowers Not Weeds became a daily practice, I felt a profound transformation occurring in my heart and home. No longer were my goals exclusively items that could be measured or checked off—they consisted of immeasurable items like listening, laughing, dreaming, playing, connecting, and loving. With a more meaningful daily goal, I was able to see the blessings in my imperfect self and in my imperfect life. My eager-to-please, helpful older child looked different too. I saw her for who she was, not an annoyance or a bother, but a loving child with clever thoughts and ideas. For once, I could see all the things she was capable of doing—not perfectly, but good enough for today. The tightness in my face relaxed and the smiles came more easily for both of us.

One morning, I looked out the kitchen window to see her making a little garden right there in the middle of the yard. I watched as she tended to her miniature plot. Her joyful smile made me take pause. Clearly, she was at peace tending to her garden. I took a picture and sent it to my parents. Nothing could have prepared me for the response I received. My parents wrote:

“Thank for this precious picture of our beautiful granddaughter. Over the last two years, we have seen a tremendous change in her. We no longer see a scared look in her eyes; she is less fearful about you being upset or impatient with her. She is much happier and more relaxed. She is thriving and growing into a content, creative, and nurturing person. We know for a fact the changes we see in her coincide with the changes we have also seen in you.”

I covered my mouth to muffle the sobs.

When I was struggling to breathe beneath the weight of perfection, distraction, and self-induced pressure, my child was too.

My daughter had absorbed my tension.

She had absorbed my frustration.

She had absorbed my anxiety.

She had absorbed my unhappiness.

And as my negative emotions were being filtered down to her, they impacted her ability to grow, thrive, and blossom.

If I didn’t know it before, I know it now:

Our children are our garden. They absorb our stress, just as they absorb our peace. They absorb our negativity just as they absorb our joy. And we have the power to control what they absorb, but first, we must tend to ourselves.

It might sound like this:

Dear one, you have feelings. They are worth listening to and acknowledging.

You have limits. They are necessary to keep in place as a means of valuing your time and honoring your health.

You have dreams. You are worthy of time to pursue what makes your heart come alive.

You have needs. You deserve affection, rest, sustenance, and grace.

Perhaps you forgot that it is necessary to look after YOU. It’s okay. I forget too. But we still have today. Thank God, we still have today.Today let’s tend to ourselves as we do our loved ones. Perhaps we can make it a habit. We’ll never know how much we can grow and flourish until we take time to tend to what is most precious.


***Negative behaviours in your children are often a direct result of your own emotions.  Emotions your children feel, cannot understand, but simply react to If you’d like to reduce the effects of your emotions on your children, please contact me for a FREE Consultation.  

This post was written by Molly Kathleen.  Thank you Molly for articulating this in a way that I couldn’t.  This is powerful, raw, and direct.  


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