Dear New Mom,
Welcome to the most challenging job you will ever have. Your new boss is small but loud and has poor communication skills. You probably already know you love your new boss more than you could ever imagine. There will be times you think youâre not good enough to work for your new little boss. The fact that you feel that way means youâre doing your best. We have all been there, feeling overwhelmed and oh so tired. Hang in there and remember you will get lots of smiles, kisses and hugs â the best payment you will ever get. Best of luck!
~ A fellow mom
The Hope Notes for Moms project is a collection of brief messages of support and hope for moms, written by moms. You can find an archive of all the notes here. Most importantly, you can contribute to this project and support a fellow mom by emailing me your own hope note to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For families who celebrate Halloween, this is a really fun time of year. Yes, sometimes there is a scramble to get the costumes together at the last minute, but overall it is pretty darn sweet to see our kids all dressed up and watch them trick-or-treat.
The only challenging thing is the ENORMOUS bags of candy that only seem to get bigger and bigger with every fall festival, classroom party, and doorbell that they ring.
So, I’m on a quest to find out what my fellow mamas do with all that candy...
In my house we tackle this in 4 very non-creative, simple ways:
1. Outsource: I bring bags of candy to my grad students. We unload some of the candy, and students seem happy.
2. The Magic Candy Bag: We have a bag, stored at the top of the cupboard that holds all the goodies. It is not magical but the kids look at it and talk about it as if it was. This bag becomes very useful for bribes (e.g., “if you finish those last 2 bites of asparagus…”), as well as spontaneous rewarding (e.g., “I’m so impressed with how you cleaned up without being asked to” – wait, I’ve actually never used this one before).
3. Hope for temporary memory lapse regarding the Magic Candy Bag. When the girls were younger, after a few days they seemed to forget the bag was there anymore. Thank you, Piaget and lack of object permanence! As they have grown older, however, their cognitive development has increased (imagine that), especially in the area of treats.
4. Eat candy myself: This one is pretty self-explanatory, but I’ll just note my husband likes to join in on this too.
I keep thinking there must be more ideas somewhere…isn’t there a creative Pinterest activity for melting the candy and creating a dessert or sculpture? Maybe a Lego-inspired candy castle that we can try to make?
My fellow mamas, what do you do with all that Halloween candy this time of year?
Sometimes change comes easily and it is wonderful. Babies start sleeping through the night, moms start having a little more time for themselves, and partners begin to find more moments to enjoy each other’s company. Other types of change are not as positive: A child’s behavior has suddenly become challenging, a mom has started feeling anxious, or a relationship hits a rough spot. The extreme changes that we experience are, of course, the most difficult: losses of health, loved ones, connections, or important roles and opportunities in our lives.
The commonality in all of these, regardless of how they are experienced, is that they are changes and they reflect a natural part of our world. The Greek Philosopher Heraclitus said it best with his assertion that “No man ever steps in the same river twice.” In other words, life is flux, and all things change.
How we react to changes in our lives is certainly related to our well-being. If we go around expecting that things will stay the same, then we are constantly shocked and caught off-guard when they change. Similarly, if we resist the relatively minor changes that naturally happen, we experience tension and conflict within ourselves and in our relationships with others. And for those difficult changes that are the most painful, if we don’t utilize our internal and external resources we may not be able to even put one foot in front of the other each day.
As a mother, I often reflect on how I want my children to see that I handle change:
*Do I fight against the inevitable or do I try to flow with changes in life?
*Do I become so stuck in my routine that any change to the schedule throws me off?
*Do I show my kids how I embrace change, sometimes even finding humor and joy in the unexpected?
*When difficult changes happen, how do I seek and receive the support of others?
*How do I balance modeling my pain and grief with a mixture of adaptation, acceptance and hope for what lies ahead?
As we feel the transition to Fall, let’s consider how we can show our children that we handle the inevitability of change…
I'm Lisa, a mother and psychologist dedicated to supporting moms. Read more here.
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