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The Mother in Me…..

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Today, I decided to review the definition of Mother.  I went to dictionary.com, plugged in the term and waited for the results.

moth·er

mʌð ər/ Show Spelled[muhth -er]

–noun

1. a female parent.

2. (often initial capital letter ) one’s female parent.

3. a mother-in-law, stepmother, or adoptive mother.

4. a term of address for a female parent or a woman having or regarded as having the status, function, or authority of a female parent.

5. a term of familiar address for an old or elderly woman.

6. mother superior.

7. a woman exercising control, influence, or authority like that of a mother: to be a mother to someone.

8. the qualities characteristic of a mother, as maternal affection: It is the mother in her showing itself.

9. something or someone that gives rise to or exercises protecting care over something else; origin or source.

10. (in disc recording) a mold from which stampers are made.

I tried to determine if I felt any of these definitions suited me, outside of being the female parent.  And in all honesty, there are no real words to define what it is and means to be a mother.  Of course, we can define ourselves as someone who gives rise to protecting and caring for something else.  I can even see being the origin and the source for something in which I can mother or parent.  I can see being a mold and stamping my imprint upon another, but nothing, in any of those terms begin to address the one common term all mother’s have, hold, and dread – and that is fear.

The one job that you have been given, without an instruction manual, no formal training, and all OJT, is being a mother.  If you fail at your job, you know the consequences; you have a Jeffrey Dahmer or a Charles Manson.  If you are too successful at your job, then you are a control freak. If you are too casual then you want to be a friend instead of a parent.  Quite honestly, there is no way to win.  With fear in your heart you rise every day and just hope that you are getting it right as they grow and become adults, with a sense of right and wrong that has been instilled in them and they will become productive members of society.  You hope that the guidance they have been given does not inspire them to become parents themselves at a young age, and that they will find someone in which to share their life who is fair and loving and will be a good mother to your grandchildren.

To all the mothers out there I salute you, honor you and cherish you.  I know your fear, and share in the turmoil, but I also understand a mother’s joy.  I have been blessed with a wonderful son, that has turned into a wonderful man, and this Mother’s Day, I am blessed that God gave me an opportunity to provide protecting care over something else, and mold it, and become a female parent.
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Is your independency keeping you single?

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clip_image001I was on Facebook this morning and saw a post that begged the question, of whether men were intimidated by strong independent women?

I found myself utterly and completely fascinated with most of the answers which in part, where mostly defensive. Answers gravitated from recession concession to jealousy, to a real independent woman does not want to lose her independence. There were even comments from one gentleman who boasted about his independent woman’s gift giving and how she provided him pocket money. It was one extreme to the next, but the real question to all of you today, is your independence keeping you single?

Everyone wants to have or belong to someone, but some see companionship as compromise, while others argue why do I need a man to give me what I can provide for myself. Have we, as women, become so competitive in the workplace that we have forgotten the simple art of being a lady. Being a lady has nothing to do with your independence. I will admit, there are some men who are challenged by women who are smarter and more accomplished than themselves, but the majority of men, truly want to spend time in the company of a lady.

Webster’s defines lady as a refined, well spoken and polite woman of high social position and is the parallel of gentleman. This definition is pretty clear but just in case there is some confusion, parallel is complimentary. A woman’s relationship to and with a man, should be complimentary. This does not mean that you have to sacrifice who you are, what you have accomplished or your dreams or ambitions, in order to have a relationship with a mclip_image003an, but to compliment what he does and who he is. A prime example is Michelle Obama. She is complimentary to her husband and her accomplishments and achievements stand on their own, but she relishes her independent mind, but excels in her role as wife and mother. She is the epitome of the example of you can have it, without the sacrifice.

What does it take to have your independence and a great relationship? Take the focus off of being so damned independent and place the focus on being a lady. Place your focus on being complimentary. Place your focus on being parallel and lined up with something other than your own goals. When we remove ourselves from that constant cycle of “me…me…myself…I…wait back to me…” we have the golden opportunity to sit on the side and cheer for someone else. In the end, that is all your man truly wants, is for you to cheer for him once in a while. He is proud of you and what you have done, and he brags about you at the barber shop even though you don’t know it. He says with pride when he visits with his Mom or chats with his Dad about the things you are doing on the job. Can you say the same, without a sadden sigh because he hasn’t reached his full potential? Can you say the same without a snide comment of “now if he would just pick up his drawers, and put them in the hamper…”. Can you say the same without nitpicking him to death over dinner because he ordered a steak and you chose a salad? Here’s a hint sisters, you can graze on lettuce leaves at home. You man wants to see you enjoy some meat and he wants to pay for it! He wants to tell you about his day and what that “Dumb Dave” did at work. He wants to share with you the silly argument that ensued in the locker room or lunch room over some commentary on clip_image005ESPN.

The question is do you want to listen? Or do you have so much on your mind about your day, and what that sneaky Millicent said, or that million dollar deal that is on the table that you know you are about close. More than anything, you are counting the money you are about to spend when the deal does closes and what is your next strategic move.

I am not taking sides, I am just asking the questions that I want you to answer, because if I am thinking it, so is someone else. So I weighed in from a woman’s point of view, give me some feedback with this next question.

Do you think they feel less of a man when dealing with a woman who is able to carry her own load, very successful, and can do things on her own without his help?

Growing into happiness

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I often chuckle when I hear my friends and colleagues boasts about being a grown woman, then I am more amused when I watch them make immature decisions. I watch them make choices that are bad for their personal well-being an the moment, and choices that are bad for their future.  The stresses of life  and emotional loneliness can be contributing factors to bad decision making.

I am often asked, what should I do— and as a grown woman, I have learned to sit and listen, and realize that my friends thought process, do not neccessarily equate to me to interjecting mine.  What works for me, may not work for you, so here is my advice to the many women who often ask me the same question, as well as  my advice to all who read this post.

If you are at a crossroads in your life, sit down in the middle of the street and make a list of where you have been, and where you would like to go.  As simple as it may seem, for some, just sitting still long enough to write a list –is an issue.  However, you can not fully understand where you are trying to go, until you have identified, label, misnomer, or  assigned the wrong psychological principle, to what you will soon learn to call– bull puckey.

That is what it is,bullpuckey— it is all the crap that you have convinced yourself is important, that in actuality has no real relevance in your life. It is the proverbial time on the treadmill where you are running  inside of the the little cage which you have boxed yourself in, that you are NOW calling a fulfilling life.  If you have not poured yourself a cup of tea, sat down with a good book or your favorite magazine without the tv on, to just read for 30 minutes, then how you are getting on in your life, well it is bull puckey!

If you have not or can not remember what you like to do for fun that is not associated with your husband or children, then how you are living needs to be reevaluated.  If you can not remember the last time you and a girl friend sat down and had a two-hour lunch talking about nothing….and realized it was the best conversation you have had in a long time, then stop.

Put down the laptop, get off of Facebook, and sign out of your Twitter account.  Get up off your butt and plug back into life.  Decide in the next week what you would like to do to better yourself that can be done in incremental steps, and make a plan. I will start you off with some suggestions.  You want to know why, because I am happy. Not in the moment, not for a reason, but because it is the way that I am living. I grew into my happiness and I want to help you grow into yours.

Here are my suggestions for the month of April 2010.

First we will start by getting you organized, to get the clutter out of your life.  I know, you have a Blackberry or some other gadget you are paying too much money for and don’t really know how to use.   Let’s first simplify with www.cozi.com and get everything in one place.

I also want you to start thinking about your summer vacation for the family and for you and your man (yes your man, and if that is not what you call him or how you think of him, we will address that in June) .  

For the family, you can save some money, give back to America and help the planet all in one.  http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/eco-travel-volunteer-vacations-50022309.

Then plan a quiet get away for you and your man with www.cruises-4-free.com.

Tody is the day you take the first step to grow into your happiness.  I check back with you in a month and see how you are doing.

All my best,

Cheryl

Let a man be a man

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I am often asked how have you managed to say married for so long?  My answer is very simple; I let my husband be who he is.

 I have been married for 20 years with one child who is now in college.  Over the years we have had our bumps and hiccups and our struggles for power. One day my husband told me, you can be in charge of whatever it is you do in your office, but in this house, you are wife and mother.  Yep, go ahead, catch your breath, because I know I did.  My first reaction was to get up cross the room, and knock the taste out of his mouth.  But I stopped and considered his words.

 I took his words to heart and in year 3, I concentrated on being his wife and the mother to my child.  When he walks in the door from work, I greet him with a kiss, and now that we are empty nesters, sometimes skimpy lingerie.  Dinner is on the table when he walks in the door whether I have cooked it, or ordered out.  There are always leftovers in the fridge, a sweet dessert or something yummy to snack on.  When he is watching tv, I leave him alone and let him enjoy his show.  And you know what….he does the same for me.

 The mortgage is paid on time, my car is road ready anytime I need to make a trip, and if I want to shop, he will give me what I need. During dinner we have conversations about life, world events, and about each other.  He nurtures my need to change the world and allows me the freedom to do just that while I support him in being my man and taking care of our family.

 We often hear the phrase let a man be a man, but often misconstrue it as giving a man free reign to sow his wild oats. Letting a man be a man to me, means making sure he feels wanted and needed.  Because in the end, everyone want to be needed, but a man needs to be wanted.

 I know some of you will disagree, but if you have not been married longer than I have then save your comments. And just in case you are wondering, I have a masters and PhD that he paid for.

What have you changed?

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In such a volitile economy, we are having to rethink the way we live, do business, eat, dress and even spend our money.  The weekend trips to Blockbuster have been replaced with an On Demand selection.  Weekend pizza ordering has been reduced to the best sellers in the Wal-mart deli (with extra pepperoni and shredded cheese, purchased seperately of course) while we spend time with our families.  Dinner out is a $30 dollar swing for 4 at the local Mexican joint.

Amazingly enough, before I never had enough time, now, I have plenty of time to spend with my son working on my backyard and have even considered putting in a garden.  The neighbors, I used to blow my horn at on my way to somewhere else, have become a staple in our home playing board games and cards.

Our weekend getaways to the “big city” have been exchanged for exploring our own city and becoming members of local non-profit groups and giving back to community.  I even joined a writers network to brain storm and share ideas with other burgeoning writers. All in all, if being lead by a “comunity organizer” is having an affect on the American public, as well as the economy, then what have you changed in your way of life?

Quilting and Tough Economic Times

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In tough ecomomic times, butter and eggs were a source of income for many families. Butter and egg money, made from the excess milk from the family’s cows and eggs that could not be consumed, were sold to buy fabric to make children clothes. The scrap pieces of material were sewn together to make extra bedding and balnkets for the cold winter months, pinics, and extra pallets for guests.

This ecomony has impacted us all and I fear the worst is still yet to come, and although we are seeing Americans tighten their belts, and cutback on wasteful spending, women are going back to traditional homemaking. Besides, who wants to pay $4 for a cup of coffee when you can brew your own pot, and have friends over to catch up while creating something beautiful?

The time I used to spend at the spa (deep sigh, tear slowly trickles down the corner of my eye) and weekend getaways with the girls are now spent sitting in my home, and creating hand made items to beautify it.

Although, times have not gotten so tough that I need to buy a cow and purchase some egg laying hens, I do have to tighten my belt and spend wisely on the items that I need. I am starting at t-shirt quilt for my son when he goes off to college, taking his old t-shirts to make it into a quilt of all his past activities, so that he will have a daily remainder of a well spent child hood. This saves me money on fabric , new bedding for his college dorm room, as well as recycling the old t-shirts. I will be sure to share a final picture of the project once it is finished.

Now, tell me what are you doing in these tough times to make a difference in your family’s income?

Ways to use a Virtual Assistant

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DATABASE MANAGEMENT
• entering business card data into a database
• sending an introductory letter to new prospect leads
• sending scheduled marketing pieces to clients and prospects
DESKTOP PUBLISHING
• designing and printing brochures and business cards
• creating flyers, price lists, and other marketing documents

INTERNET SERVICES
• maintaining a newsletter subscription database
• posting announcements and newsletter issues to the list
• editing or uploading new information to a website

PRESENTATIONS
• preparing PowerPoint slides from sketches of diagrams and charts

RESEARCH
• monitoring periodicals and clipping articles of interest
• visiting the library to copy specific articles

SECRETARIAL SERVICES
• scheduling or rescheduling appointments
• tracking birthdays, anniversaries, and other important dates
• sending out the appropriate cards or gifts for special events
• managing lists of necessary office supplies and ordering refills

WORD PROCESSING
• typing handwritten notes from a meeting or seminar
• typing letters, printing on stationery, addressing, and mailing
• proofreading, editing, and checking spelling / grammar
• laying out larger documents