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Posted by Colleen Shields on February 15, 2014

Want Bliss??
There are certain moments in life that are so poignant and moving, it touches you in an inexplicable way in which, I theorize, you connect with a realm beyond this physical world. These little golden moments are like fuel for the soul, wholefoods badly needed in our world of processed consumables. I am constantly on the lookout for these little pearls, so if you think that I am watching you, you’re right. Some of these moments that come to mind easily are a sleeping baby, happily surrendered on his father’s shoulder, oblivious to the burgers and the people and the laughter and the beer in his dad’s other hand. His round little fingers and dimpled hands resting softly on the muscled bicep of his father who happily multi-tasks and makes us women glad we were married in this century. Another moment like this, an irresistible ting of wow, is when you witness a loving act of kindness totally unexpected and perhaps between strangers, although when I see this among my own children, my heart is immediately like a puddle on the kitchen floor. Sometimes this moment could be on a beachfront bar with a tall MaiTai facing the ocean in Playa Del Carmen- but I digress.
What really got me thinking about moments of purity and happiness was my experience of Valentine’s Day. I was reminded of this moment of connecting to another realm of happiness as I witnessed a couple newly in love. The excitement, and tension and energy between two people who are so happy to be together is a surely a site. The age of the late thirties and early forties are brutal with divorce, and many people have long forgotten their early days of falling in love. But when you see this early sparkle, you (as in me) am reminded of how amazing it feels to know that you have found that one special person. All you want to do is be next to him, beside him, on the phone with him, involved in his life. You never want to spend a moment apart. You feel loved and appreciated for exactly who you are. You feel completely accepted and like someone ‘gets you’, and that he will always be there to support you, to love you, to care for you, no matter how much you may fall apart as some time or another.
My husband and I have almost not left each other’s side since 1994. And many people ask how we do it, or what makes the difference. Having someone who is willing to put you ahead of himself, and doing the same for him is the key to a life-long marriage I believe. That among many things. I often say “Forever is a long damn time.” And it is, which is why being forgiving, understanding and resolutely committed to one another, no matter the circumstance is very important.
I am eternally grateful, because I feel that moment of happiness and purity, which feels like the very gentle lifting of the veil of bliss, every morning when I wake up next to my husband. That is a moment of purity, knowing that the person I love more than anything in the world is there, sometimes snoring, next to me. When he sets his alarm before 6 all these feelings go away…just kidding. But my point is I think if you can steadfastly stay true to your love that you once felt in the very early days, and not let it get too far in the distant part of your memory, you will have these moments of bliss that are reserved by angels, I think. They save them for the exact right moment as reminder of all that could be, which hopefully aligns your goals to get more and more and more of this: bliss, love and clarity.
Next time you have the tender kiss, your daughter’s butterfly kisses, a long squeeze from your son, a short and apt “thank you I love you”, recognize these pearls as gifts from another world where bliss, and happiness live.

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I cannot get my 2 and half year old off the pacifier…I have tried getting rid of them entirely, only to wake my husband up at 3 am to dig the last one out of the car glove box due to my screaming child.  He won’t go to bed without it!! Help!

Posted by momofeight30 answersDay-to-Day • June 04, 2009

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Helicopter Parents are so annoying to us parents who are relaxed an unannoying. Relax people!

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Check out this parenting site, it's very cool

Posted by Colleen Shields26 commentsLinks • May 28, 2009

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Burnt Out Moms Anonymous, Answers & Hope
Burnt Out Moms Anonymous, Answers & Hope
By: Colleen Shields

It’s funny how when we have little ones, whether we like it or not, 150% of our energy goes into raising them to be the best people they can be. Uber Moms of today are so into creating their little Ivy League, Pro-Soccer playing, CEO’s, that they can hardly keep up with the practices, games, study-halls, tudors, and arranged playgroups with fellow little CEO’s. More and more mothers I know are becoming exhausted, and in a constant state of frenetic rushing to and fro. Drivers beware: minivans may appear like sheep on a highway of wolves, but they’ll fly past you on the left faster than you can adjust your rearview.

The net result of this entire obsession with super-children, is mothers who can’t remember their favorite color, much less their former passion. And if you feel like you can’t keep up, you are not alone. If you are having dreams about forgetting the soccer pads for practice, burning the cookies for the bake-sale, and God forbid, forgetting to sign the field-trip permission slip, you too, are on your way to the morning you decide the bathroom floor is more appealing than the inside of a car all day, and you lock yourself in, and hunker down, possibly forever.

Not to fret. There are answers. So listen carefully:

#1. Say no.
Say no to the volunteer request every once in a while. Let someone else help make the Easter eggs. You think your kids will be upset, when the reality is, they’ll hardly notice.

#2 Give Yourself a Break!
Uber Moms may look good, and their children may appear to be superhuman next to your child with peanut butter and jelly on his cheeks, but let’s face it, she probably didn’t feed them lunch so their new outfit wouldn’t get soiled. So give yourself a little credit, and don’t sweat the small stuff. Your house does not need to look like a museum, who cares if there are crumbs all over the car, and if the laundry doesn’t get done everyone will survive.

#3 Limit the activities
A mom told me once she lets her children pick one activity a season. This makes sense. When picking activities, consider YOU! Set up a carpool with a friend for sports and rotate the kids for practices, find a piano teacher in the neighborhood so it’s easy to get them in and out, look for after-school activities right at the school- giving you one less car run, and put multiple children in the same class if possible.

#4 Follow the Flight Attendants Rules:
Remember the part where the perky flight attendant gives emergency instructions before take-off and says “In case of an emergency, put your own oxygen mask on, and then your child’s”? Take care of you first, and then you can take care of them. When you are fed, rested, and hydrated it’s a lot easier to tend to your child’s demands. I’m typically deluged with requests for ketchup, drinks, a different spoon, a different cup, coupled with multiple phones ringing and texts going off, and needless to say dinner time is a challenge. I always make sure I eat something, and get my own drink before the onslaught begins. Brush your teeth first in the morning, get your coffee first, get yourself dressed first, do these things before you do them for your child- you’ll feel happier, clean and not distracted with your own sense of what you need to do for yourself.

#5 Do One Thing For Yourself Every Day
Eating, sleeping, and brushing your teeth don’t count. I’m talking about a trip to the gym, paint your toe nails, do a mask, call an old friend, write in your journal, work on your scrap book, buy yourself a goody, plan your future, learn an instrument, return to an old hobby, read your book, pray, do a salt-scrub, watch your favorite show etc. Even putting lotion on your legs is a luxury to some, but the point is, do it- do something that makes you feel like you are taking care of you, even if it’s only 1 minute.

#6 Write Down Your Wants
We are constantly putting our own thoughts, ideas, wants, wishes, desires, goals and life aside for the moment in order to care for our children. It’s a matter of particularly when you have small children. The point is, your time will open up very soon. Once your children start pre-school, you will have small windows of unexpected time. It’s important to use these small voids of time to work toward your long term goals. Start a “Wish Book” where you write down your goals, your desires, your life expectations. When you have a moment to get back to them either later in life or waiting in the car-line, you may be able to do a little something to move you closer to your goals.

#7 Put It In Perspective
Remember- back when we were growing up, no one even wore seat belts half the time, car seats were not always used, and you were home before dark. Structured play-dates did not exist and most mothers did not have the pressure to fulfill their education, realize their brilliant career, while simultaneously being super mom. The point is, we turned okay. We survived it, we are A okay. Take a deep breath, the great majority of issues with regard to our children are temporary. Many stages take place and typically not that difficult to solve. So RELAX!

When your children are overscheduled, Mom is overscheduled and your life becomes a struggle which you have placed entirely upon yourself voluntarily. So I challenge mothers to stop the madness, look for smart ways to keep your children involved, and don’t forget to take of yourself in the process. Good luck on creating a happy family, and happy home.

Posted by Colleen Shields45 commentsExtracurricular • June 03, 2009 - Trusted Brands for Less

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