National Coffee Day!

Today is national coffee day! “Like” us on Facebook and vote for your favorite coffee drink to enter to win a $25 Starbucks card! Contest runs till 5pm EST 9/29/11.  Winner will be announced 9/30/11.

 

 

Mommies Do Good!

The Mommies – A Musical Blog we’re proud to support the Cancer Warrior 5K benefiting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society at Oviedo Mall Saturday September 17, 2011. The proceeds from the sales of our rally towels were donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Thoughts about the show

In the last 3 weeks, I have become a mommy.  I have heard stories, walked in other mommies shoes, and feel at this point frightened as well as excited to one day become a real mommy myself ;)  These stories are real and everyone who comes, whether they are a mother, father, sister, or future parent can find the humor, the pain, and the hope that comes with the process of raising a child.  I am excited to share it all with our audiences.

– Jorie Jane,  The Mommies: A Musical Blog actress

TJ Lawrence, Adrienne Walker, Katie Barnett, Jeanie Linders, Jorie Janeway, Jennica McCleary, Michelle Boroughs

On stage!

Back to School!

Please send us your stories, memories, and helpful hints for this exciting and super busy time of year! Email cshaw@themommies if you would like to be published on our blog!

Grateful.

The following is a guest blog post from mom blogger Katie of katieblake.blogspot.com

 

Have you ever tried worrying and being grateful at the same time?

Go ahead. Try. I’ll wait.

Did you do it?

Didn’t think so.

The antidote for worry is gratitude and well-being. It’s impossible to worry about something when you’re busy being grateful. Unfortunately, the same is true the other way around. You can’t be grateful for something if you’re too damn busy worrying about a million other things.

Have you ever been stuck smack in the middle lane of the interstate during 7AM traffic? Do you cope by blowing your horn, or huffing and puffing because you’re going to be late to work, only to get yourself so worked up, you actually break a sweat? And what does all that blood, sweat, and tears (I exaggerate. Kinda.) get you? A headache? Maybe two inches of black top, only to be cut off by a punk on a motorcycle? …aaaannnd, now we’re cursing.

Next time, instead of focusing on the negatives, why don’t you try being grateful? Katie, how can I be grateful for morning traffic?! Well, my friends (& I hope we can be friends!) it’s simple. You have to change your way of thinking and count your blessings: I may be sitting in bumper-to-bumper agony, but at least I have a car. There are people who have never even set foot in a car, let alone have paved roads. I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful I have the money (at least for now) to fill up my tank. I’m grateful this seat belt is keeping me safe. I’m grateful I don’t have to walk to work. I’m grateful for my air conditioning & music to keep me company. And if, and only if, I’m stopped at a traffic light, I’m grateful for Facebook on my iPhone.

Have we forgotten about that punk on the motorcycle yet?

Good! And trust me, it works in all sorts of situations: Baby screaming? I’m grateful she has working lungs. Shins and calves burning after that two-mile run? I’m grateful I have legs to run on. With practice and determination, you’ll soon be riding the “Grateful Train” first-class to “Calmville.” Scout’s Honor.

Now how did I get to be all expert-y, noble & wise about gratitude?

{Hi, my name is Sarcasm. Nice to meet you.}

I am who I am today because of a nasty thing called Postpartum Depression; or “Hell,” for short. The past six months of my daughter’s life have been a whirlwind for me, to say the least. I, probably like most women, skimmed over the PPD sections in the baby books since ‘yanno… never thought it would happen to me. Ain’t that how the story goes?

Anywho… long story short: I found myself hospitalized for a week at a behavioral center. Most terrifying and astounding life-changing experience of my life! I’d like to share with you my personal testimony after spending an additional month in an outpatient recovery program:

Written on February 15, 2011

I have certainly come a long way in this ever so challenging journey. This has been by far the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. My dream has always been to be a mom, so when the foreign and nightmarish thoughts hit me like a brick, it scared the living day lights out of me, to say the least. The anxiety attacks were like nothing I’ve ever experienced or even seen before. I didn’t know who I was anymore.

The best decision I ever made was going to the hospital. Although it was absolutely terrifying at first, it was the right place for me to be. And PHP [the Partial-Hospitalized Program] has continued to help me tremendously. I have learned so much—especially about myself. I never knew I had so much strength and determination.

I learned that in order to gain massive momentum in my recovery, I had to get moving! That became my new mantra. I lacked a lot of motivation when I first stepped foot in here, but I soon realized it didn’t mean I couldn’t still do the things I used to love. I am capable. I am capable of so much. It took a lot of practice, but my mood is finally catching up.

I made a promise to myself to never give up no matter what! I wanted things to change, so with the picture of my husband and daughter in my mind, I knew the only way I was going to make that happen was to JUST DO IT! Even if I didn’t feel like it, I made myself do it because it was the right thing for my recovery. If I didn’t change my thoughts and behavior, then things were going to stay exactly as they were, and I definitely didn’t want that! I took my first step, stayed committed to my recovery, and things started becoming easier day by day.

Seven weeks ago, I was crying and screaming on the bathroom floor, begging to die; and now I’m playing flag football and caring for my daughter like I always knew I could. It’s hard to imagine I once thought about taking my own life, and now I would give it away in a heartbeat if it were to benefit my daughter.

I despised the fact that I got Postpartum Depression. I thought, Why me? Why is God punishing me? But now? Now, I see the beauty of this experience and how it has strengthened me. Every day I’m a little bit more of who I want to be. Every day I become a better person; and for that, I am truly grateful.

***

You can’t have a testimony without a test, right?

A fellow patient—a mom, who lost her twenty-six year-old [former soldier & current police officer] son, to a heinous murder as he was called to a robbery, told me I inspired her. Well if that doesn’t humble your heart, I don’t know what will! If she had the courage to dust herself off, then I surely didn’t have any excuses. I could hold my baby in my arms—she no longer could.

Life isn’t always easy. But it sure is worth the fight.

So that’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it! I’m Katie. A devoted wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend, who strives to be the best I can be, every day, for all the right reasons.

Loyally,

Katie

***

Katie, a Sunshine State native, created her blog, “Loyal, Loving, & Learning” nearly two years ago to keep family and friends updated on her adventures while supporting her husband (then boyfriend) through Medical School. A lot has happened since then. Six months ago, she & her husband welcomed their first daughter, Emmalyn/”Emmy,” into the world. It was her lifetime dream to become a mommy; & always imagined how wonderful it would be. Little did she know she’d be hit with the “Postpartum Blues”—big time! A nasty case of Postpartum Depression changed her life forever. Besides being a SAHM, Katie is passionate about yoga, dance, spending time with family, and being grateful for every single day.

Blog: “Loyal, Loving, & Learning” http://katieblake.blogspot.com

Discipline.

A Surprising and Very Effective Version of Disciplining.

When our kids make a mistake, whether it’s a small infraction or it’s something that sends us through the roof, punishment rarely works. I know, I know – that’s not what you wanted to hear. However, I’m not going to suggest that you have a long, ideological chat with your little one about it, either. There is a fine line between logical consequences and punishment – and it’s all about the tone of voice you use and your follow through. If done consistently and correctly, logical consequences get better results. Here’s just one example:

THE FAMILIAR SCENARIO

Four-year-old little sister Prudence is playing nicely with her six Disney princess dolls. Five-year-old, bored Justin comes up, grabs Ariel, throws it/her across the room and snatches Bell. Prudence screams, looks at you with big, sad tears that say, “Please rescue me, Mommy.” You remember how unfair your siblings were to you. You must correct the unbalanced situation. Justin doesn’t care. And to make matters worse, you have spanked him and sent him to his room several times for the same exact action.

“How many times do I have to tell you to leave your sister alone?” you bark. Well, apparently many times. You grab his upper arm and demand that he give Bell back and apologize. He gives you the most defiant look that you know is about to cause a big problem. But you are stuck. You have to make him apologize.

“Say you are sorry, Justin.” He looks in every direction but yours and his sister’s. “Justin, give back Bell and tell your sister you are sorry or I will put you in your room.”

Nothing.

He throws Bell at Prudence. She starts to cry again. Your blood pressure rises. Damn it.

“Okay, young man, that’s it.” You grab his upper arm and lead him to his room. You “accidentally” squeeze his arm.

He screams and cries. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”

You don’t believe he really means it. You put him in his room and say something like, “Stay in here and think about what you’ve done.”

Actually, all Justin can think about is how to manipulate you into letting him come out.

“Mommmmmmmmyyyyyyyy.”

Prudence is quietly playing again and you’ve gone back to the computer.

“Mommmmmmmmyyyyyyyy.”

You can’t concentrate.

“Mommmmmmmmyyyyyyyy.”

You are extremely annoyed.

“Mommmmmmmmyyyyyyyy.”

Exasperated, you get up and go to his room.

“Are you ready to apologize to your sister like you mean it?”

He says nothing. You can’t stand the thought of wasting more time on this. “Okay, then let’s tell Prudence you’re sorry.”

You stand there with him. He squeaks out a little meaningless, almost inaudible “sorry”. You don’t care if he is insincere. You won. It’s over. You can go back to what you need to do.

Next day you find Bell’s head in his Leggo box.

THE POSITIVE DISCIPLINE WAY….

At a time when the family is calm and there are not a whole lot of distractions, you tell Justin you need to talk with him.

“Justin, I notice that sometimes you take things from Prudence or you hit her. This is not okay. The next time you do that I’m going to take you by your hand and I’m going to put you in your room. You can come out when you are ready to play nicely,” you explain in a pleasant tone.

This will be his one and ONLY warning.

Next day Prudence is playing with her six Disney princess dolls. Justin comes up, grabs Ariel, throws it/her across the room and snatches Bell. Prudence screams.

You don’t say one word. You simply take his hand in a kind and firm manner and lead him to his room. If he starts to drop on the floor or resist in any way, you stand still and gently continue to hold his hand. Your face is calm because you have a plan, and you are simply following through with the plan. Nothing stops you from your destination: his room. He yells and begs and says I’m sorry. You are undaunted. You say nothing. You wait patiently while he struggles in your hand, and as soon as you can, you continue leading him to his room. You may have to stop and start several times down the hall. You still have not said a word. Not one word. As you begin to close his door with Justin in the room, you say in a mild fashion, “Come out when you are ready to play nicely.”

If he comes right out and plays nicely – all is complete. The second he goes on the attack, you take his hand and begin again. This time you say, “I can see you weren’t ready to play nicely.” And lead him back to his room. Do this silently. If he should come out and harass his sister a third time, you say, “Now I will decide when it’s time for you to come out.”

If you have to hold his doorknob, do.

Each and every single time he breaks the rule, you move into action, remaining calm, quite and firm. I know how annoying this is, but you and Justin are in training – and you will see a big pay off within a week – that is, only if you don’t miss one cue. Once you give in, it’s all over.

It’s up to you, mom. Following through with a strong, kind and firm attitude, rather than giving into anger and power struggles, will work like a charm. The trick is being consistent. Once you tell the child what YOU will do, you must follow through. No further chit chatting, reminding, nagging, explaining why you are mad or letting him know how bad it is to throw, etc. Those things don’t help. Just use consistent kind and firm actions. Put yourself in the driver’s seat. Believe me, this really works!

 

Among many other things, Marilyn Kentz is a parenting coach. Go to www.marilynkentz.com or contact her at [email protected] if you want to schedule an appointment. You can order Positive Discipline by Jane Nelson on Amazon.com

 

TMAMB from a Mental Health Perspective

Click here to read a review of our show from Jessica Stebbins, MS, Registered Marriage and Family Therapist Intern.

Glad you liked the show Jessica!

World Premiere of The Mommies – A Musical Blog!

A big thank you to everyone who has worked so hard these many months to make The Mommies – A Musical Blog a reality! We look forward to making beautiful music together for a long time to come! Watch us grow, grow, grow!

Too Much Mommie

By Caryl Kristensen

Well as the school year comes to a close I am once again reminded that our generation has gone bat  #@*! crazy over their children. I used to bemoan the fact that my own parents didn’t come to a single one of my basketball games, so in response, I went to every single sporting event my boys ever played in. I was the team mom, organized the banquets and ran them all over the state. My life was inextricably entwined in their activities. Then it came….that huge thud!  Time to send them off to college, where they would continue on with their fabulous lives while I was left to pick up the pieces of my own life, one that had nothing to do with them.  So really what favor had I done for them or for me? I certainly could have shown my support in moderation, a happy medium between our parents adage, “You should be doing it for yourself, not for us” and the helicoptering version that my generation has adopted. God forbid they should fall or fail without us on standby.  God forbid they might not actually get a trophy they didn’t earn during award season.

As a college counselor at a college prep high school, everyday I witness well-meaning parents who are stealing the essential tools of life from their kids by doing everything for them. From signing them up for the SATs and still waking up 17 year olds for school, to managing their meetings with teachers and coaches; parents are swooping in to rescue them at the expense of their children. The sooner we teach our kids how to deal with failure and adapt resilience, the more successful they will be in life.  Every time you do something for a child that he or she can do for himself or herself you have robbed them of another opportunity for them to learn how to communicate, self-advocate, critically think and problem solve.  Without these opportunities, by the time they are seniors in high school, it can be disastrous.  Just like breastfeeding, weaning them into independence is just as important as drinking from a cup.  I had a meeting the other day with a soon to be senior whose mother finished his every sentence. She came armed with a list of colleges that she thought was appropriate for him, but the subtext was clear, “Darling I love you but you can’t possibly do this without my help.” His body language spoke volumes, “why should I try, she’s just going do it for me anyway”.  The meeting soon devolved into a nagfest of how he wasn’t working up to his potential.  If she had only seen a playback of this meeting, she would have been shocked to see how clear it all was.  By contrast I had a meeting with a mom who said she would not talk unless her son asked for her input. Of course, this young man was quite articulate, able to express what his fears about college are, what he was looking forward to and how he planned to approach the process.  In their home there are lively discussions where he has been able to exercise and form his own opinions.  It was also easy to see that his relationship with his mom was an easy-going, respectful give and take.

We all want the best for our children but sometimes our best intentions get in the way of the real truth. It is possible to “mother” too much. In fact I am more convinced than ever, that the best moms, have lives of their own and that wherever their son or daughter gets into college, is not a report card on their parenting.

 

Caryl Kristensen is the other half of the comedy duo that hit it big in the 90′s in the popular television and live comedy show, The Mommies.  She co-created the comedy show for other stressed-out mommies in the hood; co-wrote the satirical book, The Motherload, appeared as the “Mom” in Palmolive commercials and has performed in numerous infomercials.  Caryl has reinvented herself in the field of education where she found a fresh new audience every year! She is presently a college counselor and co-founded, MYCOLLEGEi.com, an online college video interview platform. She is still happily married to the same root of all her humor and lives in Los Angeles, CA. Her kids are now grown and officially off the payroll.