Why Positive Affirmations Don’t Work for YOU

So,  You’ve bought into all of the new age hipster techie ideas that if you  just speak positive things and think positive thoughts, that your life will magically change.  Money will come to you;  jobs will beat your door down because they desperately need you; your children will become perfect angels; and your spouse will miraculously become the most attentive they have ever been.

But what happens when none of those things happen?  You’ve been using creative visualization every night.  You’ve got sticky notes all over your walls and mirrors.  You even spend time looking at your fancy vision board that you created.  But you are no closer to reaching your goals and dreams that you were before you started.  I have the secret to your failure.  Yes, you read that right,  I have the secret to your failure.  You are failing to have all of those things because you don’t believe that you can have them.

The mind is a powerful entity.  It doesn’t have to figure out how to cause your heart to beat, or how to make your lungs pump  precious oxygen into your blood.  Your brain doesn’t have to remember every day how to walk, talk or do the  most  basic things. The same goes for your beliefs.  While most of your physiological actions are a part of your DNA or you learned them as a baby,  your beliefs are built up over time. Your brain works like this.  If you touch fire,  your brain registers that fire is hot.  So the next time you see fire,  you know that it will hurt you.  The same goes for things such as lack mindsets,  struggle mindsets or the opposite,  success mindsets and wealth and abundance mindsets.  You have trained your mind to believe certain things.   For example.  If you have only had minimum wage paying jobs that you hated, then you have trained your mind to believe that you are always going to get a minimum wage job and that you will hate it.  So then, for every job possibility, your brain is looking to prove that thought to be true.  Speaking positive affirmations in this situation is only going to strengthen your brain’s belief that it already held.

How do you change my mindset, you are probably wondering? You have to change it by accepting what you have held as true.  Don’t deny your truth.  Don’t run from it.  Don’t even pretend that it doesn’t exist.  Instead,  I’m going to ask you to do something that may seem counter intuitive, but is the key to breaking your brain and rewiring it.  Write down all of your negative beliefs and really sit with each one.  Let it marinate in your thoughts for a while and allow yourself to recognize that it is in fact, something that you do believe, have believed and probably would believe forever IF you hadn’t acknowledged it in this way.  Once you have done that,  I would like for you to go a step further and drill down to the original source of that belief.  Did your parents tell you that you would only work a minimum wage job because your grades sucked in school?  Did your parents only get those types of jobs and so you feel that you are relegated to following in their footsteps? Perhaps a teacher or some other influential authority figure in your life told you that you had to start from the bottom and only if you were perfect, would you be able to break past the minimum wage ceiling.

No matter where the thought originated,  I want you to own it.  Whether it came from yourself, or someone else.  Say it out loud.  Speak what the original belief that was placed in your brain’s wiring.  Now, here’s the caveat.  Look for the real truth.  What was the actual factual truth that could be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt at the very moment that the thought was planted into your subconscious mind? Maybe your grades were bad,  but maybe you had a learning disability.  Or, maybe your learning style was drastically different from your teachers style of teaching.  Were you actually a just bored because you were far advanced and you simply didn’t participate because you were bored to tears, so instead you doodled and imagined other more advanced things?

No matter what the truth was,  embrace the truth.  THAT is your new affirmation.  That truth is the one that you have to remind yourself of.  Start off saying it in the past tense until it feels real to you.  Affirm that as a child you were a genius,  advanced years beyond what the school system was capable of teaching you.  You’ll feel the shift when it occurs.  Something will click and you will know that the new truth, which was actually the original truth has taken root.  Once that happens, shift your thoughts to the present.  At this point, you have a new foundation of belief and you can build a present truth upon that.  So you were a child genius who was pushed to the side.  Your current truth may be that while you have  been working these minimum wage jobs, you have been learning management skills all along and that now you are ready to start applying for, accepting and succeeding at those types up jobs.  Affirm that you are worthy of salaried positions and management positions, even ownership and executive level careers.  If you haven’t put in the education work, research what you need to have in order to work at the level that you would like to and then take actions.  Just like with the initial truth,  you will recognize when the present affirmations take root.

Run with that.  It is at this point that you can grow your future and affirm things that you will believe and accomplish.  Try this and do each phase for  days each.  If you do this consistently,  in  42 days, your life will have changed for the better.  You may not be an instant millionaire, but you will notice a change.  Try it and please come back and share your results.  Tell us what shifted in your life and what positive affirmations did to help you create a life that you deserve to live.

How to Build Good Memories For Your Children

Last time we discussed the issues surrounding baby daddy/baby mama drama and I spoke about some ways to resolve the drama and issues that the adults have. In this issue, I would like to discuss the children and how they fare in a situation where mommy and daddy are no longer together. Whether you are a single mom or a single dad, you and your children have a special relationship that can’t be understood by anyone who hasn’t experienced it for themselves.
As a product of a single parent home as well as being a single parent myself, I have experienced both sides of the relationship. In my previous article, I pointed out that the welfare of the children is the most important factor to consider when making decisions and when acting or reacting to the decisions of your co-parent. Now let’s look a little deeper into the relationship that you and your child have. Sometimes as single parents, we can get so wrapped up into making things a certain way for our children, that we lose sight of the fact that in order for us to be the best parents we can be, we have to take care of ourselves and really take the time to “be” good parents and role models for our children.
Here are some examples of ways that you can take better care of yourself in order to be the best parent that you can be and to show your children how to grow into responsible well rounded adults.

1. Grooming. I know it seems simple enough but single parents often forego the luxury of making themselves look good so that their children can have the best of the best. While there is nothing wrong with keeping your children looking nice, it is not wise to spend beyond your means and stop taking care of yourselves just to do so. You can rotate buying nice things for your children and yourself. If your shoes have to come from a discount store because your child wants the latest sneaker, then next time, let your shoes come from a store where you can get a quality pair of shoes that won’t have to be replaced after only a few wears. Same goes for clothing and hairstyling. Let your child see that while you make sacrifices so that they can look good, that you also care enough about yourself to want to look and feel your best.

2. Quality Time. Sometimes you just need quality time to yourself. Your children do to. Just imagine how much they are driving you crazy while being cooped up in the house with you. You drive them just as crazy. Take advantage when an opportunity presents itself for you to have some time away from the kids. Start taking grandparents, relatives, and even friends up on their offers to keep the children or to take them off your hands sometimes. If you and your child are comfortable with the person and you are sure that your children will be safe, then let them go. Teach them that while you do love and adore them, that you have an identity of your very own. This will also allow them to begin to form their own identity. When they can build memories and experiences where they didn’t have to hold mommy or daddy’s hand the whole time, it gives them room to grow and something to look forward to.

3. Solid Ground. Have some principles. Don’t get caught up in trying to be the good parent with your kids. Children are smart and it seems with every passing generation, children are getting smarter and smarter. Because children are so smart, they know exactly how to get the most and the best out of their parents. When the kids come back from your co-parent’s home and they tell you of all the sweets they ate, and how late they stayed up and all the big fun they had, enjoy it and be glad that they were wired and hyped up on sugar elsewhere. Let them have that but keep some guidelines in your home for your children to grow up with. Having a solid foundation to build upon teaches your children about responsibility. They will appreciate you for it in the long run. Let’s face it, we all grow up sometime and we get to that point when we begin to sound like our own parents or grandparents and we are glad that we paid attention to the rules that they set forth for us to live by. Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

4. Variety makes great memories. Throw some variety into your life. Don’t get caught up into the grind of life so much that you don’t take the time to enjoy your child and have them enjoy you too. Make silly faces, take your kids to the park and play “with” them instead of reading a book. Go to the museum and parades. Check out your local festivals. Remember how it was when you were a kid. What were your fondest memories? Are you giving your child memories like that? Do things with your child that will stand out in their minds when they are old. Take lots of pictures and make scrapbooks or picture DVD’s so that your children will grow up knowing that while they were living in a single parent home, there was no lack of love and attention.

5. Let them grow. As parents, it is natural to want to protect your children from ever being hurt, either physically or emotionally. Unfortunately, we can’t always do that. When it comes to allowing your child to grow up emotionally, only you can tell when your child is ready to learn some of the ugly truths about life. While it may be easier for you to always “cover” for your co-parent when they don’t come through for the children, it is not necessarily your responsibility to do so. If your co-parent constantly disappoints your child by making promises that never come true or by putting other people or things ahead of the children, then you have to let your child see this on their own. You don’t need to go out of your way to point anything out to your children When they begin to see that their parent who they thought was great for letting them eat ice cream late at night, or for letting them eat out three times a day, really doesn’t come through in times that it matters, you just need to let them process it on their own and support them through it. You don’t need to add your two cents but you should be able to honestly answer any questions or concerns they have.

Once you get the hang of living a life with your children and not living your life through or for your children, you will begin to see that your children appreciate you and the times you spend together and you will also begin to appreciate them more and take them for granted less. When you can actually get the opportunity to miss their little faces because you let them go to a sleepover with their friends, you will look at them differently. Once you can relax into just being mommy or daddy and let go of trying to be supermom or super dad, you can begin to enjoy life and show your children how to do the same. Remember that you are building your child’s memory. Every day that they spend with you will be a memory that may come to mind throughout the rest of their lives. Try your best to make every moment the best.

How to STOP Coparenting Drama

Problem: baby daddy/baby mama drama

First, recognize that there is a problem. Stop trying to rationalize whose fault it is and recognize that there are children watching. Whether or not you realize it, all of the children involved are watching and may be more aware of the drama than you think. Find a happy medium and stick to it. By doing this, you will show the children how to be an adult in a difficult situation. That doesn’t mean that you have to go along with everything and stay tight lipped about things that you are not in agreement with. Let’s discuss some steps that you can take.
1. Change the name of the game. Instead of calling them your baby daddy/momma or your baby daddy’s baby momma, try calling them co-parents. In reality, if you are raising children together you are all co-parenting.
2. Stop bad mouthing your co-parents around the kids. You are degrading the level of respect that the children have for your co-parent as well as the level of respect they have for you. Eventually they will grow up and understand all of the negative things you have said and they may look at you as the bad guy.
3. Make amends. If the relationship is over then let it go. Don’t hold on to negative feelings that stem from the times when you were in a relationship with your co-parent. It will only make you feel bad and in turn you will want your co-parent to feel bad and the cycle will continue with you hurting one another.
4. Say goodbye to the relationship. Although, you may still have some mixed feelings about the relationship and how it played out and how it ultimately ended, you have to say goodbye to the relationship so that you can move on and get back being your normal self. You know what I mean. When you get caught up in a negative break-up, you lose yourself a little. Sometimes you lose yourself a lot. You become a shell of your former self and all your thoughts are focused on a dead relationship. Say goodbye. Write a letter to the relationship. Buy it flowers and then bury it.
5. Focus on the children. When conversations begin to stray to the good old days or “what if” land, get the focus back on the children. There is no need for crying over spilled milk or dwelling in the past. Move on with your lives. And let each other go. It may be very hard at first but it is for the best. If it was meant to be then it would be.
6. Be friends. I know it sounds easier said than done but it’s worth a try. You don’t have to be best buddies but you do need to be able to get along respectfully with one another. That will make it easier to discuss issues about your children when you have differing views. Friends are more likely to cooperate and come to a compromise than enemies.
7. Mind your business. It is not your place to get all up and through your co-parents business about who is in between their sheets or who they are spending time with. The only time you need to be involved is if this person is posing some type of harm or negative influence on your children. Remember what I said before, the children will grow up and they will see for themselves what was dead wrong and what was right on point with both of their parents.
8. Get a life. Take advantage of your free time when the kids are with your co-parent. Stop doing drive by’s in the middle of the night to see who is over at your co-parent’s house. Go out. If your co-parent sees that you are actually not harping on them about how they are when they have the kids, they are more likely to just act right in the first place
9. Pay attention to your kids. Instead of grilling your kids about who was at daddy/mommies house, who called, who cooked, what was in the laundry, and who they were left with, focus on what they enjoyed and what they didn’t enjoy. Notice their mood. Did they really have a good time? Are they upset? This will allow you to be able to discuss the children with your co-parent instead of arguing over the household business. If you can tell your co-parent specifically how the visit affected the kids, the co-parent can correct what needs to be corrected on their own because they know exactly what happened in their own house.
10. Set rules and stick to them. If you have a bedtime at your house, be sure your co-parent will keep the same bedtime and explain to your co-parent that the routine you have at home is good for the children and that they thrive on knowing what comes next and that they have structure. If the kids are cranky when they don’t have a nap, let your co-parent know that when they are with them, that the kids will be easier to manage if they take a nap in the afternoon.
11. Take care of yourself. Don’t let yourself go because you are not with your co-parent. We all wanted a happy family but sometimes things just fall apart. You don’t have to go out of the way to make yourself look overdone but don’t allow your focus on your co-parent’s business be the reason why you look a mess all the time.
12. From Ex to Next. So your co-parent has moved on. So what. Get over it and don’t wish anything on their relationship that you didn’t want on your relationship you had together. Revenge always comes back to you so don’t go out of your way to make the next person miserable because you are bitter. You don’t have to like the person but you do have to respect them. Remember that they don’t know every detail of the relationship you had with your co-parent so they may not have a clue of the drama that could potentially unfold. Be cordial. Get to know them from the standpoint of another person who will possibly have a hand in raising your children. Wish them all well and go find your own NEXT.
Now that you have the steps necessary to free you from your baby daddy/baby mama drama it’s time to get to work. You are parents now and you must make the best out of the situation so that you can raise your children to be responsible enough not to get hemmed up in any baby daddy/baby momma drama. Always remember that your children are watching. If any of you were children of a broken home and had to deal with your parents and how they interacted with one another, draw on those memories. What would you have changed about the way your parents dealt with one another? What did you like about their relationship even though they were not together. Try to make the experience for your children the best situation ever. Give your children good memories. When they look back on your co-parenting years they ought to be able to say mom/dad, you handled that like a champion. Write down what you would like to hear from your kids about how you handled this drama. Once you have written that down, refer to it often and make it happen. Then as your children grow older, ask them questions so that you can find out if you did a good job or not.

How To End Afterschool Snack Drama

Get your after school snacks together, mom.

I don’t know about you, but without supervision and portioning, my kids would run through snacks in no time. My kids are like most,  they would rather eat a bunch of random snacks than to eat a meal.

Because I keep fairly healthy snacks in my home it’s not always a bad thing.  for example,  Saturday mornings when there is no more milk for cereal or Friday nights when we have game night and just snack throughout the evening.

Too much snacking can get expensive though. I’m working in saving more and managing my finances better by doing a financial challenge.  I’ll share more about that some other time. In the meantime try this tip with your snacksters. If you do it,  tag #singlemomsuccess365 in your social media posts.

I bought lots of snacks this past weekend.  They usually go pretty fast because I would let the kids get their own portions and I usually say yes when they ask if they can get a snack. Well times are changing.  I’m cutting corners everywhere and making my home run more efficiently. It takes time,  but it is so worth it.

Here,  I’ve organized the snacks on the shack shelf by giving each kid an equal amount of snacks.  each child has their own basket with their name on it.  if they sneak into their snacks before I replenish them,  they will only be cheating themselves.  No more running out of snacks and not knowing who was a little extra with their snacking.

Work Out At Home to Lose Weight

So you’ve gained a few pounds or better yet, you’re sticking to the “baby weight” story. If you’re like me, you can barely find time during the day for a sit down meal, let alone time for the gym or walking a track somewhere. What’s a girl to do?

I have a suggestion. Work out at home. Yeah, I’m sure you’re thinking, who does this lady think she is. Home workouts aren’t new. Well, maybe not the home workouts that you are use to. But the types of ways you can work out at home are endless. They are only limited by your imagination.

The way I am suggesting that you work out at home, incorporates things you do anyway, but with a kick. Here are some examples to kick start your imagination on ways that you can get a workout at home.

~Add ankle and/or wrist weights while you vacuum and sweep
~March in place at the sink while you do dishes
~As you clean, make your movements big and stretch your muscles
~Do lunges while you clean the bathroom and getting things out of low cabinets
~While you pick up the laundry out of the dryer, do a few reps with the laundry basket
~Opt to wash your own car. You’ll save money on the detail shop and burn calories
~If you have stairs in your home, run up and down them as often as you can, leave things on the opposite floor that you know you’ll need, that way you’ll have to do the stairs to retrieve them

Comment with your suggestions if you have more.

5 Steps to a Clean Home

When it comes to being a single mom, there is no one thing more time consuming than cleaning. I for one hate washing dishes. If I ever win the lottery, I may hire a dishwasher. Yes, I said hire, because I don’t trust mechanical dishwashers to get into the nooks and crannies. There is nothing more gross than putting a fork in your mouth and feeling something dried on that you ate the day before.

Keeping a clean home is not just for vanity sake. It is for both safety and health as well. A clean home means that your kids and you are less likely to fall and get hurt on something that is misplaced in the middle of the floor.

Keeping a clean home also means that the germs that enter the house through various ways don’t stay for long.

Here are 5 steps to a clean home

1. Set laundry day for a specific day of the week and stick to it. Wash a load. Dry a load and repeat. Fold and hang your family’s clothing IMMEDIATELY to avoid the clothing monster in the corner. I know you know what I’m talking about.
2. Make a calendar while you’re at it and schedule a major cleaning for each area of your home. For example, livingroom and dining room on Tuesdays. Bathrooms and bedrooms on Saturdays. Schedule it according to the size and amount of cleaning you will need for your family.
3. Get the kids involved. Establish a no toys in the livingroom rule, unless you have no other choice. If that is the case then vanquish the toys to a specific area of the livingroom. Make the kids responsible for their mess.
4. Lead by example. If your bedroom floor is covered by clothes, dishes, and nastiness, don’t expect the kids rooms to look like a catalog. Keep your area neat.
5. Train them up NOW. Teach your kids the rule so that they become second nature. How many of you saw the Karate Kid movie with Jaden Smith? His first lesson was hanging up his jacket. That was his lesson because his teacher recognized that at home he threw his jacket on the floor. Eventually Jaden’s character came home and began to automatically hang his jacket rather than tossing it in the floor.

I’ve noticed that when my home is at it’s cleanest, that my kids behavior is at its best. Maybe its in my head, but it is true. Think about it, kids need and thrive on routine and predictability. Cleaniless falls into line with that sentiment.

Happy Cleaning!

10 Life Hacks for Single Moms

Being a single mom can be one of the hardest, most rewarding, and stressful, strengthening and amazing experiences ever.  To say it is complicated is an understatement.  Here are 10 life hacks that will help you run your house more smoothly, be a better mom, and have perfect kids.  Well, maybe not that last one, but it was worth a try right?

10. You are not in a relationship with your children.  Having a great relationship with your children is great.  It is the goal.  BUT, when you spend most of your time with your children, you have to give yourself some mommy time, and your kids need time away from you as well.  It’s easy to get into a dating run when you are single, but when you also have children it can feel like you are dating your children.  After all, they go to the movies with you,  they go out to dinner with you,  cuddle on the couch with you and watch TV and well,  let’s face it, we love our children.  Give yourself some time by connecting with other moms, single or married and partner with them for babysitting.  Set a schedule and agree to have one or two people partner up to watch all the kids so the rest of you can get some mommy freedom, maybe even take in a date or two.

9. Your children have to grow up sometime.  It is so easy to just do everything yourself when you are a single parent.  You know how to do it already and if you let the kids do it, they may not do it correctly which will result in you having to do it anyway.  Well, I’m here to tell you, allowing your children to learn and make mistakes now, is a lot less stressful than having your grown adult kids living with you and making mistakes.  Take the time to teach your children age appropriate responsibilities so that they will become independent adults who will move out and be productive citizens.  Then, maybe you can date regularly.

8. Clean up time is for everyone.  Children need to learn to be responsible for themselves.  A great cleaning hack is baskets.  Laundry baskets will do.  Saturdays is a great day to catch up on the week’s laundry and cleaning.  Hand each kid a basket and have them go around the house and collect things that belong to them.  Have them return to their space with their baskets and put things away where they belong.  If your house looks anything like mine, that alone encompasses half of your regular cleaning.  Let the kids do their part and it will make your part easier.

7. Music makes the world go around.  Spend lots of time listening to music and dancing and being silly with your children.  Music can be used in lots of ways.  You can rock out in the car with your kids and just be as silly as you want to be.  They will think you are crazy at first, but those will be the memories that they will hold on to forever.  While you are doing your Saturday morning cleaning (see #8), you can blast the radio and make it fun.  Try to complete a task by the end of the song, have dance breaks, have a mini lip syncing contest to break up the day’s duties.

6. Share.  This seems like it makes sense, but one thing I’ve noticed with my own children is that they feel like I get certain privileges as a mom that they don’t get.  One example is soda.  I rarely drink soda, but on the occasion that I do, I really go hard and drink lots of caffeine free soda.  It’s my vice, and it’s better than drinking beer because, let’s face it, being a single mom makes those margarita drinks look even more delicious.  Set aside a time or a day when the kids get to indulge in a soda or candy or whatever it is that they are feeling left out on.

5. Delegate.  If you have older kids then they need to take responsibility.  Although we pay the bills, our children need to recognize that our homes are just that . . . our homes.  Moms, we aren’t maids or servants.  It feels like we are when we allow our kids to shirk on their responsibilities.  Easy tasks that can be assigned to older children (8+) include: vacuuming, laundry (in my house everyone washes their own clothing), loading/unloading the dishwasher, sweeping, dusting, etc.  Don’t feel guilty about having your children put in some work.  Think of it as one more way that you are helping them to invest in their future.  These tools will take them far in life and when you visit their homes, you will likely enter a clean and tidy place.

4. Throw it away.  I know, it’s so enticing to save little Sally’s first shirt from the first field trip from first grade.  Take a picture.  Then throw the crap away.  If you save every single item from your child’s milestones, you will soon end up with a shrine of junk.  I’m all for saving going home from the hospital outfits, first hair braid, first tooth, etc.  But keep the memorabilia to a minimum.  The memories are what you should cherish, not the items.  Talk about the memories periodically to keep them fresh, but don’t get so caught up in the past that you end up as one of those weirdo grandmas who have a room dedicated to when your kids were little.  You know, the ones who always have to pull the grandkids into a “when your daddy was 4” stories.  Save yourself now from becoming that person.

3. Get out of the house.  So, I know that raising kids on your own can be expensive.  This is especially true if you have more than one child.  A simple trip to the movies can feel like you just gutted your bank account.  I get it.  But you have to get out.   Take advantage of free festivals, the park, exploring your own neighborhood, anything to get a change of scenery.  Kids get bored looking at the same four walls every day.  They begin to act out because they are bored and need stimulation.  If you can squeeze it in, get season passes to the local theme park or a membership to the museum so that when you don’t have the money, you can still take advantage of these fun trips.

2. Don’t forget, you are the mom.  When it’s you against the kids, it’s easy to slip into the place where you find yourself going back and forth with your kids over the most random things. Example: You tell little Billy to turn off the video game, he responds with “but Sally is still watching TV”, you respond with the fact that he is suppose to be doing his laundry.  This can get downright ugly and if we aren’t careful, our kids will knock us right down to the elementary school level and we will exhaust ourselves by trying to convince our kids to do what we say.  Never forget that you are the adult.  If you need help with parenting, start with the internet and find tools to help you figure it out.  Go to the library and check out books to help you handle your job as a mom, but never ever forget that you are the mom.  The kids should respect and honor you as such.

1. Have fun.  While being a single mom can be extremely stressful, you have to enjoy it.  Sure, life would be great if the kids were perfect and if you were winning at work, your mental health was that of a happily married person with 2.5 kids and a picket fence, raking in ungodly amounts of income.  But the reality is that isn’t your life.  Have fun with the life that you have.  Don’t be afraid to let go and laugh a little.  Watch comedy shows, cartoons, and silly videos online to keep your spirits up.  Laughing is like a magic cure to lift your mood almost instantly.

Implementing these 10 life hacks will surely make your life as a single mom better.  Over time you will find more time freedom, better relationships with your children, a tidier home, and a better feeling of self worth.  Being a single mom is a rock star job and not everyone can do it.  Consider yourself amazing for being able to do it and keep the kids sane, safe, fed and clothed.  That’s amazing all by itself.  Becoming a better mom now will likely help your children to become even better parents when they grow up and start having children of their own.  Build the best memories with them now so that when they look back on their childhood, they aren’t left wishing they had a different upbringing.  It’s our job as single moms to give our children the best possible lives and showing them how to live it.