When Staying Calm as a PW Matters.

staying calm (1)My daughter was two-year-old, and I’d made plans to meet my girlfriend, Melissa, for dinner. Within minutes of having drinks delivered to our table, my beautiful little girl spilled a full glass of coke and “something” all over my side of the table where the whole drink made its way to my pants and the seat I was in.

So what did I do?

I immediately grabbed a few napkins and moved my daughter out of range of the spill and began cleaning up. When I finished, we were both wet and sticky from my drink. Our excellent waiter immediately brought me a new glass along with crayons and a coloring book. While my daughter entertained herself with her new toy, Melissa and I chatted, laughed, and shared our frustrations of having our then Navy husbands gone.

Despite the earlier splash adventure, we managed to enjoy the time we had together.

The next day Melissa called me and said she was impressed with my calmness and patience when Paige spilled my drink. “I don’t know how you do it, and I would’ve gone crazy and want to leave,” Melissa voiced to me. 

Say What?

Looking back on that day, all I wanted to do was run away from the restaurant and hide in a corner to question why I didn’t bring toys, even if it was just a coloring book, for my child.  A good mom would have done that.

Yes, I was seriously thinking this.

In my eyes, I had failed at keeping my child distracted so she wouldn’t spill my drink.  I was anything but calm at the moment.

I know I can be calm in a situation. But I fail on many occasions.

Can you relate?

Winging it as a Mom

staying calm

In those moments when calmness eludes me and panic sets in, all I want to do is call or text Jeff with my aggravation. ( mind you this happened 23 years ago, there was no texting or emojis) If something like that would’ve happened now, I would’ve expressed myself on the phone or texted him with those little emojis.

But aren’t we all like that?  As a mom, I will get emotional, state my reason for getting upset and look for a solution anything from grounding to something that will bring unhappy consequences.

Even today, raising two adult girls and a teenager, I’m on a wing and a prayer when it comes to motherhood and life. My take-off and landing percentage is about 50% between smooth and rocky. But in my struggles and many seasons of motherhood, I’ve learned a few things about myself:

1. Take time for yourself. Do something every day for you. When my child spills a drink, or my teenager acts out, it’s then when I go hide in my bathroom or go outside, breathe, and remind myself that this too will pass.

2. Do your best. Try not to nag yourself with thoughts of “I messed up.” I’ll give all my best in this season of my life.  I also look to others for help and support because I’ve learned my best isn’t necessarily a solo job.

3. Laugh. Laugh at those spills, those arguments. I’m not perfect, and I make mistakes. There are days where I want to cry and be mad.  In the end, all that stuff eventually works its self out.

I’m glad I’ve learned these things about myself as I’m constantly putting them into action. Just last week, I  got upset with my son, raised my voice and threw a shoe. Don’t worry I didn’t throw anything at my teenager, but oh boy, I wanted to! It was about respect, homework, and boundaries. All the big issues that are at the forefront of raising a teenager.  I was anything but calm! ( Melissa are you reading this?)

When my rage passed, – a couple hours later- I used these things I learned of walking away, telling myself I’m not perfect in the way I reacted, and eventually laughed to calm myself down.

Packed with Expectations

Although there are days when I’m calm, whether it was sitting in that restaurant many years ago or today, I still struggle as a mom:

  • The expectations I put on myself.
  • The comparison game I play against other mothers.
  • The guilt I carry in my less-than-calm reactions.

But to hear my friend say she didn’t see me freak-out or scream gives me hope and encouragement. That maybe, I’m not a bad mom after all.

So hang on to that. Whatever season you’re traveling in remember to carry with you a bag of grace, hope, love. You might even bring a shoe or two to throw at something, not a someone. LOL!

We all fly a plane packed with mom challenges. I’d love to know what your challenges are and if you’ve been encouraged by someone. Leave a comment and let’s start a mom conversation.

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fullsizeoutput_4b1 Take-off and Landings, Always, Tiffany

It’s Okay To Take Care of Me

selfcare 101

“Self-care needs to be included in what you should be doing. It’s not a privilege. It is a necessity!”

Brene’Brown

A few weeks ago I posted this question to pilot wives,  What would you want to learn in a Self-care 101 class? The top answers were: to ask for help, take time for yourself and more importantly how to give yourself grace.

I had one wife share, “I would love to learn to do what I want to without worrying about how it affects everyone else. It’s hard to put myself first; I worry about my family, not getting what they need. They probably need a happier mom/wife before anything.  So complicated!”

With a husband who travels one of the most important things I can do for my family is to take time to invest in what brings me personal fulfillment. I”m not saying that I do that all the time. I don’t! But I try.

How I Failed Self-Care 101

Last week I woke up in the wee’s hours of the morning, in excruciating pain. It hurt to move my neck from side to side and l had a sharp pain under my right shoulder blade. I had no idea what I had done.  I must have had a wild dream!

When the sun was finally up, I debated calling my chiropractor.  Yes, I debated! However, after enduring a few more minutes of pain, I quickly scheduled an appointment.   After the snap, crack and pop I finally felt some relief.

At my recent appointment, Jeff was with me. After my doctor left the massage therapist came into the room to do therapy on my shoulder. She looked at me and said, “Tiffany, you need a massage, a full body massage, and I’m not taking no for an answer!” (her exact words) She went on to explain why I needed one and that there was opening right now!

So what did I do? Once again I had an internal debate:

  • No, I don’t have time.
  • Jeff is with me, and I don’t want him to wait.
  • I need to go home, I have so much to do.

Seriously, these were my thoughts racing through my head!

Finally, after a few minutes, I took a deep breath and followed my therapist to the massage table.  An hour later I felt so much better, and I walked out feeling like myself again!

When I got back home, I apologized to Jeff for staying longer than expected. He looked at me and told me that he didn’t mind waiting, especially if it made me feel better.

At that moment I learned it’s okay to take the time for myself.

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Taking Care of Myself is a Required Class

Let’s face it, we  all have struggles rather it be

  1. Communication with our spouse,
  2. The I can’t do it all feeling.
  3. Raising our kiddo’s in those sola-parent times when our husband is away from home.

In that 8-hour space that sometimes it seems we don’t have time to care for ourselves.

Is’nt in those moments that we should offer ourselves grace.

Over the years I have learned that life is so much better when I take care of myself. 

Last year a friend of mine recommended  Fringe Hours: Making Time for You by Jessica Turner. She writes-“Self-care is something we should be doing.” It’s important that we take the time to allow ourselves to do so.”

Can I get an AMEN?

Show up for Class

Now that school has started, and routines and structure have entered back into our lives, maybe we should take some time for ourselves. In fact, we should make that a habit and routine.

“If we invest in ourselves in small ways we will begin to see results.”

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If I I learned from writing this post and reading Jessica’s book, it’s that I have to be intentional with my time and take ownership of it.

For me, this means:

1. Scheduling time on my calendar to write rather than rather than trying to do it when I think I have time. (I’m sure my editor would appreciate that)

2. Reading, but not just before bed. Taking a book with me wherever I find myself waiting, instead of looking at social media.

3. Working out.  I need to stop making excuses that I don’t have  30 minutes. I do!

4. Taking the initiative to call a friend for lunch or a cup of coffee or wine.

For you, it might be entirely different. All I can say is, my PW you deserve to take the time for yourself!

That is your first assignment for Self-care 101.

(If you’d like to hear more about this great book, you can check out this podcast where Jessica shares her story.)

In what small ways can you invest in yourself?

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fullsizeoutput_4b1 Take-off and Landings Always, Tiffany