Mother’s Day in Quarantine

It has been awhile since I have wrote and life is certainly a lot different these days. Coronavirus has struck and turned life seemingly upside down. There’s a lot I could say about it but most of it’s already been said somewhere else and we are all a little tired of hearing about it, I would imagine. What I will say is 1.) I have discovered there’s actually a lot to be grateful for during this time AND there’s a lot of hardships, sadness and loss. 2.) I WILL offer some ideas on how to celebrate THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY OF THE YEAR (just kidding Dads).

Quarantine, shelter in places, safer at home, stay the fuck home or whatever it’s called has been a tough pill to swallow. In Wisconsin, I think we are on week 6 although I haven’t really been keeping track because what’s the point. We will still be STFH on Mother’s Day which is particularly difficult because I like to GTFO on that very special day where my family celebrates how “great” of a Mom I am.

So, how can you GTFO or at least feel like you somewhat got celebrated and a break on your special day? Here are some ideas from a pro at escaping. I will also include ideas that work if you are a single Mom who will be parenting alone on Mother’s Day. If you are a single Mom and somehow swung no kids on Mother’s Day, cheers alllllll day to you!

-PLAN! This is the most important step. Make a list before the big day of how you want it to go. Share it with your family. This is not selfish. This is self care. This is mandatory. Your kids and/or your partner can’t read your mind. Tell them what’s up.

-Sleeping in. This is a no brainer unless you’re like me and wake up at 6:00am every morning. Whenever you wake up, don’t do anything except sit on the couch with YOUR show on and wait for your breakfast and coffee or mimosa to be served. And better yet, tell the family to leave the house to get these things for you (at a drive-thru of course) so that you can be home alone and get a few minutes of peace and quiet.

-Enjoy a peaceful nap. Right around 10:00 after those mimosas have settled in, softly closing your eyes and just taking a leisurely snooze will feel amazing.

-Get outside! Who knows what the weather is going to be but going outside is basically the only thing you can do to be alone so, DO IT! Take a walk, ride your bike, run, skip, sit or buy yourself a pair of roller-skates like I did recently and laugh until you pee your pants.

-Practice a hobby. Do something that you haven’t had time to do recently because you have been doing a bunch of stuff you’d rather not be doing. Garden, take a virtual yoga or dance class, sew, drink, whatever. Just do it! Include your kids if you want or need to. Put on a Cosmic Yoga for your kids while you put a class on for you.

-Find an easy way to spend time with your kids. EASY being the important word here. I am sure that you have been getting tons of not easy time with your kids recently while you are trying to make them do school work or brush their teeth but on Mother’s Day, find an enjoyable way for you to spend time with them. Sitting on the couch and watching a movie is a great one. Taking a nap together if you have a baby or little kids, bake cookies and leave the mess for someone else, give them iPads and sit next to them while you stare at your phone or read a book. Share space and let that be good enough.

-And lastly and maybe one of my favorite pleasures- Skip bedtime. Have your partner put the kids to bed and if that’s not an option, only do what you have to do. When I solo parent (ya know, back when my husband could leave the house and do something fun), we do “family bedtime” which is basically both kids get ready at the same time, we read stories together and then they get tucked in. It cuts the time in half and it’s wonderful.

Now go on, make it a good one and tell me about it!


Conquering my fear

Hi all,

It’s been a bit. Partly because I was conquering a huge parenting fear I had and partly because I was preparing mentally and actually. What was the big fear? Taking our first family trip. You might be thinking this is such a silly fear to have. Maybe you have been traveling with your children since they were 3 weeks old or 1 year old. I have not nor did I ever want to. My husband and I have been on VACATIONS. Vacations are without children. We have vacationed together and separately many times since having our children. We have not taken any family TRIPS (trips happen with children) for so many reasons. One, we aren’t gazillionaires and so I always felt like if we were going to spend money to go somewhere else, I would rather go and actually fully enjoy it and relax and not just continue doing all the Mom things in a different location. But mostly, I really was so worried they wouldn’t sleep. If you know me, you know I need sleep. I need like 8 hours of sleep every night. I would have had a ton more children if I knew I would get babies that slept all night starting with night 1 but that doesn’t happen. Sleep was my big concern. Would they sleep? Would I have to sleep with them and then I wouldn’t sleep? If they didn’t sleep well, they would be crabby and our trip would suck. SO, we didn’t go anywhere with them overnight.

They didn’t even have their first night away from our home until a few months ago. Our 5 and 3 year olds have only ever slept in their beds until my brave sister in law said she would have them sleepover to prepare for our trip. They slept from 10:00pm-3:00am. Shit. I was even more terrified then. We practiced again by taking them to our first family sleepover at the waterpark hotel and everyone slept from 9:00-6:30 except me who slept from 3:00am-6:30 thanks for my husband’s snoring which didn’t bother anyone but me. Go figure. See where my fear is coming from??? Perhaps, I am the one with sleeping issues…

So anyways, off we went to the lovely and warm Puerto Rico. The kids did amazingly well on the almost 6 hour flight there thanks to the snow. Snacks, iPads, books and coloring books did the trick. Our three year old lived his best life on the airplane and still says he misses it because who doesn’t like 1000 snacks and 4 hours of iPad time. Once we got through the first night of overtired and crabby kids and we all (well, not me, but that’s a different story) got a good night of sleep, the trip exceeded any and all expectations I had and, even for a few moments, felt like a vacation. The all day cocktails and sunshine definitely helped.

In hindsight, I wish we would have taken our kids sooner, but I also know that the reason it went so well is because we did wait until they were a little older, more independent and I had enough hope and faith that they could sleep well and if not, they are both old enough for me to slip them a natural sleep promoter. The freedom of conquering a fear is so freeing and powerful. Our fears are always worse than the reality and so when we push through the fear and it goes better than we imagined, we can use that knowledge the next time we feel fearful to help encourage us to keep pushing through. It’s a very powerful positive cycle.

Now back to reality as I type this while my son is in tumbling. At least it’s going to be a balmy 40 degrees and sunny here today.


How to Support Others

Clients ask me all the time how they can best support their friends and loved ones when they are struggling. Often times, people feel very out of control and useless when someone in their life is in pain and they don’t know how they can help. Often times, it feels like we can’t do anything to help so we just don’t do anything. Doing nothing is about the worst thing we can do. “Giving space” by ignoring, pretending that our best friend isn’t in pain or avoiding the topic or the loved one all together might be easier, but it’s not supportive.

Here are a few ideas of how we can support someone through something difficult.

-Check in with them. Simply ask them how they are doing.

-Reminding them that we are here for them. Sometimes we may ask someone how they are and they say “fine” or even say “I don’t want to talk about it.” That’s really them saying they aren’t ready. That’s okay. Just let them know you are here if they ever want to talk or need a friend. The offer is often enough to let someone know they aren’t alone.

-Be there. Sometimes that means we show up at our best friend’s house and hold them while they cry. Sometimes that means we make sure we answer their calls more often and sometimes that means you join them in doing something fun that will get their mind off their shitty ex boyfriend. Being accessible is a great gift.

-Just listen. Don’t claim to know how they are feeling. Don’t one up them with a story of your own heartache or tragedy. Just listen. Nod your head. Tell them you are so sorry they are going through this.

-Lastly, remember that you can support someone without soaking up all their emotions like a sponge. You can be loving, caring and empathetic while maintaining your own boundaries too.

Much love. Hold your loved ones tight.



Welcome to 2020! In the spirit of starting anew, making change and having an enlightened and fulfilling decade, I thought it was a great time to write about forgiveness.

Forgiveness is often a key component in starting over. Whether you are forgiving yourself, your partner, a friend, colleague or your children. So often we hold onto anger, resentment and general upset in order to punish ourselves (feel guilty) or to punish someone else. We feel that if we forgive them, they get away with what they have done and they’ll easily do it again. What we don’t recognize too often, is that when we refuse to forgive and we choose to hold on, we stay stuck. We continue to beat ourselves up or we hold onto anger and only negatively impact our own mental and physical health. Have you ever heard the saying “When we hold onto anger, it’s like drinking poising and thinking the other person is going to die”? It’s the same concept here.

What is forgiveness and how do we do it? Forgiveness is an intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense and lets go of negative emotions such as resentment and anger. Forgiveness only needs to involve one person. I often tell my clients “Sometimes we need to accept the apology we will never receive” meaning often times, we are given the extremely hard job to forgive someone who hasn’t asked for it and who possibly doesn’t even care if they receive it. We need to forgive for ourselves and our own happiness. Forgiveness is not forgetting. Forgiveness is not allowing someone to get away with something. Forgiveness is your own work of processing, understanding and letting go.

How can we do this? How can we forgive someone who has possibly done something so traumatizing and life changing that is feels like you will always carry around that pain? We dig deep for understanding. Sometimes we have people in our life who repeatedly do hurtful things despite us verbally expressing to them how we are affected. You may need to reevaluate those relationships. By that I mean, you may need to end those relationships. If your children are the ones who you are struggling to forgive, stop telling yourself that they are intentionally trying to bother or hurt you. Let that go. Stop putting yourself in a victim role in a situation that doesn’t make sense. Your 3, 5 or 10 year old’s ego is driving their behavior and it has nothing to do with you. Remind yourself of that so you can forgive them and move on.

If you have been severely hurt by someone in your past and are still holding onto it and don’t know how to move through it and beyond, here are some ideas. First, set the intention of forgiving. It is no longer your intention to be angry or to punish. You are going to forgive someone who possibly doesn’t even deserve it. You are going to do this for you, not them. You are going to start understanding why that person did what they did to you. Is it because they were hurt themselves as a child? Did they grow up in a chaotic, abusive or volatile situation? People are not born bad. Their childhoods are often the reason as to why someone turns out the way they have. Once you find some understanding, it makes it so much easier to forgive them and let go.

Practicing daily forgiveness of yourself and others around you will make it easier to forgive and let go when something bigger arises. Forgive the rude waiter who is probably stressed and worried about something of their own. Forgive your partner when they use a tone you don’t love and understand it was probably just an error. Most importantly, forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for not being the perfect parent today. Forgive yourself for not working out, for accidentally hurting someone with the words you said, forgive yourself for not doing all the things on your to-do list. Let it go. Start again tomorrow.

Here’s to a new decade. With love and light.


As always, like, share, comment or PM me. I love to hear from you!

Conscious Parenting

I am always on the search for more information and views on parenting. In part, for my work as a therapist but also, and probably mostly, as a parent. I recently listened to Kate and Oliver Hudson’s interview with Dr. Shefali who is a psychologist and author of many books including The Conscious Parent, The Awakened Family and Out of Control. In the short podcast that I listened to, her ideas seemed very intriguing. One of her main messages is that the more conscious you are as a parent, the better off your children will be.  Meaning the more work you do as a person yourself to understand your underlying triggers, beliefs, needs and wants the more authentically you will be able to parent. Through the parent’s journey, they will become aware of their own anxieties and be able to consciously NOT put them on their children. Through this, parents begin to show their children they are loved and accepted just as they are, not needing to change to satisfy their parent’s own anxieties.

Woah. When I was listening to this podcast, it felt like a simultaneous “duh” moment as well as a slap in the face. I could go straight to the realization of several moments in parenting recently where I let my own anxieties decide how I was going to parent. My husband and I have both noticed that our daughter has some social anxiety. It’s easy to see if you are trained in psychology as I am but maybe not so clear to see if you’re not. Big birthday parties are especially difficult for her because there’s a lot of kids and she struggles with joining in and worrying that she won’t be able to join in and play and will be rejected. Even with all the information I have, I still cannot deal when she acts out in these settings. I know it’s because she’s acting out (tantruming, crying and being disrespectful and clingy) that makes it hard for me to deal. I automatically become annoyed and embarrassed. I just want her to play with the other kids. I want to spend time with my friends. I want her to be a social butterfly and run around like all the other kids.  Shit. Shit. Shit. How shitty is that? How shitty is it that I tell her I love her and am so proud of her and that it’s awesome that she is so strong minded when it benefits me but when it doesn’t, I get upset and want her to change?

Dr. Shefali helps parents recognize that once the child leaves the mother’s body at birth, they are their own being not to be controlled by their parents and that while nature and nurture are extremely significant in what a child eventually becomes as an adult, we need to recognize it’s not our fault as parents if our child takes the “wrong” path. We need to be giving our children more freedom to make their own choices, develop their own authentic selves and not be trying to change or force them into what we want them to be. What a powerful message and if you are like me, what an easy way to go about parenting. If I can just let go of my fears about my daughter and just love her for who she is today, she will very likely grow up with the self esteem and confidence to become anything she wants to be which is very likely a wonderful person.

So, will you join me in this journey? Will you let go of your anxieties as a parent and let them develop into what they are meant to be even if that means you watch them patiently (and not annoyingly or embarrassingly) throw a 30 minute tantrum at Target because you won’t buy them the 5 ft tall candy bar? Watch me try and wish me luck.


Mama, Mama, Holiday Drama

See what I did there? You’ll only know if your child is a fan of Llama Llama stories. In that book, Llama (the child) causes the drama. In this version, it’s about everyone else in your family. Grandma, Uncle Earl, Sister Steph, your Mom, maybe even your in-laws. Many of my clients have already began bracing themselves and planning how they are going to survive this holiday season with their family.

Holidays can be the most joyous time of year and/or the most stressful. Many people celebrate the holidays with people they don’t generally see. It seems to be the time of year people are forced to spend time together whether they want to or not. It’s a time you see the cousin who was terribly mean to you as a child and still seems to be a bully now or a family member who insists on talking about politics even though they know you don’t have the same views. Too much wine, stress and bad manners can make the most magical time of year turn into the most torturous. So, how can you not only survive it, but love it??? I’ll tell you!

  • Keep your distance. If you know there is a particular person that triggers you or stirs up trouble, stay away from them. Say hi, smile politely and move on. There are other people to talk to and, if not, pretend there is something super important happening on your phone.
  • Keep your visit short. Don’t feel the need to come super early or linger. Everyone has their own threshold. Even if you love your family, a few hours might be all you can handle. You do you.
  • Bring a buddy. A buddy, whether it’s a best friend or someone you are dating, can be a great buffer. You have someone else you can talk to and people tend to be on better behavior when there’s someone around they don’t know. We always act better in front of strangers than we do our family, right??
  • Get busy. Ask the host what you can help with. Take on a job. It’ll make it easier to avoid awkward and unwanted conversations.
  • AND HERE IS A BIGGIE… READY??? DON’T GO! I know, that’s crazy right? I don’t know, is it? It’s your holiday too. It’s your life and your happiness. If you’d rather take a vacation instead of going to Aunt Lucy’s house for Christmas, do it! You’d rather host a Friendsgiving instead? Do it! Might you make others upset? Maybe. You’ll need to think about what matters to you most.
  • Think positively. Go into the situation believing it will go well. It will be more likely to.

Good luck! Let me know what you’re struggling with this holiday season.


This Holiday Season, give the gift of Giving

It’s that time of year again. You’ve probably received catalogues that include pictures of Santa and hundreds of gift ideas – and, if you’re like me, you might’ve already bought what you want to give or receive this year.

This time of year can bring all kinds of feelings. If you’re a parent, in particular, you might be feeling like you’ve been hit by a tornado. You might be filled with excitement and be downright jolly at the thought of spending time with your children enjoying festive activities. Or filled with joy in seeing the magic of the season through your children’s eyes. And even – OK, sometimes mostly – pressure and stress to find the time to do said activities and affording the season.

If you are not a parent, the holidays can feel like a time of happiness and new beginnings or can feel terribly lonely.

Being a mom to two young children myself, I struggle personally with finding the balance of letting my children enjoy the wonder and magic of the season just as I did as a child, while at the same time not indulging in all of their wants and somehow teaching them about gratitude as well as the importance and joy of giving.

Giving, gratitude and paying it forward are not new concepts for adults. In fact, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving has now been named “Giving Tuesday.” Our very own community has a well-known Facebook group that was created around the idea of “Loving and Lifting” members and others in the community. Adults seem to be buying into the importance of giving – but what about the younger generations?

Aa child therapist, I know how important it is for children to understand and participate in not only the act of giving, but to also to reap the benefits of being the receiver. As adults, we already know it feels extremely rewarding to give, and it helps us remember that we can make a difference no matter how big or small. We also know that when someone shows their generosity towards us, it makes us feel incredibly loved and thankful.

For children, all of these same feelings apply. But they might not yet know that THEY can make a difference.

In general, children lack much control over their daily lives. Adults tell them most of what to do or not do on any given day. Showing children the gift of giving teaches them that they can make choices that help someone else feel good. That helps children find some grounding and control in a life that can otherwise feel very chaotic and out of control. Giving also teaches children the beginning foundations of empathy and compassion. Understanding the idea that someone else needs help and could benefit from our generosity is an important concept for children to learn. Children begin learning these concepts as early as two.

I think most people can agree that teaching children the gift of giving is a valuable lesson, but it can feel very daunting as a caregiver to do so. Just add it to the list of everything else that needs to be taken care of and taught. The truth is, it doesn’t have to be hard. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture or cost any money. In fact, it’s the gifts we give that involve our time, not money, that leave the biggest imprint in our heart.

As a caregiver, the most important thing you can do is model the behavior yourself. Give unused objects away willingly to people who need them and help others when you see the opportunity and do it with a smile. Make it a habit. This is a good time of year to start the giving tradition, but it should continue all throughout the year with frequent episodes of generosity.

Caregivers should also be talking with children about the concept of giving. Children hear about the concept of sharing constantly. Why not talk about giving more? Collect some toys together that aren’t being used and give them to a child who would use them. Make get well cards and give them to children in the hospital.

You can also read to children about giving. Children learn through reading constantly. It’s more engaging than talking at them, and we all know that children love mimicking their favorite characters. “Heartprints” by P.K. Hallinan and “The Berenstain Bears Joy of Giving” are two of the favorite books in our house.

Whether you are a parent, teacher, grandparent, babysitter, aunt, uncle, godparent or none of these but understand the benefits of giving, there are a lot of opportunities to practice the gift of giving. I have included some below:

  • Help out a neighbor or loved one with a house chore such as unloading groceries, mowing or shoveling or even putting up holiday decorations. Little kids love being given tasks!
  • Collect toys that are no longer used to donate to a shelter, such as the Sojourner Family Peace Center
  • Buy new toys and drop them off to Toys for Tots. You can drop off the toys at any Salvation Army or at the Salvation Army of Milwaukee Distribution Center located at 5880 N. 60th St., on Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.
  • Join Toddlers and Kids on a Mission which is a volunteer group for children. You can find more information on
  • Join Sunbeam Kids at
  • Write letters to active military or veterans.
  • USPS has introduced Operation Santa which gives you the opportunity to sign up to provide Christmas presents to those in need


**Note that this article was written by me last year for If you are not local to Milwaukee and would like ideas, use mine as inspiration.

The Month of Thankfulness

November is the month of thankfulness or better known as gratitude. If you don’t think about what you’re thankful for any other day of the year, you can be sure that little Sally or Great Aunt Milly will ask you to list something on Thanksgiving as everyone is sitting around the table stuffing themselves. It’s tradition. I’ll even make my family do it this year as usual.

I have written about the importance of gratitude many times before. It’s something I always come back to. I use it frequently with clients in my therapy practice, I personally spend time frequently thinking about what I am grateful for and I am already talking to my children about gratitude and trying to teach them that, yes, they should feel grateful for all the wonderful things they have in their life and no, those things aren’t in everyone’s life but that’s a work in progress… I even wrote a children’s gratitude journal. Clearly, I believe in this practice.

If you aren’t taking a couple minutes each day to think about what you are grateful for, why? Is it that you can’t think of anything (of course you can!), is it that you don’t think it’s beneficial (of course it is, research proves this!)? As I was in yoga this morning and we were practicing our gratitude, I thought of a list of things I was grateful for and opened my eyes and looked around. I noticed there was a woman in class who had her eyes closed, thinking about what she was grateful for with a big smile on her face. It made my heart smile. I wondered what was she thinking about. It could have been very basic like physically being in yoga today or a hot shower this morning or a warm home or loving family or it could have been something bigger and better than that whatever that means. Guys, it doesn’t have to be something huge like a million dollar house or a fantastic promotion. We can all be grateful for waking up every morning and most of us can be thankful for a warm shower, delicious food, someone who loves us, being able to practice a hobby or talking to a friend.

For the love of November, PLEASE try it! Warm your hearts with thankful thoughts. Focus on what you have, not on what you don’t have. Practice loving the life you live in now instead of focusing on the life you wish you had. 

**Follow me on IG or FB at theimperfectmamaandtherapist and tell me how you practiced this and how it made you feel after. I promise, it’s worth it!

How to fall back

Howdy! Howdy! Howdy!

Okay, sorry for that Toy Store reference. Obviously, the 4th version is a big hit at my house or as my son says “Toy Story 4 with forky in it.” Anywho, here we are again. It’s Friday! You know what happens early on Sunday??? WE FALL BACK! Yup. We run around and change all the clocks in the house to go back an hour so that when we wake up it’s dark and when we get out of work it’s dark and we can only catch daylight for a couple hours. Woohoo! Not. Maybe someday we’ll stop this little shenanigan but, for now, I am going to help you get through it as best as possible.

For the last couple of days, I have been mentally preparing myself by trying to figure out exactly what this means. I’m pretty sure falling back is the most evil of the time changes because when it feels like 7:00am, the clock is going to say 6:00am and my kids are going to feel like they should get up and I am going to look at the clock and it’s going to say 6:00 and I am going to feel like everyone should still be sleeping! I remember when my daughter was born. Fall back lined up pretty close to her 4 month sleep regression. I remember that it was early on the morning of falling back that I drove to Starbucks and said into the speaker “I have never drank coffee. I don’t like the taste, but my baby isn’t sleeping and I am exhausted. Please order me something that tastes good and has caffeine.” And that is when my love for the Cinnamon Dolce Latte happened. From that day on, I had a CDL daily for over a year and still enjoy them regularly.

Back to the time change… Here are the tricks that I have used the past couple years to help falling back seem like less of an annoyance.

1.) I, myself, go to bed early to make sure I get enough rest and can handle whatever craziness my children decide to do in the morning. I am quite sure my son, the early riser, will be up with me very early.

2.) For this time change, I will keep the kids up a little later the night before so that they will naturally want to sleep later and even if they clock says 6:30, it will really feel like 7:30.

3.) I make sure we have fun plans for Sunday. It tends to feel like an extra long day, so I make sure that we are busy or that I can get some alone time so that the day goes faster.

4.) Coffee. Wine. Repeat 🙂

Good luck! Let me know how it goes!

As always, please share, like or dislike this post!



Let it go, let it go…

Just a quick reminder on this Friday. Guilt: Let it go. Don’t do it to yourself. Just don’t go there. Guilt doesn’t help anyone do better, it just makes us feel like garbage when we make human errors. When you know better, do better. If you have hurt someone or done something you aren’t proud of, apologize and make it right. If you are struggling as a parent, get help. Ask a Mom friend how she copes, find a child therapist to support you and your family, read a book. Do something about it. If you were mean to your partner, don’t sit silent in the guilt. Apologize. If you are trying to get healthy and you just ate a whole pizza and 5 cupcakes, acknowledge that those actions don’t support your goal and go do something that does!

ACTION! NOT GUILT! Free yourself. Be kind to yourself.




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