How to be a Better Mom

Have you ever wondered how to be a better mom and enjoy motherhood more no matter the age of your children?

It would be an understatement to say that moms have had quite a year during this pandemic. From learning to become school teachers, to being cooped up with kiddos who just desperately want to get out and go see their friends, to feeling isolated from things that were a huge part of our identities prior to this Covid life. 

Motherhood was already difficult and this tumultuous year has brought even more of its challenges to the surface. 

Many mothers I speak to are sick of worrying about their kids, they’re exhausted from being disorganized every day, and sometimes… if they’re honest… they wish they could just stay in bed and not have to face the day. And yet at the same time, the thought, How can I be a better mom? constantly runs through their heads.

This is another way. 

Here are five simple ways that you can begin to enjoy motherhood more and feel like a better mom. Right now. Today. You can take your desire to live a dream life and turn it into a reality. 

Illustrating a happy mom who feels good about herself

photo credit thanks to paige cody on unsplash

  1. Create a Morning Ritual 

Do you wake up before your kiddos? Do you have time in the mornings just for you that feeds your soul? There is a golden time before the pitter patter of small feet. Your mama heart knows that as soon as those little footsteps can be heard in the hallway, there will be mouths to feed, diapers to change, and it is important to meet those faces after you have met your needs. Create a morning ritual that allows you a few minutes of stillness, meditation, journaling, a cozy cup of coffee, Whatever feeds your soul and helps you to start the day on your own terms. (If you haven’t downloaded my free Magical Living Daily Planner  yet, this may be exactly what you’ve been needing!)
  

  1. Exercise and Eat Whole Foods 

If you are not taking care of your body, everyone is in trouble. This means that it’s important to move your body, exercise, eat nourishing foods, and be kind to yourself. I am not talking about trying to get a Beach Body and beating yourself into submission on the treadmill each day, I am talking about movement that helps you to feel better in your skin so that you show up for yourself and your family feeling your best. Exercise is also a great way to help process feelings of overwhelm, stress, anxiety, and worry. The foods you eat play a huge role in your moods, managing your emotions, and your ability to handle stressors on a daily basis.
  

  1. Put Your Phone Away 

I know you want to be sure to get every single photo of your baby boy’s funny faces, but we moms so often treat our phones as a second appendage. And it’s not just for taking pictures… we are scrolling on social media, being sucked into conversations via text messaging, and any number of things that pull our attention away from being present with our children and for ourselves. You will thrive in motherhood when you realize that the best moments are the ones taking place right in front of you.

  1. Have Daily Times of Connection 

Make a promise to yourself that you will take time each day to connect with your children daily. This applies to your sweet newborn baby who needs you to nurture them nearly every moment, to your adult daughter who seems to “have it altogether”. Choose a time during the day that you will cuddle with, send a loving message to, call, or enjoy a walk with your children. The joy that comes from interacting with these amazing beings, that your body created, is beyond words.

  1. Laugh More 

When was the last time you melted into a deep belly laugh? When was the last time you laughed so hard you could cry? Enjoying motherhood means giving yourself permission to laugh. Find the funny in the past, present, and future. Spend time talking to friends that make you laugh, and do things that light up your spirit. And remember, laughter is contagious, so often your joy will rub off on your family members too! 

Enjoying motherhood means and feeling like a better mom means taking a look at all aspects of your life: physical, mental, emotional health, family, home, career, financial, and your relationships and discovering how they influence one another. It means discovering balance within yourself so that you can feel happy, healthy, and whole in every area of your life. When I work with my clients through transformational life coaching, we address all of these areas and more. 

I work with moms and mompreneurs from my intuitive life coaching perspective to help them develop their own intuitive abilities and learn how to be a better mom and fall in love with their own life!

If you want to thrive in motherhood and find more meaning in your life, transformational life coaching can help.

The time is now. Not when the kids get older, or you quit your job, or get in better shape. We can begin right where you are and help you begin living your dream life today.

 

Connecting with Your Kids

A mother connecting with her kid

(photo credit thanks to sai de silva)

Do you feel like you’re not connecting with your kids?

Wishing you could find better ways of connecting with your kids?

When my kids were little, they’d come to me and want me to fix what was wrong in their lives.

I fell and skinned my knee = a bandaid and a kiss

Tucker is teasing me = a little time apart

Can’t fall asleep = an extra story and a back tickle

Those were all wonderful ways of connecting with my kids, but as they grew older, those go-to solutions weren’t as effective, and much of the time, not what was really needed, and sometimes I wasn’t sure how to feel more connected to my kids.

In fact, what it took me ages to understand, is that the kids weren’t really after solutions at all.

When they had a complaint about a teacher, or a friend situation or a headache, they weren’t looking for me to “fix” anything. They were simply looking for me to listen.

To hear them, to see them and to acknowledge what was going on in their life.

It took me a while to get it. In fact, it’s still a practice, especially when they call home from their new, away-from-home locations, and open up about what’s happening in their lives, good and bad.

Of course, I welcome and receive the good. Awesome! I’m so happy to hear everything is going so well!

But when they begin to share their woes and struggles, my Mama propensity is to jump straight in and start making suggestions as to how they can remedy the situation.

But before I get too far, I remember these two magic words – That Sucks.

Yup. Those are the words! Crazy, right? But I’m telling you they totally work!

Here’s a fictitious example of my old way versus my new.

Daughter: My roommate wore my favorite sweater and got a hole in it.

Me: She did what? You’ve hardly worn that sweater. Did you tell her that it doesn’t work for her to borrow your stuff without permission and moving forward you’ll need to…

Daughter: Mom. Mom! I can handle this. I have to go.

Versus…

Daughter: My roommate wore my favorite sweater and got a hole in it.

Me: Ugh, that sucks. Sorry to hear that.

Daughter: Thanks. Yeah I was really bummed, but we worked it out and she’s going to ask me before borrowing any of my clothes again.

Me: Awesome. Sounds like you figured it out.

Big difference – instead of me solving her problem, she gets to own it and solve it herself.

These are my words, for my kids, at this age. That Sucks may not work for you, so find your own version, especially if your kids are younger:

Oh, no. I’m sorry you’re going through that.

Is there anything I can do to help?

That’s too bad. I’m sorry.

We all want to be seen, heard and validated and with everything going on in the world, with the enormity of suffering, loss, grief, uncertainty, isolation and more, this is a perfect time to practice this ever so important skill of just being present and listening.

Try it yourself and see if this way of connecting with your kids works for you!


Of course, a good dose of laughter is always terrific medicine…

So, I thought I’d share my all time favorite video which illustrates exactly what I’m talking about.

Just see me. Just hear me. Just validate me.

And don’t you dare try to fix me!

​Want to know more about our story and what led me to this moment? I speak about the deep impact our daughter’s premature birth had on our lives in this interview with Random House. 

You can read more about my book, Preemie, HERE.

Magical Moment: Finding Away

I’m writing to you from the windy, white sandy beach of Cape Cod.

This was an unplanned vacation, rather it came from a place of Inspired Action.

August was a time of deep connection for our family and my Mama Heart was singing with joy.

Then the calendar turned the page toward fall, the light of days grew a bit shorter, and I watched our beautiful children depart as they began their new journeys in their lives – away from me.

My Mama Heart felt a deep mixture of excitement for them and sadness, loss and longing for myself.

There was a strong temptation to fill my days with things that would keep me busy, i.e. distracted from the grief  I was feeling. The other option – Door #2, that I’ve avoided for so many years, was to really feel what I was feeling.

So feeling I am. Which is what brought me, and Georgie Girl, to this tiny little studio cottage on the beach in Truro, Mass, with my notebooks, sharpened pencils, and an openness and willingness to surrender to whatever may emerge.

Perhaps I may even get a glimpse as to what New Beginnings are in store.

I’m curious about you.

What has this change in season meant for you?

What are you noticing? Feeling?

As always, I’m so grateful when you share your thoughts and musings.

I’m sending you tons of love.

 

In the meantime…

I had the honor of being a guest on amazing podcast called Grace and Growth.​

We went really deep and had amazing conversation about Anxiety, Speaking Your Truth, Taking Back Your Power, Boundaries, Limiting Beliefs and so much more.

You can listen HERE or wherever you get your podcasts.

I really hope you’ll have a listen, and if you like what you hear, please share with those you feel would benefit.

From my heart to yours,

Kasey

Here’s to Endings and New Beginnings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am the proud Mama of a high school graduate!

For all of you who have followed my book, Preemie: Lessons in Love, Life, and Motherhood and know the story of our girl’s birth, you know that moments like these hold an extra sprinkle of significance.

Yet, I was so busy getting ready for the event of graduation – cleaning the house, making beds for family and friends, ordering platters of food, replying to graduation party invites, and attending end of year presentations, that I wasn’t really thinking anything about the significance of this moment at all.

And yet, once the day of graduation arrived, and we all sat on folding chairs under the big white tent, and I looked up on that stage and saw our daughter with a huge smile on her face, my throat constricted, and tears started forming behind my eyes.

She’s no longer a preemie, but I couldn’t help but imagine, what if, in all those dark, uncertain moments, we’d been given just a glimpse of the young woman she’d one day become? Just a quick peek behind that curtain. I began to imagine how differently I would have moved through those days. How I would have been so much less afraid and so much more present to both our baby in the hospital and our beautiful two-year-old, Tucker at home.

But, alas, as a dear friend once said, Life don’t work that way, girlfriend.

So I grabbed a tissue from my purse and decided that instead of looking back on what could have been, I can be present to this current moment and allow myself to see what is right in front of me. A beautiful, confident, ambitious, young woman.

And at the same moment, I allow myself to think of all the other parents currently facing the unknown with their babies, and send out a blessing and intention that someday, they too, will be sitting in a crowd of weepy and cheering families watching their former preemies move across a stage to mark the ending of one chapter and the beginning of another.

And what a beginning this will be for our girl, as she has deferred her college acceptance for a year and heads off on a Gap Year program that takes her traveling to different countries all over the world.

New beginnings for us all!

The Magic and Messiness of Motherhood

Hello Friend!

This weekend I’ll be celebrating Mother’s Day with my mom and my daughter, as we travel up to Syracuse, NY for a couple of book events!

On Thursday, I’ll be speaking at an event for a local hospital that’s doing a huge NICU expansion to better meet the needs of families throughout the greater central New York area!

Friday evening, I’ll be at the local Barnes and Noble, reading and signing from A Mom’s Guide to Creating a Magical Life.

Both events feel so timely with the arrival of Mother’s Day weekend!

As I plan for travel, making sure I’m packing all I need, while at the same time ensuring all is taken care of at home, I got thinking about the role of Mom and all that entails.

In particular, the way we need to be so flexible, especially in times when all our planning doesn’t exactly go the way we intended!

I thought back to the time when Preemie was about to be published, and my publisher suggested I make a promo video for the book.

A videographer was arranged, a date was picked, and a basic concept for the video was created.

Lee, myself and the kids on the lake, just being us, just being together.

At ten o’clock the night before we were due to film, the letter I read to my daughter in the video came pouring through, and I knew it was meant to be a part of the video.

I was delighted to have received such a gift and felt it would really enhance the video.

Then at ten thirty, that same night, just as I’d finished writing that letter, the front door opened, bringing in a warm summer breeze, along with Lee and Tucker, who’d been spray painting boat parts in the garage…

And they were both BLUE – like Papa Smurf and Baby Smurf!

I had to hold on to the door frame to keep myself from falling over!

I had to unclench my fists before running over and punching Lee!

I had to take several deep breaths to keep myself from screaming!

And then I had to figure out how we were going to get out of this mess!

Every surface they touched on the way the shower turned blue. The shower curtain had to be thrown out.

An hour later, they were both wrapped in towels, shriveled and shaking – the hot water long gone, but they were mostly not blue.

Then the laughter began. Laughter that could not be stopped.

And I knew in that moment that much of the magic of motherhood comes from those unpredictable, unforgettable, messy moments!

To this day there’s still a blue handprint on the towel rack in the bathroom. For a while, I tried to scrub it off, but it wasn’t going anywhere. Now I look at it and just smile.

And remember. And rest assure, that it’s all perfect.

Messy and perfect.

And here’s the video to prove it!

A Letter to My Daughter

May your Mother’s Day be full of memories, Magic, and maybe even a little messiness!

With love and blessings,

Kasey

 

Ask Yourself: What Do You Need

When our daughter was little, there were times when she was so out of sorts, I felt helpless in helping her.

One day, I opened up to a friend and shared this with her. In return, she offered the suggestion of asking our girl the simple question – What do you need?

That question became my magical go-to.

I remember the numerous times I knelt down, put my hands on her bony shoulders, and asked her, What do you need?

Often, she didn’t know, but the fact that I cared to ask and listen, seem to be exactly what she needed.

I offer this to you today, because so often, many of us find ourselves in times of uncertainty and feeling out of sorts.

This is an opportunity to ask ourselves this very question– What do I need?

And in response, just listen.

Let your voice from within tell you what you need.

Maybe you’ll hear:

Rest.

A bath.

A good cry.

A long walk.

The cup of tea with a friend.

A turkey sandwich with lots of cranberry.

A romantic comedy.

A night out belly up to the bar with with a salted margarita.

A pillow to punch and get all my anger out.

What do you need?

Your turn.

Ask yourself – What do I need?

Write down the first things you just heard.

And let the Magic begin!

Lead with your vulnerability

Lead with vulnerability

When working with coaching clients, whether to help uplift and transform their lives or bring their book to life, the theme that constantly emerges is Vulnerability.

Lead with your vulnerability, I so often say. Open your heart and share what is there. That is where the magic begins. That is where others will connect to you.

Easier said than done, I know because today it’s my turn. My turn to lead with vulnerability.

Today is my turn to speak about the sadness I’m feeling.

We took our boy to college this past weekend. I didn’t think it would be a big deal. After all, he spent all of last year on a gap year in England and now he’s just a five-hour drive away.

And yet…something is different. 

He is not here. With us. It kind of feels like a light has gone out in our home. I keep looking to replace the burned-out bulb, but it seems the entire lamp is missing.

I know it will get better. I know we’ll find our way and get used to the more dimly lit rooms and find other ways to bring in the light. But today, I’m just going to allow myself to feel all of this and lead with my vulnerability.

Today and in the coming days, I’ll practice what I preach – giving myself the self-care support I need. I’ll meditate and walk and read and rest and feed my body, soul, and mind, as I find my way down this new path.

I will allow myself to be vulnerable and receive support from others.

Which has already happened, for just as I was writing this, a dear friend and ongoing parenting mentor, happened to call. After we spoke, she sent me this –

Welcome Blessing

She advised me to have tissues. Glad I did.

So… not only do I have a kid off at college, but a daughter heading into her senior year of high school and looking for the college where she’ll end up next year. Sigh.

How can you lead with vulnerability today?

You Have Permission to Take Care of Yourself

Give yourself permission to care for yourself first.

With kids home for the summer and the house feeling wonderfully noisy and chaotic, I was just thinking back on the days when the kids were little and even more noisy and the house was even more chaotic.

There were days when I was so exhausted, my eyes wouldn’t focus properly. Yet even on the rare occasion when the kids were napping at the same time (miracle!!), I wouldn’t dare lie down.

Not because I had too much to do – I always had too much to do. Instead, I was afraid someone might discover me napping!

How dare I? I used to think.

So I’d force myself to “suck it up” and keep slogging through my to-do list, all the while becoming more exhausted, resentful and angry.

You have permission to take care of yourself, even when you're a mom! Paying attention to self-care can mean the difference between total burn out and a wonderful day. #selfcare #momlife #motherhood

Boy have I come along way!

Today, when I’m running on fumes and not showing up as my best self, I ask  – How dare I not?

Best of all, I don’t care what anyone else thinks!

And I certainly don’t need permission from anyone.  And neither do you!

I simply pull out my Magical Living Daily Planner (hint, hint) and right under the Soul column, I write in big and bold letters – NAP.

And later in the day, when I’m feeling like a little rest is in order, I take a nap. Happily. And so should you!

Nap, or do whatever feeds your soul and allows you to show up in the fullness of you.

Go ahead, give yourself permission! Maybe take it a step further and write yourself a permission slip – giving yourself permission to take care of You!

 

Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

A Summer Snow Day

Summer Snow Day

There’s nothing I love more than a snow day.

When I was a classroom teacher, I’d listen to the radio announcements with my fingers crossed – willing the announcer to say the name of my school.

Then when my own kids were in school, I’d say a little wish before opening the computer to check.

Last week, we had tremendous thunderstorms here in New Hampshire, both kids were sent home from their outdoor jobs (lifeguard and mountain bike guide).

I was so excited to have them both home unexpectedly and declared it a Summer Snow Day!

Tuck used the day off to visit the chiropractor and get a haircut, but Andie and I decided that a rainy day called for a matinee.

We went to see the documentary about Mr. Rodgers, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

I am so deeply glad we did.

What a special movie. What a special man. What a special message.

A message we need more than ever in this world.

Spread kindness.

Care for others.

Love is at the root of everything.

Listening is an act of love.

The development of our children is of vital importance…

and so many others.

Andie never really watched Mr. Rodger’s Neighborhood, but she was deeply moved by the movie.

I loved our time together and felt so grateful for the thunderstorms that made it all possible.
But it reminded me, that we don’t have to wait for the “snow days” to play.

We can give ourselves permission to play and take time for ourselves, regardless of the weather!

I’m going to try and do so more often, and I hope you will, too!

Won't You Be My Neighbor

 

Photo by Jake Hills on Unsplash

Raising Kids and Renovating Houses

photo credit Nolan Issac unsplash

“Release your attachment to how things ‘ought’ to be and instead surrender to how they actually are.”
Dr. Shefali Tsabary

My husband and I are serial house renovators.

We’ve owned four old homes and our kids have never known one without crooked doors or slanted floors.

Obviously, we love old houses. But the problem is, there’s always work to be done. In other words, the work is never done. As soon as one project is complete, we’re already looking forward and preparing for the next.

The other day, my husband and I were outside walking around the house when he said, “We have so much to do.”

And that simple statement stopped me in my tracks.

For a moment, I knew he was right. But then I looked all around and allowed myself to see all that we had done, rather than all that we hadn’t. It was time to appreciate that. And I asked him to try and see our house through those eyes.

And he did.

We stood in our yard, side by side, looking around like we’d both put on new glasses.

Rather than seeing the landscaping we’d hadn’t done, we saw the aluminum siding we’d torn down and the beautiful clapboard that now took its place. We laughed about the dark brown garages that were now clean and painted white, and as we walked toward our new front porch with the two rockers just waiting for us, my husband let out a big exhale. He was seeing the Magic in what we had created.

As I leaned back in my rocking chair, I started thinking about how we need to do the same with our kids.

In this busy world we live in, we tend to look at all the things they’re not, rather than all the things they are.

Our children are not their spelling tests, SAT scores, soccer games, piano lessons, play dates, prom dates or to-do lists. They’re funny, wondrous, beautiful, amazing beings growing and learning right before our eyes. We just have to slow down, let out a big breath, shift our perspective and allow ourselves to see that.

To see the Magic of who our kids really are – not who they will be someday, but the amazing beings they are right here, right now.

Because the reality is, we’re all renovations in progress.  And from time to time, we need to stop, look around and appreciate all that we’ve accomplished to get to where we are right in this moment. We also need to do the same with our children, so we can model for them, how to do that for themselves.

That’s where we find the Magic.