If you haven’t already, I would love for you to go on Amazon to buy Whinypaluza – Book 1 and Whinypaluza Gets Less Whiny – Book 2. My mom came up with the awesome title to book 2. My children have definitely gotten less whiny. Book one was written in the heat of parenting three young children. Writing and getting it all out was helping me to cope with motherhood. We all know that motherhood is a blessing, and we all know that it isn’t easy either. We all need to find coping strategies that works for us and writing works for me.
My children may have gotten less whiny but the challenges have changed through the years. This Wednesday March 29th at 8:00 PM Eastern, my husband Seth and I will go live on Facebook to discuss book two. I hope you will come discuss it with us. If you have read it, I would love to hear what you took away from the book. If you haven’t read it, come join us anyway and listen to some lessons summarized from my book about parenting and marriage. Let’s jump into some of the top lessons from book two:
Sometimes it’s about Mom! We all do so much for our families. I spent the whole morning making my family breakfasts and lunches and I’m happy to take care of them. I love doing things for my family, but I can get burned out and need to do stuff for me. Getting our dog Tanner was all about me. No one else in the family wanted a dog. I did it for me. It’s ok to do things for ourselves. I also made myself a massage and nail appointment this week for some me time.
It’s okay to take a trip without the children. My husband Seth and I flew to California for my uncle’s funeral. It wasn’t for a good cause but it felt good to do this and to see that my kids were okay. I often think about traveling with my husband. I want my children to experience traveling so I tend to book family trips. I know that they would be okay if Seth and I decided to go away on vacation together. It’s good for your marriage to have that quality time together.
Moving closer together in marriage. You are either moving closer together or further apart. Which way do you want to move? Think about this in your next action step. If you feel like you have moved away then choose your next step to be something that will bring you closer together. You can make decisions all day long and every day is a new day to make positive changes.
Kids and parents need mental health days. I will continue to preach this. Give your kids a day off. Give yourself a day off. As I type this my husband is working from home. He went back to bed for a little while to rest. He works so hard, and I like when I see him slow down. My daughter Ella will request mental health days off from school and I let her take them. Ella works so hard and has outstanding grades. She deserves to have a me day once in a while. So do you and so do I.
My stress makes my kids stressed, period. In my book I talk about how when I get stressed or angry it fuels the negative situation that is occurring (usually with Lillie or Seth). I was conscious of the fact that I stayed calm while Lillie was having a mini meltdown the other day. I saw how much quicker the whole situation calmed down. How did I do this? I was conscious and mindful in my parenting. I focused on keeping myself calm and I was telling myself that if I stay calm and sweet that Lillie will deescalate quicker. It worked. Sometimes I get it right! Not every time, but this time I did!
Market to your spouse every day. I wrote a lot about marriage in my book. I love to talk about marriage. When we get married it is not time to let your hair down. You are selling yourself to your spouse every day and you want them to choose to be married to you every day.
Putting in hard work pays off in every area of our lives. I put in long hours training our dog Tanner from 8 weeks old until he was one years old. I still spend time training him. It paid off. He was quickly potty trained because I focused on it. He learned a ton of commands because I spent time on it. I also taught him how to walk among many other things. I see this currently with my son Max. He is putting in a ton of hours working out and eating healthy and has totally transformed his body. He is now pure muscle due to very hard work. Put in the time and you will see results.
Pay attention to your thoughts and reframe them. I write a lot about self-talk because it’s so important for us and for our children. I have a recent example from my son Max. I apologized to him because I saw some of myself in him that I don’t like about myself. I felt he was acting compulsive and obsessive, and I realized it was triggering me because I don’t like that in myself. Max told me not to apologize. He said that he loves those traits and that it helps him to be successful. What a reframe. We can help our children become aware of their thoughts and teach them how to train their brain. They can learn to grab a hold of their thoughts and learn what messages to tell themselves instead. Instead of, “I can’t do this,” we can teach them and encourage them to say things like, “I can do hard things. I keep proving this to myself. I can do it again.”
Less is more. In my first book I was all about more, more, more. What else can I buy my children for Chanukah? How many pumpkin farms can we go to? How many activities can I sign my kids up for? I was in overdrive. My heart just sped up as I typed that. In my second book, and at the present moment I am shifting to less is more. I just cleaned out the house of many bags of stuff and I still have a lot of work to do. I am more about making memories than buying my children stuff. Now I know that one pumpkin farm is enough for my family. I no longer want to sign my children up for every activity. I have learned and grown a lot since my children were younger. I am growing up with them as a parent. They grow up as children and I grow up as a parent.
We can never say I love you, I appreciate you, and thank you enough. This was a theme in my book that I think needs to get honorable mention. Your spouse and your children cannot get enough of these words. Say them often. Say them every day. We all just want love and appreciation.
Building in breaks in our busy days. I wake up at 6 am and go to bed around 11 pm. I physically don’t have it in me to work nonstop for 17 hours. I used to think I needed to get as much done as I possibly can. I have learned to pace myself. I have learned to take breaks. I have learned that life is not about productivity. Make sure to give yourself breaks in your days. If you are at a desk all day, make sure to stretch and walk around. Take care of yourself is a big theme in this book. We all need to do more of this.
Learning to let go. Wow, I just had a physical reaction to reading that line. Sometimes I do well with it and sometimes I just want to hold on. My kids are growing up. They are changing and becoming more independent. At first, I found myself resisting it and now I have learned to embrace it. Max cooked in the kitchen for two hours last night. He is making himself five out of six meals a day. This is a huge change. I love seeing how many life skills he is learning. When I wrote this book Max was turning 13 and having his Bar Mitzvah. As I write this at the present moment, he is 16 and learning to drive. He is also researching colleges. I want you to take this moment to observe how far your children have come and to give yourself a pat on the back. If your child is struggling with something right now that is ok. That is not an invitation to beat yourself up. You will help them through it. Together you will grow.
Coping through the pandemic. It’s so interesting post pandemic to read about what I wrote during the Covid pandemic. Tips that I gave that are always useful include: what do you have control over? What makes you feel better? What can you do? Stay present. Ask your children what they think they need? Check in with your children. Those were all pointers that I gave to help people cope when we were all stuck at home. However, those lessons apply to life every day!
Zoom has become my friend – during the pandemic and after. Zoom has spoiled me. I love to save time and do zoom appointments from home. I can stay in my warm house during these cold winter months and meet with people over Zoom. We were so thankful for it during the pandemic and even did my son’s Bat Mitzvah over zoom. I think it’s still important to have face to face contact with people but the pandemic definitely taught us that some things can be done over zoom. In fact, my husband was already working a lot over zoom before the pandemic and continues to do so. My family’s income is very thankful for zoom as both Seth and I had work meetings over zoom and continue to do so.
Give people a pass during the pandemic and after. I think that the pandemic made me less judgmental. I saw that we were all dealing with it differently. We all had different thoughts about it. I also learned that we don’t know what people are going through. People don’t always tell us the hard things at home that they are dealing with every day. You don’t know what is hiding behind people’s smiles.
Pros of the pandemic. The pandemic really made me appreciate slowing down and having family time. At first, we all loved that we were getting more sleep and had less demands. There were definite pros. I see that my kids need to be out in the world and be with people for their mental and physical health. However, it really taught me to slow down.
Reflect on each birthday. Every birthday I reflect on the year and what I have learned. I want to invite you to begin to do this too. Not only did I write about my birthday but I also wrote about my children’s birthdays. It was so fascinating to go back and see what I wrote about on each birthday. I will continue to do this. It is a great way to look back and see how far you have come. It is also great to help you make your next goals and visions for your future.
Ask for what you want. My husband has been the key to teaching me this. Forgive me if I am being stereotypical but men seem to be better at this from my observation. I will leave you with my last lesson for you to not be afraid to ask for what you want. Don’t be shy. This is how you get what you want. You won’t always get what you want but it’s great to learn to ask for it!
Those are just some of the lessons from book two. It was fun to read through it. It is packed full of lessons and stories that I hope you will enjoy. If you have read it – thank you! If you are going to buy it – thank you! If you read this blog – thank you! If you join my live vlog – thank you! This is a fun journey! I look forward to book three. Stay tuned to hear my husband reflect on the bullying chapter in my book live at 8 PM Wednesday March 29th.
Laughing, Learning, Loving,
Rebecca Greene, LCSW-R
Whinypaluza Mom Group:
If you are looking for a supportive community, come join the free Whinypaluza Mom Facebook group. I created this as I wanted us to have a place where we can talk about tips, strengths and challenges we are having. It is another step I took to help everyone to know that you are not alone. The March Madness challenge was a lot of fun. Come join us and bring a friend with you! I love to give away prizes. This group is going private so please find me on Facebook at Whinypaluza or Rebecca Greene and message me to ask for an invite. I’m also on Instagram @becgreene5 and @whinypaluza_mom.
The Whinypaluza Schedule:
Whinypaluza Wednesdays: My weekly blog comes out every Wednesday. I am always open to your topic requests. A new Vlog (video blog) also comes out every Wednesday night on Facebook and You Tube live at 8:00 PM Eastern time to discuss the blog. If you would rather listen to a podcast than watch a Vlog, you can wait for the following Wednesday and the Vlog is released on my Podcast.
Family Fridays: Every Friday morning a new Podcast is released. Most of my episodes on Fridays are me discussing parenting and marriage with experts on the topic. If you would rather watch the Podcast instead of listen, you can watch it on You Tube. If you would like to be on my Podcast or know someone who would like to please message me on Facebook or Instagram or at email@example.com
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Please feel free to email me with suggestions for topics that you would like me to cover. I would also love to hear about any lessons or takeaways that you learned from blogs, vlogs or podcasts that Whinypaluza releases. I hope that you are finding all this helpful and seeing that you are never alone. We are in this parenting and marriage thing together. xoxo