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Special note to Moms of this century (and my journey right now)

July 12, 2011

Don’t let the things that you can’t do stop you from doing the things that you can do.

No loud talking please, Hong Kong subway, 2011.

Below is an article WM wrote for the happiness series.com around finding happiness as parents, however, it most definitely applies to non-parents as well. We wanted to post it here in case you missed it.

In summary, you definitely continue to find what you’re made of when things get difficult.  The last few months I have connected once again with the thought that one big (tall, maybe even thorny) roadblock doesn’t mean there are not many other clearings…

Great Wall of China, August 2011.

Read on:

Hello Happiens. We talked about acceptance the last couple posts. And though I planned for this article to be about a different topic surrounding parenthood I am finding acceptance to be screaming at me yet again.

My personal Momtra the last couple of weeks as a result of severe tendonitis/RSI in both arms has been Embrace voice dictation and let others help you; you don’t have to do it alone (10x/day).

Embrace voice dictation and let others help you; you don’t have to do it alone.

Mothers take special note of the last portion of my Momtra.  Delegation need not only come into play when you’re injured or sick. This is what I’m learning and part of what I would like to impart: accepting more of the ‘it takes a village’ mentality  (and connecting with more parents who believe in support) will usher in more happiness.

We can learn a new way. We don’t have to be SuperMoms. We don’t have to be unhappy.  We hear it everywhere, I know, but I’ll remind us all again ~ we have a choice.

What this all has to do with parenting might be summarized in a saying we’ve all heard: if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!  True?

For this one it is…Though I’ve been battling what everyone believes to be severe tendonitis in my elbows/arms for four months, the pain only got so bad three weeks ago that I had to buy Dragon Dictate, a voice-recognition software, to be able to do my work (I was getting four minutes of work in before the pain would begin).

I had crawled into my zen cave the first three of four months and felt I had truly accepted the fact that I couldn’t do some of my favorite things such as yoga, cooking, laundry (kidding) even tickling my son. However, losing the ability to also write and express myself recently put me over the yogi edge.  It was extremely difficult to accept and frankly I didn’t want to accept it.

I felt the real emotions of sadness, (tears), frustration and a gripping that eventually led to deeper sadness in the week that came and even more pain in my arms (hello mind–body relationship).  Four months is a long time.  And telling a writer she can’t write…or, a yogi she can’t yoga makes for an even a bigger challenge.  Truth be told I had to dig deep to practice what I preach. I used (and use) my Momtras more than ever before.  I wanted to get back to claiming my happiness and therefore claiming the happiness of my child as well.

What this all has to do with parenthood lies here: accepting in other areas of our lives really can make us more able to be accepting in parenthood. As women, our strengths are many… accepting more can be one of them.

Again, it’s all about practice.  Just as our basketball, soccer or lacrosse practice in elementary school, high school or college was tiring, difficult and sweaty, so too can the practices we now undertake in our adults lives and in our lives as the teachers of the next generation. But it’s ok, it’s all part of the game…part of the journey. There is no destination, there is only how well you practice what you need to practice.

Though I still have a long way to go to being pain-free, I stand a few steps on the other side today and can tell you that having embraced voice dictation, recognizing I needed help (*then actually asking for it*) made me feel better, both physically and emotionally. My arms are starting to get a smidge better which is uplifting.

What is greatest, however, is the strength and resolve you find to continue moving forward.  You are stronger than you think. We all are. But the first step to finding that strength to accept the situation, to accept your pain and predicament even. Once you do, the gripping lessens and so does your suffering.

I’m excited to think once I get better I’ll not only have a keyboard but a dictation tool to help me in what I love to do. You can call it seeing the silver lining or a fact but the truth is our very survival and happiness depends on us adapting and learning new ways of living, It’s been that way since the beginning of time, no? We had to evolve to continue living…and to continue to live better than before.

So with that said…voice dictation rocks as does writing my first article using just my voice.

Moms & Dads & Those without children, my ending thought is this: When you embrace the situation you embrace a curiosity to learn a new way, and therefore, learn a newfound strength.  This strength is what enables us to keep going and enjoy the going more.

Your New Momtra™:  The more I embrace the fact I might not be able to change a situation overnight, the more open I am to seeing what gems are there for me to learn (3x).

Here’s to your happy, focused life.

*Follow this link to finding article on happiness series.com: http://happinessseries.com/07/2011/parenting-series-acceptance-happiness/

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