Mean Girls, Not In My House

While the movie is truly hysterical to watch (Mean Girls 2004), the theme is all too real for girls today and yesterday for that matter.  We are always trying to remain fashionable, wear nothing larger than a size 5-6 and have the right friends.  It’s unfortunate, but the reality is that many girls, to make sure that they feel good about their situation, will find someone worse off than them and make sure they know it. My daughter is only 4 years old, but as I watch her play on the playground at the park I can already see the beginnings of cliques forming.  The adorable little boy with the glasses swings alone, the girl with un-brushed hair tries desperately to make it pretty with her little fingers and still none of the kids go near her.  It’s sad to watch them draw these lines for themselves at such a young age but it’s worse when their parents do it for them.

Several months ago during a Mommy’s night out, a friend shared a story of how another parent had rudely snapped at her in the school parking lot.  After hearing the story I was appalled.  What gave this woman the right to snap at my friend for a reason that was none of her business?  I wanted so badly to never speak to her during pickup or let my daughter anywhere near her child again.

The next couple of times I saw her I found myself being short and abrupt, and then I realized what I was doing.  I was behaving like a child!  “You’re mean to my friend so I’m going to be mean to you”… what kind of example was I setting?  It wasn’t until a birthday party several weeks later that I found out her mother had been battling the final stages of breast cancer while she was working over seas for extended periods of time.  In fact, her mother had passed away only 2 days before.  I pray I never find out how I would behave if faced with a similar situation.

We all do the best we can for our children and for now I refuse to let my 4-year choose all of her friends.  My mother used to tell me “I can see farther than you,” and she was right.  When she’s older, I hope that her exposure to people of different colors, sizes, religions and economic backgrounds will give her the wisdom to surround herself with diverse friends.  The last thing I want to raise is a Mean Girl.

Welcome to Mommy-hood

  Officially I have been a mom for 13 months. Being a mom has been by far one of the most challenging hats I've had to wear. The first couple months friends reassuringly let me know that at the 3 month mark "It gets better." Oh how that little statement rung in my ears. As smart as I like to think I am, I never realized being a mommy would take so much out of me. I mean I have been around plenty of children new and old. I knew how to change a diaper, make a bottle, put a baby to sleep, make silly faces, and not to mention calm a crying baby in my adolescence. I considered myself a pro long before I even met a man who was qualified enough to give me his little swimmers!

I discovered quickly that I was no pro, but a beginner. The statement is not a self defeating one, but rather a coming to terms with it announcement to self. What's the use in being in denial, right! I had been fighting the fact that I could not figure my child out, that is for the time being. After countless conversations with God on why he was not answering my prayers, and why he would not make it better. Not to mention the daily melt down in which I had not bathed, not slept, and attempted to eat, but my little eater decided he was hungry too... I had come to the bitter sweet conclusion that it would take time to figure out anyone, let alone my own child. Mommy-hood as far as I can see is all about cherishing the small accomplishments, literally living one day at a time. It's all about throwing a party when baby sleeps for 3 hours, and letting go. Letting go of all your preconceived ideas of what it means to be a mommy, and for me clinging to God for strength.

Most mommy pros will say to their child, "If you only knew." When my dear mom would make that statement, I am reluctant to say I would "gently" roll my eyes and think if you only knew what? Ha! Now I know mom, now I know!!! If you only knew the sacrifice, the patience, the joy, it requires to be a mommy. What a delicate and oh so sweet relationship God created between mother and child. I encourage any new mommy out there to remember you are not alone, God has not forgotten you. Mommy-hood is not easy but it is so worth it. After now 13 months of watching my little guy grow....although I might do some things a little differently given the chance, I would in a heart beat do it again. So don't just hang in there, take your time to learn and grow. And please give yourself a break we've all made mistakes. So cheers to sleepless nights, cheers to poopie diapers, cheers to not knowing everything, and cheers to you for being so brave! Welcome to Mommy-hood, God chose you.

Guest Contributor: Lisette Espinosa

Relieve a Little Muscle Tension

“My back aches, I feel tight and stiff.”  Have you ever said this or felt this way? When I have clients tell me they feel tight, stiff or have joint pain, the first thing I ask is if they perform regular stretching exercises.  I usually hear “no, I know I should.”  After years of preaching stretch, stretch, stretch, I have to remind myself constantly to  take time and schedule a few minutes to stretch after each workout or I will pay for it later. We have a short amount of time to exercise and want to use it burn a few extra calories or think there is not enough time to fit in stretching with all we have to do. However, many times, when our back goes out or we suffer from low back pain, it is not due to one specific injury, but because we have not taken the time to work on our flexibility and the constant wear and tear on our muscles. Stiffness and back pain can be caused by a lack of flexibility. Regular stretching makes you feel better by reducing muscles soreness, low back pain and stress, and assist your body to move easily and prevent injury. Our flexibility does decrease with age, but by incorporating a regular stretching program, you can feel younger and more relaxed with less aches and pains.

Stretching exercises can be done at different times, but must be done when your muscles are warm.   After a work out of any kind, it is a without a doubt the most important time to relieve tension in your working muscles.  At the end of the day, especially if you have sat at a desk all day, a hot shower or warm bath is a great way to warm up and relax the muscles for a few stretching exercises before bed.

Here a few guidelines to follow with your stretching:

  • Before beginning, make sure muscles are warm
  • Take a deep breath in and exhale as you move toward the stretch
  • Take the stretch to your point of tension and not any further – Do not force it!
  • Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds
  • Repeat 2-3 times for each muscle stretched.

 Remember you can take quick breaks throughout the day when you feel a little tension or need a break.  My 2 year old has learned it is kind of fun to jump back and forth over mommy’s leg when she is stretching.  He has even been my cheerleader by saying, “stretch mommy stretch.”  It can be done anywhere.  No special place, no special equipment.

To learn more about having a personal fitness plan and how to be fit for life, call me for a free consultation as your Wellness Coach at 409-550-7606 or email me at