Becoming a mother is life changing. I am fortunate enough that my mother was a role model for me so I had an inkling of what to do and advice as to what to do. πŸ˜‰ In being a coach I have met a lot of women whose lives BECOME being a mom and who can use some healing for themselves. Women are so powerful yet we sometimes do not give ourselves the credit we so deserve. I would like to give thanks to my mother, tell you some of the joys of being a mother, show gratitude for Mother’s Day and also give mothers a few tips to keep happy WHILE doing all the “jobs” a mom does.

party3My Mother

Geri, Geraldine, JJ, Mom, Mima — my mom is known by many names and all of them make me smile. My mother had me when she was 18 and unbelievably she and my dad were able to raise me with love and knowing I could do anything. She and my dad were always my biggest supporters whether it be guitar, dance, acting or any other hobby I picked up. My most vivid memories of my mother are ones of her saying “How Great”, “You Can DO it”, “I am SO Proud of You” or of her laughing or smiling. Even in divorce my parents were the perfect example by staying friends and not saying unkind words about the other. We still spend some occasions together with my step parents too and everyone gets along well.

When I left for college my mother and my step father got involved in the foster care system. My mom is gifted with taking care of children and it is her passion. She has all the traits I try to exude; kindness, patience (one I’m STILL working on), love, empathy, humor and genuineness. When I had my first child; my son Alex, it was obvious her passion for children was still strong and she was always ready to lend me support. She is still one of my children’s closest friends and it is beautiful to watch them together. Mima will help with homework, encourage and give hugs, makes them CRACK up, talk and do projects and offers them her never ending love and FOOD… oh yeah and she does spoil them a bit with “stuff”! (a grandmother’s right I am told) πŸ˜‰

jenmimakidsflsmallMy mother has been one of my closest friends through my whole life (despite those hormonal teenage years) ;-). She has showed me by example how to love, nurture, forgive, empathize and be kind. From her I gained my love of writing poetry, my love of dancing, my love of having many friends in my life, my ability to cook REALLY GOOD Italian food and my voice (yep we sound EXACTLY the same which benefited her in high school when my friends would call) :-). Without her support, encouragement and never ending generosity I do not even care to imagine where I would be today. She is my hero, my confidante, one of my biggest supporters and boy do I, my family and ALL my friends love her. Whenever I get in touch with a friend — even if it has been 10 years or more their first question is “How is your mom?” πŸ™‚ Thank you mom, mima for all you do for us. Words cannot describe our gratitude, appreciation and love for you.

alexawardBeing a Mom

I am so proud of my children. Do I get frustrated with them sometimes? Yes, I am human and children are young humans learning life lessons and questioning and challenging just about everything along the way. Every day I work on becoming more patient and I make sure to have conscious time with them. I learn from them about life and about myself. Children do not come with an instruction manual — in fact I am hugely surprised how they send new mom’s home with nothing other than a quick diaper changing lesson. It is a learn-as-you-go experience and BOY are there important lessons to be learned!

My children bring me laughter, show me different perspectives, give me lots of love and hugs, inspire my own creativity, challenge me ;-), awaken me if I get off track , (oh yeah teach a young child positive thinking and the law of attraction and they will repeat it back to you if you slip backwards ;-)), inspire me to be all I can be and evoke love from the deepest parts of my soul. I am so very grateful for my two beautiful, smart, funny, sweet children Alex and Christina. Following is Christina’s talent show performance (she was 5) telling jokes and included is a picture of Alex receiving an award at school for being helpful. I am so very blessed to be their mother and I am grateful for every day I get to give them hugs and tell them I love them.

Gratitude

Yeah, I AM BLESSED. AND it doesn’t end with just my kids and my mom. My husband Ray shows me how happy he is I am the mother of his children every Mother’s Day (and sometimes other times too) πŸ˜‰ Last year he wrote me a poem with a family picture and framed it – one of my favorite gifts to date. This year I am going out with girlfriends on Friday night to hear Shaman Lench Archuleta speak and for dinner. Saturday I get to meet up with some of my girlfriends (including one of my oldest and best friends who I don’t get to see often) and shop — money given to me by Ray to “buy make up and perfume” — things I have not splurged on for myself in I don’t even KNOW how long! Sunday I get to be with my mom, my kids and some good friends in our pool with Ray grilling and making sure all the moms have a perfect day. Yeah, I AM blessed and I have been tingling with gratitude and love for the last week! πŸ™‚

I am also very grateful for my mother-in-law. Ray’s mother, Maura was a wonderful, beautiful woman and I could not have asked for more in a mother-in-law. Always willing to give advice (if asked – and BOY did I feel like I asked a LOT!) but she was not meddling AT ALL. Always quick with a story that would not only answer your question but make you laugh as well. She is missed dearly and I am so very grateful that my children got to meet her and know her love. She is in our thoughts and prayers frequently and my love and gratitude for her is everlasting. Maura raised not only her son, Ray but three daughters who are each genuine, intelligent, beautiful, funny and I am so blessed to call them sisters (forget the in-law part). They are all women I would be honored to call friends even if I was not related to them.

7 Tips to Stay a Happy Mom

1) Remember who YOU are

Don’t lose touch with you, “insert name here”. You are much more than the role of mother — ask yourself the question “Who am I?” and do things that enable you to remember who you are. Honor your inner self. Take time to center, here are a few ideas how….

I have learned through the free guided meditation in the Silva Life System to get in a REALLY relaxed state in about a minute. Whether it be meditation or time for some deep breaths…. shut yourself in a room or take that extra 5 minutes in the morning or before bed and pay gratitude, ask yourself how you are feeling and examine that for a minute and if necessary think of action steps to move in the right direction, give yourself 1 compliment for the day on something you DID get done…. Us moms can have never ending to-do lists…. do not be afraid to…

2) Ask For Help

This was such a difficult one for me. Trade with other moms. Teach your children how to help around the house (you are doing them a favor too). If you are feeling overwhelmed, break big jobs into smaller tasks and figure out how you can get someone to lend a hand. There is a LOT to do that falls under the category of “mom duty’s” but that is mostly because WE have put it there. Asking for help is the only way to ensure help and whoever you ask — (if you ask out of love and not out a sense of desperation or frustration) will be happy to help you. For all that mom’s do you need energy and that is why I highly recommend…

3) Exercise

It doesn’t matter if its walks with a friend or hardcore aerobics…. it is good for the mind and soul as well as our physical body. If you can get out of the house to do it – even better – you’ll get your sunshine and perhaps socializing time in as well. There are 10 minute exercise shows you can watch… just get your body pumping. Exercise gives you more energy as does…..

4) Sleep

Get some. Being tired and moody serves no one. I remember being ill and going weeks without more than 2 hours of sleep nightly… now if I have a night with less than 6 hour sleep I feel it. You will get more done if you get sleep. THAT is when the body rejuvenates itself. You need the energy with children and to…

5) Be a conscious parent

My friend Kelly at She-Power had a recent article “21 Small but Powerful Ways to Build a Family ” that was brilliant about being a conscious parent. It is important to BE with your child not just be in the room while they watch TV. Interact, talk, ask questions, play games, get silly, dance around…. there are endless things to do with your children to enjoy them. Even if it is 1/2 hour you feel you “can spare” — your child will grow to be more self confident and will feel your love. Speaking of love….

6) Honor your Spouse/Significant Other

If you are still married or if you have a significant other– your relationship is the one your children see and mirror. The love you have for each other is the reason the family began in the first place (in most cases). It is easy to lose yourself in roles, in household duties and mis-communications. Instead of thinking about what you DON’T like about your spouse — think about the things you love about that person. The kinder you are to them the kinder you will receive it back. Go out for date-night to reconnect or have a date night in the living room talking (TV off) to reconnect. Treat them as you want to be treated. I often say we are a mirror reflecting how we want to be treated back at us as you can tell by our…

7) Friends

Make time for friends and look around at your friends. Do your friends have qualities that inspire you or are they zapping more of your valuable energy? Friendships of course will have times where you will support them, you might hold them as they cry and you are there for them because you care and love them. They should also offer value, inspiration, laughs, real conversations (NOT gossip) and admiration for the kind of person they are. Have friends over with kids your children’s ages so you can get some time to talk. Go out for girl’s night. Get out for a quick walk or exercise with a friend. If you “have no time” call a good friend on the phone. Contact with others is very important and it also is an affirmation of who you are. My friends reflect beauty from deep inside and that is something I strive for and honor in each and every one of them.

That’s a pretty good list to keep mom’s happy. There is ALSO gratitude, spirituality and many more that will make life just flow a whole lot easier. Learning about interests and working your mind is also important… you are NOT JUST a mom…. you are a woman, strong, powerful, loving, beautiful and YOU deserve to be happy. With the internet there are tons of mom groups and websites, tons of tools to learn new things and tons of ways to stay in touch with other moms. Don’t get out of touch. Remember who you are. Put yourself first and you AND everyone around you benefits. No one said to be a mom you have to be a martyr. There is a reason the flight attendants on a plane tell parents to please put your own oxygen mask on first (if needed). If you are calm and are taken care of you are much more apt to be able to take care of others.

I love and am so grateful for the moms in my life. I am honored and blessed to be a mother. I hope mothers take this day (and all days) to celebrate themselves and all they do and are. Thank you to all the mother’s out there who are doing their best every day to look after, love and protect their children. Happy Mother’s Day!

30 Comments

  1. Denise

    Jen

    Wow what a tribute to your mom yes she has been a great mom and great friend all of these years….she had you young but never had a fret about that always did the best she could and still does…moms don’t lose love for their children only helps us grow stronger and with the addition of grandchildren is an A plus……..Love to you and the family and to mom and hope you all have a great Mothers Day

  2. Lisa (mommymystic)

    Jenny, what a beautiful tribute to your ‘moms’, and that video is adorable. And as I’m sure you can imagine, I love your list. I think this topic is so important – like you, I see a lot of women who have lost themselves in mothering (and have felt that a bit myself in the past too.) So thanks for sharing, and have a wonderful mother’s day! XOXO Lisa

    Lisa (mommymystic)s last blog post..The Spirituality of Motherhood – Lessons from the REAL Masters

  3. Angela

    Jenny-

    I absolutely LOVE that pic of you and your Mom. She is a wonderful person. Thank you for your friendship and for this post, it speaks volumes about you and the people that surround you. Looking forward to this awesome Mother’s Day weekend!

    xoxo Ange

  4. Liara Covert

    Dear Jenny, this is such a beautiful post. You remind your readers that the crux of motherhood is giving and receiving love. As Mother’s Day approaches, everyone is reminded that this is an occasion to be grateful for the woman who brought you into the world. It is in part due to her, you learn about the love you are and that within that you have infinite power to share.

    Liara Coverts last blog post..10 Reminders the Intuition Age is Now

  5. Jenny Mannion

    Hi Denise,

    I wish you, Robin and Sandy all the best for Mother’s Day too. You and Bev have known my mom since elementary school — the friendship between the three of you was always an inspiration for me (and still is). πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for commenting Denise and reading — it means a lot. Love to everyone and gentle hugs for Robin! Have a FANTASTIC Mother’s Day.
    xo
    Love,
    Jen

  6. Jenny Mannion

    Hi Lisa,

    You Lisa, with 3 preschoolers lose yourself in mothering, NO?! πŸ˜‰ Sigh…. yes I am better at claiming my “me time” but spent quite a few years putting everyone before me — and boy did my health suffer as well as my relationships. Now with time doing what I love, I have more energy for everyone around me. My kids are older — so it will get easier — I promise! πŸ™‚

    I often find comfort in your words….you write SO much about women’s empowerment and inspiring women. VERY important topics. Your words and your blog are a perfect place for all women to go and feel inspired!

    I wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day Lisa. πŸ™‚ Thanks for your friendship.

    Love,
    Jenny

  7. Jenny Mannion

    Hey Ange,

    Yes, my mom is wonderful as is yours. We might have grown up in very different places but the one commonality is we both had the love and support of our family and very close relationships with our moms. Please wish your mom, Amy and Rose a very Happy Mother’s Day from the Mannions!

    I’m ready for the weekend! Whoo Hoo! Yep, the best are around me — like you! πŸ˜‰

    Lotsa Love,
    Jenny

  8. Jenny Mannion

    Hi Liara,

    Thank you πŸ™‚ I am happy you enjoyed it. I do love sharing and have gotten much better at receiving. πŸ˜‰

    I feel so very grateful to have had my mom to learn from (and continue to do so). Now I get to show my children how to be kind and to live from a place of love.

    I wish all the moms in your life a VERY Happy Mother’s Day Liara! πŸ™‚

    Love,
    Jenny

  9. Evelyn Lim

    Your mother sure sounds awesome! I’ve never had a close relationship with mine. However, I know she that she loves me through the little acts that she do. I appreciated my mother more only when I became a mother myself.

    You’ve written a wonderful post for Mother’s Day. It has inspired me to think of something special to spend the day. Thank you!!

  10. Amy Park CHt

    Love this post Jennie!!!!!! Thank you…I’m honored to be in your circle! I’m still buzzing with energy since Saturday! I am Super Mom this week!!

  11. Aneeta Nashad

    Hey Jenny,

    I think this is a great idea. I think your Mom is one of the most wonderful people I have ever met and you are exactly like her. She is giving, loving and welcoming . That was my first impression of her and as time went on and I got to know her I realised she all that and so much more. Even though my own mom was far away, I never felt I missed her when talking to your mom.
    She is a sweetheart with a great sense of humor.
    Happy Mothers Day to you both. Wishing you all the best things from the bottom of my heart.
    love
    Aneeta

  12. Suzie Cheel

    Awesome Jenny,

    I will remember my mum, who was such a great person
    I think I will write about her this mothers day and ring people who are like a Mum to me

    You are very special and that comes through in your writing and I love the video- such talent and we know where that comes from

    Love Suzie

  13. Jenny Mannion

    Hi Evelyn,

    I do feel very blessed and I know the way my mom shows love (outpouring from every cell) is not the norm. πŸ™‚ BUT mother’s do show love in other ways and I am glad you are aware of the ways your mother shows that to you.

    Yes, becoming a mom does make you appreciate them all the more, doesn’t it?! I laugh when I hear myself saying things I “swore I’d never say to my kids”. πŸ˜‰ Definitely brings a new understanding to things my own parents did/said that I did not understand at the time. I am grateful for the choices they made even though I may have argued, pouted and whined at them then! πŸ™‚

    Yes Evelyn, please take time to celebrate! You are a conscious parent and that in itself deserves recognition and celebration! Your girls are beautiful and very lucky to have you as their mom — I wish you a very happy Mother’s Day!

    Love,
    xo
    Jenny

  14. Jenny Mannion

    Hi Amy,

    That energy was just beginning to wane yesterday for me so I am sooooo excited for tonight! Please give Alex a hug and a happy birthday! I look forward to seeing both of you this weekend. πŸ™‚

    You have SUCH good, together girls Amy and that says a lot for you. πŸ™‚ You are Super Mom every day and I know you’ll have a VERY happy mother’s day.

    Lotsa Love,
    xo
    Jenny

  15. Ray Mannion

    Thanks for the kind words Jen. I remember thinking about your mom before I proposed to you. I remember thinking – sheesh, Geri is NOT the stereotypical mother-in-law. She is a friend, supporter, and role model. I’ve learned so much about parenting by her example and strive to be like her.

    Thanks for being a tremendous mother. Even when you were suffering from illness, you never let up on showing your children how much you cared and supported them.

  16. Jenny Mannion

    Hi Aneeta,

    Thank you SOOOO much for your kind words and I know my mom will greatly appreciate them — she keeps asking when you guys are visiting! πŸ™‚ Ahhh… I aspire to exude as much love as her! My weakness is my patience area but I’m workin’ on it! πŸ™‚ Can’t be inpatient with gaining patience! πŸ™‚

    Happy Mother’s Day to you and your mom Aneeta! Give Kieran an extra squeeze for us. We miss you guys and it has been wonderful catching up with you… which reminds me…. we’re OVER due for a call…. I’m around all day working on the computer and catching up on stuff… would welcome hearing from you. I hope you are feeling great and I wish you a wonderful mother’s day!

    Lots of love,
    xo
    Jenny

  17. Jenny Mannion

    Hi Suzie,

    Thank you. I am so happy you had a great mom as well. It is such a blessing.

    Christina’s talent — ummm she was just born KNOWING she could and will do anything. It would be nice to take some credit for that because WOW is she confident but I do feel like she was just born KNOWING. She came 9 weeks early and has been a fighter and strong ever since! I WISH I had her confidence! I can learn from both my children. πŸ™‚

    Thanks so much for your kind words Suzie. SO greatly appreciated! It has been a joy getting to know you and Ray just said the other day “You’re going to HAVE to go to Australia Jen — you have met so many wonderful people from there!” I SURE have and can’t wait to meet you in person. πŸ™‚

    Lots of Love, xo
    Jenny

  18. Jenny Mannion

    Thanks hon! πŸ™‚

    Your mom was in no way the stereotypical mother-in-law either. We BOTH were blessed with mother in laws we could learn from and that showed lots of love and humor.

    Thank you for your kind words — you know I didn’t exactly think much of my mommy-ing when I was ill but you also know how hyper-critical I can be of myself. πŸ™‚ Thanks for your never ending support and love.

    Love you madly, thanks again for my terrific mother’s day weekend!
    xoxo
    Jen

  19. Mena Freed

    Jenny…the tribute to your mom brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful gift to her, she must be so honored. She sounds amazing! Jack told me she made great quesadillas and that she was “cool”. My mom & I weren’t close until I had children of my own. Like your mom she is a huge part of Mikaela & Jack’s life. When I was ill, she was right there to take my place and carry on so the kids didn’t suffer too much. That is something I can never repay her for but I love her more and more for that everyday! We are so fortunate!

    I love your list…I think every mother should have one! Your a true inspiration and honored to be your friend.

    Happy Mothers Day to you and your mom!

    XOXOXOX

    Mena

  20. Jenny Mannion

    Hi Mena,

    Thank you so much for commenting and I am so happy you enjoyed the post. Yes, I wish a list like that but longer came out of the hospital with every new mom! It sure would have helped me! πŸ™‚

    I saw Mikaela is off for the school trip as are a few of my other friend’s daughters… wow! They DO grow up FAST! I know how close you are to your children and it is so wonderful you and your mom have a special relationship as well. We ARE so fortunate and I am grateful every day for that!

    Happy Mother’s Day to you and your mom as well Mena! πŸ™‚ I’ve been wanting to talk and sent Alex in with a message for Jack today :-)Alex wants to begin tennis again — is Jack up for it? Give a call or email when you get a chance. πŸ™‚

    Lots of love, xo
    Jenny

  21. Stacie

    Jenny,

    I was teary-eyed all through this post! Great one. You ARE so blessed to have a mom like you do! I’ve seen her quietly and faithfully helping you around the house and taking care of and playing with Alex and Christina. She has a very soothing and nurturing way about her.

    And also, great tips on staying a healthy as a mom and a woman. I know I need to remind myself of many of these! Thanks.

    Well, I hope you have a Happy Mother’s Day! This week was crazy busy for us, and the end of next week is Levi’s standardized tests, so we’ll be preparing. Maybe we could get together the week after next….?

    Much love,
    Stacie πŸ™‚

    Stacies last blog post..A Native American Good Morning Message

  22. Jenny Mannion

    Hi Stacie,

    Happy Mother’s Day to you! I am so happy you enjoyed it and thank you for commenting. Yes, my mom helps with EVERYTHING and nurturing and soothing is the perfect way to describe her. I AM blessed and know it. πŸ™‚

    These tips are so crucial and I could probably use to paste them in front of me as well! I know I get off track sometimes. I also know many moms who do not take the time to do these things which are crucial not only for happiness but for sanity as well! πŸ˜‰

    Week after next is great! I know Levi will do awesome — he is so smart! We can do similar as last time so Alex can see him — he’ll be thrilled. πŸ™‚

    Lots of Love – enjoy your Mother’s Day!
    Love,
    xo
    Jenny

  23. Mike Foster

    Very enjoyable post, Jen. My mom is great. She’s in her seventies, but has as much energy and passion as someone half her age. She raised seven kids and has lost two husbands, but always has a positive word for all. I get my good attitude from her, as well as my good looks (haha)…

    peace,
    mike
    livelife365

    Mike Fosters last blog post..That’s Amore!

  24. Jenny Mannion

    Hi Mike,

    Your mom sounds wonderful! Strong, positive and a good example for her seven children. Wow just saying seven and children together gets me exhausted! πŸ˜‰

    I wish your mom a very happy mother’s day Mike. Thanks so much for sharing about her. πŸ™‚

    Love,
    Jenny

  25. Lance

    Hi Jenny,
    What a completely uplifting and wonderful article, in so many many ways. Your mom sounds like a wonderful soul, and I’m not surprised, knowing what I do about you, my friend. She has passed some pretty amazing qualities onto you!

    And I can really just feel how much you truly love your children (and Ray) in this post – and that’s a true and unending love, and I’m smiling reading this whole thing – a smile of real joy! Your kids are very lucky to have you in their lives – you are truly setting them up for a life of abundance and love – and I can think of nothing greater you can pass on.

    Jenny, continue to be “you”…I’m pulled in every time by how deeply moving your writing is, and that’s a testament to your heart, shining through!

    Happy Mother’s Day to YOU!!!

    Lances last blog post..Pull Off The Labels

  26. Jenny Mannion

    Hi Lance,

    Thank you so much. As I lie in bed with the coffee Ray just brought me and the 2 very thoughtful cards/letters just given to me by Ray and Alex I am indeed having a wonderful start to my Mother’s Day! πŸ™‚ Your sweet comments just made it that much sweeter. πŸ™‚

    I do know how blessed I am and it is very nice to be able to give thanks and show gratitude. I am very grateful for your support Lance. Your writing brings joy to many (including me) and it always makes me smile to see the community you have built and how you get people talking about very important life issues.

    I wish your wife and the special mom’s in your life a very happy mother’s day.

    Thank you Lance!
    Love,
    Jenny

    Jenny Mannions last blog post..7 Tips to Stay a Happy Mom and My Mother’s Day Tribute

  27. Sandra

    You continue to inspire me Jenny. Beautiful post. We’re fortunate to have such wonderful role models. Love the list. I’m still working on asking for help. πŸ™‚

    Sandras last blog post..10 Community Conservation Ideas

  28. Jenny Mannion

    Thank you so much Sandra. Yes, we are VERY fortunate. I had a beautiful Mother’s Day and hope the moms in your life did as well! πŸ™‚

    Asking for help takes some practice. Once you begin to see people WANT to help and you are actually not only doing a service for yourself but for others as well — it gets easier! πŸ™‚

    xo Thanks for your support!
    Love,
    Jenny

  29. Stacey / Create a Balance

    Your daughter’s jokes are cracking me up! Thanks for sharing.

    I also love your 7 tips for being a happy mom. Staying in touch with your authentic voice and living your authentic life is a must for mom.

    Stacey / Create a Balances last blog post..Why Do You Need Balance In Your Life?

  30. Jenny Mannion

    Hi Stacey,

    Thanks so much for commenting! If you only KNEW HOW many jokes we had to look up for Christina to find those she liked! She is one tough joke critic! Thanks for watching — she is a crack up! πŸ˜‰

    Staying true and in touch with ourselves is SO important as a mom but gets overlooked so often. It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? πŸ˜‰

    I LOVED your latest post — practical, important advice and observations backed by personal experience. πŸ™‚ Thanks again Stacey for visiting, commenting and for your writing!
    Love,
    Jenny

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