So, our brains constantly torture us to the tune of ; I should be spending more time with my kids, cooking healthier meals, calling friends more regularly, returning emails, working harder, going to the gym more often, being nicer to people, coming home earlier from the office, baking more, eating better… Oh the Guilt! Oh the Guilt!

Actually, guilt does serve its purpose on occasion. It sometimes guides us when things go wrong in our lives, when we’re not working hard enough, or when we’ve done something wrong, for example. But us ladies truly take guilt to a whole new level. I would even go so far as to call it our disease.  We suffer from guilt about so many things. Instead of recognizing all the wonderful things we do for those around us, we let the things we CAN’T do completely overtake our mind. This is a sad thing ladies. Sad. But I will tell you, I suffer from this disease as well! And it’s chronic.

I sold my business three years ago to be home with my kids, because I was feeling so guilty leaving them all the time. Now, I feel guilty if I can’t be at all the carpool pickups for my little son. Or I feel guilty if I want to take time alone. I feel guilty if I miss a dinner with the kids due to a school meeting. I feel guilty if I go to the 7:30am kick boxing class. I feel guilty ALL THE TIME. And I don’t know why. After all, I think I’m a pretty good mom, daughter, and wife. I just can’t turn off that guilt switch.

So what is the solution? Many experts say we truly need to put ourselves and our needs first. To take that “Me time.” Haven’t we all heard “The first Love, Self love.” or “Happy Wife, Happy Life.” and “Happiness comes from within. First please yourself, and then you’ll be pleasing to others?”

Well that shit is darn easier said than done!!!

There is such a fine line between pleasing and nurturing ourselves, and being selfish. That’s at least where I and so many of you struggle. If I treat myself to an afternoon alone, am I a bad mother? If I leave the office too early, am I bad employee? If I leave my marriage without trying, did I give up too soon?The list is endless.

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So, what do you do? Guilt can be very paralyzing and destructive. And the thing with guilt, is no one punishes you but yourself! Every woman deserves to be happy, and live their life to its maximum potential.

  • First, accept that you are human, and that you are always acting the best you can, at any given moment. Accept that humans fail and err, and all you can do is your best. Guilt keeps you stuck in the past, and doesn’t let you move forward. Let it go.  You’ll do better the next time.
  • This leads up to; if you made a mistake, learn your lesson and move forward. Learn to be resilient. It’s a process.
  • The “should-haves” cause tremendous guilt. Placing unrealistic expectations on yourself serves you no purpose other than to stress you out. This leads us back to learning to say no a little more, and saying it guilt free.
  • Don’t get sucked in when someone is trying to give you a guilt trip. For example, “Really don’t come if you don’t want to… Isn’t that too expensive for you?… You put your child in daycare after 3 months?… Shouldn’t you be home with your kids now?” Don’t even answer the question or you are being sucked in.
  • Remind yourself of ALL THE GOOD THINGS YOU OFFER TO THIS WORLD. Calm those negative and guilty thoughts. Seriously, the power of positive thinking is an incredible thing. You’re worth it. We’re all worth it. We all deserve a little “me time,” and deserve it guilt free.
  • And finally, stop asking yourselves, “What will the world think of me if I…” Stop caring what others think… you’ll see how much guilt dissipates once you stop caring about how the world views you. I know people who have mastered this art. They don’t give a sh*t what anyone thinks of them! And I tell you, they’re happy! Now, I’m not saying not to care or be accountable to your family and friends, but stop that need for external approval.

And stop living your lives the way OTHERS want or expect you to. And stop feeling guilty that you’re not perfect; my friends, neither are they!! Live your life according to your own values and beliefs. We are on this earth for a short time. Make is great.  Make it count.

xoxEDxox

Any of you have your own tips for calming the guilt in your brains? Share with our readers…

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So you’re all caught up on the week:

It’s Saturday morning. Like every Saturday morning,  the calm and order that presided here Friday night has vanished into thin air.  Husband is asleep in son’s bed in peace and quiet. Boys getting riled up. Me the referee.  In fact, right at this very moment they’re physically fighting. My 2-year-old has taken off his diaper, so he is standing here in the nude (we are nudists in this house, btw) and shouting at the top of his lungs things I just don’t understand, with his lisp. I have my coffee and am sitting nearby in the office. Ohm.

Last night, I dragged my husband to see Julie & Julia. BIG MISTAKE. I think he was feeling guilty that he’ll be leaving me tonight to take my son instead of myself to the hockey game. So after a nice family dinner, he agreed to go. The movie for me; 2 hours of bliss. I laughed out loud during parts. I cried at parts. It was a feel-good movie, and quite touching. For my husband, sheer torture! I mean, there was fidgeting. Blackberry buzzing. He was flipping and flopping in his seat. He even had to leave a few times. I have to say, it’s probably the last time I’ll ever drag him again to a see a chick flick against his will. Ever!

Secondly, after my golf game yesterday, over lunch, my girlfriends and I started chatting about husbands and cheating. The girls said, “If my husband was cheating, I wouldn’t want to know.” I blurted out, “You wouldn’t want to know?!” And no, they wouldn’t want to know. I’m not going to go into more detail, and even though I understood where they were coming from, I found this odd. Please, if anyone knows my husband is cheating on me, I WANT TO KNOW. Please email me at the above address. Thank you kindly.

I also met with a web designer this week to try and improve the look of the Blog. My initial vision was to create a forum for you women to be able to vent and chat with other ladies in the same boats as yourselves. That should be up and running within the next few weeks. I am loving the blog. I love your emails and comments. Mostly good, a couple critical, but they all are important to me. Keep ’em coming, and don’t be shy to be the first to comment!

Finally, if any of you want to get together with me and a 2-year-old tonight, just give me a holler! If not, I’m thinking “Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs” at 5PM.

PS – Someone sent this to me a few weeks ago. Watch this. Anything is possible.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz47-PtrAyw&feature=related

Happy Saturday!

xoxEDxox

Friends! I love my friends. Growing up as an only child was quite lonely. I had always wanted an older sibling, preferably an older brother. A brother to come home to who would beat me up, someone to try smoking with, and teach me the ropes in life. Well, no such sibling ever came before nor after me, so I made due with the next best thing… friends. Older friends, younger friends. I had my core group, but never stuck eclusively to them. I always had friends in many circles. Friends for “a reason and a season.” And it continued over the years. My high school friends, my college friends, my carpool friends, my golf friends, my work friends, friends through my children, my old friends, my new friends. I love them all. They all hold a very special place in my heart.

When thinking of the old ones, there’s nothing quite like your old friends. Your friends you have that history with… that connection with.Your best friend since elementary school. Your neighbour you grew up with that you still keep in touch with. You just have that bond, that deep history together.

 

Yet, as you’ve grown, you’ve made new friends along the way. And while you may have a past with old friends, new ones come into your life based on where you’re at right now.

For example, I have my core group of friends from years ago that I still speak to very regularly. I love them, I have a history and bond with them. Fortunately, I still feel just as close with them today as before.

But, I also have a new group of friends. Some older than me. Women of all different groups. And I love these women. I had dinner last night with a very new friend, and it felt like I was having dinner with an old friend I hadn’t seen in years. We sat down at 7:45 and didn’t get up until 11:30PM. We talked the night away over a yummy dinner and a bottle of wine. The connection was immediate, and we are just “on the same page.”

Some of you have written in about friends you have “outgrown.” By outgrow, you have said that both of you have changed and perhaps grown apart and you find yourselves in bouts of silence during conversations. Perhaps your priorities have shifted, and had you met this person today, there would have been no friendship at all. And while this is sad, this is life. We grow, we move, we transition, we change. Not everyone we grew up with still share that same compatibility. And I think we have to say, “that is okay.”

So, the “fence” issue here is, do you keep a friendship going with someone you share very little in common with just for history’s sake, or do you let the friendship fizzle? I think this is difficult to answer. We’re all busy women in our lives at this stage, be it working, single, married, divorced… whatever. Frienships should nurture us, not weigh us down. So I encourage you to let go of all friends that are toxic, that weigh you down.

Keep the good, throw away the bad. Friendships shouldn’t be about new or old, they should be about quality. I wish you a long and happy life with your bestest of friends! I wish you joy and tears for many more years.

New Friends and Old Friends
by Joseph Parry


Make new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold.
New-made friendships, like new wine,
Age will mellow and refine.
Friendships that have stood the test –
Time and change – are surely best;
Brow may wrinkle, hair grow gray,
Friendship never knows decay.
For ‘mid old friends, tried and true,
Once more we our youth renew.
But old friends, alas! may die,
New friends must their place supply.
Cherish friendship in your breast –
New is good, but old is best;
Make new friends, but keep the old;
Those are silver, these are gold.
 

What is your take on new and old friends? Do you have those you keep around that you should have thrown away long ago? Share some stories with our readers.

xoxEDxox

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When Elizabeth Edwards married John Edwards in 1977, she had but one request for her husband… that he be faithful to her. This was paramount to Elizabeth from day one. Unfortunately, we all know the outcome. I can only imagine her struggle living life on the fence with whether to stay or leave once she learned of his infidelities. She has recently documented some of those feelings in a new book, “Resilience.”

Let’s be honest, those people buying her memoirs, are probably looking for all the juicy details of her husband’s affair with videographer Rielle Hunter.  After all, former presidential candidate John Edwards  did not at all  seem the cheating type. He, the bright and charismatic possible future president. She, the devoted wife of 30 years who stood by her husband’s side during his entire campaign. Three beautiful children. The picture perfect family man.

But in fact, tragedy struck their family way before John’s betrayal. In 1996, their son Wade died in a car accident. And then years later, her breast cancer diagnosis, which is now in the terminal stage.

To give you a little background on the story, on December 28, 2006, two days after John announced he was running for president in 2008, he told Elizabeth he had broken the vow he made to her on their wedding day almost 30 years ago…. he had been unfaithful. Just imagine Elizabeth at this moment. First losing a child. Then being diagnosed with breast cancer. Then learning her husband had been unfaithful. One event after the next. Talk about finding strength you thought you never had. In fact, “Resilience” couldn’t be a more perfect title for her memoirs.

She describes the feelings that engulfed her body when she first learned of her husband’s affair, “After I cried and screamed, I went to the bathroom and threw up.”

And finally, as if all this wasn’t hurtful and humiliating enough, recently, DNA tests are supposed to show that John Edwards did in fact father a child with Rielle Hunter. After denying it.

So the big “fence” question, one that Hillary Clinton and Governor Eliot Spitzer’s wife faced, is why stay in the marriage? Personally, I feel they stayed for many reasons. But, I can only imagine the incredible pull in two directions. To stay with a man who had shared his bed with another woman time and time again,  or leave, and lose your power and status that has come as result of being this couple.  Plus, it is a very different thing when one can grieve privately, or when the whole world is watching and judging your every move.

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From left, Emma Claire, Elizabeth, Jack, John and Cate Edwards

This all leads me up to one big question: Would you stay with a spouse that cheated on you? Let me tell you, depending on who you ask, you would get a multitude of answers. For me, I have to say, it depends. That’s personal, so no judgement here ladies. I feel that if my husband went on a business trip and had a “slip up” one night, I would be more inclined to work it out, than if he had been having an ongoing love affair with a woman, and had been deliberately lying to me over and over again. This would kill me. This would kill my spirit. But, if it was one night, and he came to me right away, I think I would try and work it out. I don’t know for sure, and thankfully, AT LEAST TO MY KNOWLEDGE, I have not been faced with this dilemma.

So, while there is no right or wrong answer to leaving after a spouse cheats, every situation is different and needs to be assessed on a case by case basis. Experts say a major deciding factor is obviously your partner’s actions. Do you think it’s going to happen again? Is your partner truly sorry and feels remorse for what they’ve done? Have they offered to seek counseling to help them understand why they strayed in the first place? Trust is a major issue. How can Elizabeth Edwards ever trust again?

I will go more in-depth on infidelity and cheating in the future. For now, this was something to get you ladies thinking and talking. And I truly think,  no one can sit in judgement of someone else’s life unless they have walked in those shoes. Really. So, we cannot judge Elizabeth Edwards. She is dying, and maybe she compartmentalized this affair to help her get through her final days as a family unit. Maybe she wants to die in peace, not fighting. Irrespective of her decision, I feel tremendous sadness and compassion for this woman. She must sit on that fence every day wondering if she has made the right decision for herself and her happiness. That can’t be a comfortable place to sit.

What are you feelings?

xoxEDxox

See what other women are saying about my post on Blogher!

http://www.blogher.com/elizabeth-edwards-woman-fence

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Ladies, I just had to address the subject of in laws for all my girlfriends in Montreal. The stories, the laughs, the tears, it’s all very… well… amusing. I can’t tell you how many of my friends love to vent about their in laws!

It sort of goes something like this… “My mother in law is planning my whole life, and I want to tell her to back off… My father in law gave my child a hamburger when I clearly told him we’re VEGETARIANS… My mother in law is suffocating me…” And the stories go on and on.

So, do you tell them how you REALLY feel, or do you suck it up to avoid an argument?  It’s time to get off the fence and speak your ground, ladies! Sucking it up will only poison yourself and lead to resentment towards your husbands or boyfriends. There are ways to get your message across without playing mean, or hurting feelings.

 

Remember, your goal must be peace in the home. Peace between you and your mate. Letting the “in laws from hell” cause friction in your marriage isn’t worth it. You’re going to have to find the nice and politically correct way of telling your mother in law, that you just gave birth, your boobs are leaking milk everywhere, your moods are swinging around like a pendulum, and her coming every day, all day, HAS TO STOP!

 A few things you need to establish immediately:

  • You need to be teammates with your husband. United. He needs to make it clear that when his parents hurt you, offend you, or dismiss you, they are also hurting him. They DEFINITELY love him more than you, so if they see he’s upset, they’ll get the hint!
  • Be kind. For all you know, your mother in law has been neglected or cheated on. She’s a human being too with feelings and trying to see her with frailties will make her seem less aggressive. Tell her how you feel about the annoying stuff she’s doing, but tell her nicely. Be honest, and be kind in how you tell her. But definitely tell her, otherwise, she’ll just keep doing the same bothersome things over and over.
  • Treat your in laws as if you would a customer. Note…this is for the truly bad kind. I definitely don’t suggest this if you have great in laws, like me! Hee hee, it’s true! But seriously, if you treat them like you would a pesky customer, with respect, and let them have their say, things will go a lot smoother. Trust me.
  • It never hurts to vent. If your husband is tired of hearing about his parents, find a chat room or a girlfriend to vent to. We are often a great sounding board to bounce ideas off of.
  • And finally, laugh it off. It puts things into perspective. It’s only one aspect in your life, and sometimes, it’s actually quite funny!

And remember, they’re here to stay. You might as well make the best of them. And if they insult your cooking or tell you they doesn’t like the way you’re bringing up their grandchild, I say, give ’em big smile. Remember, you hold the power. They’ll only control you if you let them. Grab a hold of your power, women!

How have you dealt with your in laws? Any tips you can share with our readers? Let me finish by saying you don’t need to sign in with a name or email address… it can be an anonymous post. This way, the IL will never find out!

xoxEDxox

PS – I would like to conclude today’s entry by saying how utterly disgusted I am with the news coming out of Mackenzie Phillip’s 10-year affair with her father, musician John Phillips. I could vomit.

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Wow, sitting at Second Cup, writing today’s blog entry before going to serve pizza lunch at my son’s school. I have to say, I’m enjoying this new venture. I simply love everything women related, all the issues, and this has become an incredible medium for me to connect with all of you.

Because many of you have written in about body image, diet and other, I am dedicating today’s blog to you ladies. Summer is practically over, BBQ season is just about done, the flowing booze is no longer flowing. It’s time to head back to the gym and get remotivated. As my woman Oprah says, “It’s time to put yourselves back on your to-do list.”

I often hear, “I look like sh*t… I feel like sh*t… I need to lose 10 pounds… I’m too short… My thighs are too big… My skin looks old… I”m sagging…” and the list goes on and on. We are very hard on ourselves. Who can blame us? All you have to do is open any magazine… you see what you’re “supposed” to look like. An airbrushed, anorexic, body focused, diet and exercise obsessed individual. Sweethearts, you’re never gonna win that battle. Kelly Ripa, Madonna, and Gwyneth’s bodies are their careers. They have unlimited budgets to spend on custom designed organic meals brought to them three times a day. A trainer 7 days a week. A masseuse. An accupuncturist. A yoga guru. A spiritual adviser. A beautician on call 24/7. And the list goes go on and on.

Now, back to reality. If you’re like the rest of the world who just struggles to make it through the day, Stella, you gotta get your groove back! And while most women who stare in the mirror don’t love what they see staring back, it’s time to work with what you got. It’s time to embrace what god gave you and work it to your advantage. I swear, it ain’t all physical. Please let that soak in. Attractiveness is so way beyond how thin or fit you are, and how great your skin looks. It’s time to change your body image. I’m gonna try and help you below.

Firstly, let me give you a few disturbing facts. Take away what you will from them.

  • The average American woman is 5’4” tall and weighs 140 pounds. The average American model is 5’11” tall and weighs 117 pounds.
  • One out of every four college aged woman is suffering from an eating disorder.
  • At age 13, 53% of all American girls are “unhappy with their bodies.” This grows to an enormous 78% by the time the girls turn 17.

Now, starting today, you’re gonna try one or a few of these suggestions below. You’re gonna start loving the body you were given and make it work for you. Your going to start improving your own body image.

  1. Try and not weigh yourself. Go by how you feel. If you are at the gym exercising regularly and eating well, throw the scale away. You don’t need it if you’re doing everything else correctly. It just leads to obsessions!
  2. Surround yourself with realistic images of women, like the one at the top. Women come in all shapes and sizes, and stop perusing through Bazaar and Vogue in the grocery line.
  3. Look for clothes that compliment your OWN body shape and size… NOT THE ONE YOU WANT TO HAVE. Wearing clothes that fit you properly and look good on YOU will help you feel better. However, please note, external beauty isn’t only about your size. It’s about how you carry yourself, your confidence, your aura. Stop those negative thoughts.
  4. Exercise. Do something 3-6 times a week that makes you sweat. The endorphins do great things for your brain. They give you feelings of euphoria. It will in turn have beneficial results on your body. It’s a whole positive cycle.
  5. You’re gonna have to be with yourself for a very long time. Treat yourself kindly. Wake up gently. Grab a cup of warm tea. Shower with care. Get ready slowly if you can. Take a hot bath at night with lavender oils. It’s not realistic every day. But pampering yourself makes you feel better. And when you feel better in your brain, it shows everywhere.

And realize. All we can do is our best in life. Try and cut yourself some slack. Learning to love yourself inside and out is a process. Start today. Go easy on yourselves. Be kind to the woman staring back in the mirror. Love her.

Do you have any suggestions on how you have learned to improve your own body image? Please share it with our readers below.

xoxEDxox

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Good Morning, m’Ladies. I started writing a book a few years ago. I just found it on my computer today and thought I would share the first page with you. The issues are pertinent today, and it’s what some of you have been stuck on the fence about. I owned a good business at the time, but was deciding if I should sell it or not. Obviously you know the outcome, but here is page 1.

Just so you know, I had two titles.

“If you Can’t Take the Heat, Get out of the Kitchen”

Trading it all in for Sanity

or

Knowing when to pull the plug on your career

MY DECISION ON WHETHER TO STAY IN OR GET OUT

And while my life was just too busy at the time to complete it, I thought I’d share.

Page 1:

“So, you’ve finished years of schooling, graduated with top honors, you’re making a nice salary, you have a few beautiful kids, and things couldn’t be better… right? WRONG. You are overworked, overstressed, and are lacking some serious alone time.The “fine balance theory” of women being able to juggle a career, a home, a husband, and happiness is a very ancient concept. However, the issues arising for young working women today couldn’t be more modern.  It is virtually impossible to have a one-income household today. If you want to be able to give your children what your baby-booming parents gave you… private school, camps, cars and comforts, you’d better be working. So, going to work becomes less of a luxury and more of a necessity. And I don’t mean to afford that bigger house or that fancy car… I mean diapers, formula, nursery, groceries… everyday living expenses.

So, here comes the dilemma. Unless you are a trust fund baby, or your husband is earning big dough, you are faced with what many women are faced with today….the exhaustion and stress that result from trying to achieve that fine balance. But, for some women, that struggle for balance is just too much to bear. In my case, that was just the case. It’s the cost / benefit concept for many women– by working you can afford the nicer things, but your body cannot afford the stress. So, you waver, do I give it all up, or do I hang on and hope things get better? Do I give up time with my children to be able to give them the good life, or do I settle for less knowing it brings sanity?

This book is for those female business owners or high powered career women wondering if it’s all worth it. I have documented the feelings and emotions I have been going through over the past while deciding whether or not to stay in or get out. I am hoping it might help other women realize they are not alone. Actually, when I started the book, the end was undetermined. Do I keep something going that has given me passion, self-confidence, and independence, or do I throw in the towel?….”  END OF PAGE 1.

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And so, for all you women wondering whether or not to throw in the towel on your careers, or even to quit the current job you’re in, it’s a process. Here are some deciding factors which I hope will guide you in the right direction:

1) Your job is making you sick. It’s not worth it to get physically or mentally ill over a job. If you are, you have to put your well-being first.

2) You are being marginalized at the office. Your boss has taken away responsibilities, and you are being treated like an invisible woman. You are no longer invited to meetings, and suddenly find yourself on the “outs.” If this is the case, speak to your boss first, but you may have to catch the hint and take a hike. Your work should be a place where you can grow and flourish. Not a place where your wings are being clipped.

3) You’ve outgrown your job. You may have started as a junior, but have gained all the expertise in your field, maybe more than your job requires now. You are feeling under stimulated and bored. A trip to the water machine for a quick chat is more stimulating than the work at hand. You know it’s time, baby! Be courageous. It takes a true woman to move out of a job that has caused you complacency.

4) You receive a better offer somewhere else. If you have been stuck at the same job, for the same pay for a very long time, and what seems like a great offer is blown your way, CONSIDER IT. But beware, the grass often looks greener on the other side of the fence. And only you know if that salary increase means taking on more responsiblity, which you might not be ready for right now. But, if your skills are being underappreciated where you are, it may be worth an interview.

5) Work is interfering with home life. If you are being forced to travel weeks on end. Night meetings until 10PM. Your daily lunch hour is as long as a pee break. It may be your time. Naturally, if you are single, and this feels ok, then go for it. Reach for the stars. Save up as much as you can before you settle in matrimony bliss, if that’s your long term goal. But if you’re a mom, and you’re not waking up with your kids, or tucking them in at night, it may be time to re-evaluate your priorities. Just a thought.

So, whether you’re a career woman thinking of “throwing in the towel,” as I did, or just want to change jobs, always think it through. It’s a major decision either way. Whatever you decide, I wish you happiness, peace and success in your next endeavor. And remember, a winner is always a winner. Even if it’s covered in an apron and whole wheat flour!

xoxEDxox