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Mom Non Negotiables MNN Guide by Pamela Pekerman

Mom Non Negotiables, How to Discover & Demand Your Desires

Happy New Year, Mamas. I hope you all had an amazing holiday week full of the cuddles, the cuties, and the crazies, that is motherhood.

In an effort to be of more service to you, and keep our mom tribe conversation flowing, I spent some time processing the mommy moments of 2017 where I felt happier, calmer, and more impactful as a mom/mompreneur/domestic goddess/story teller/TV host/human being.

Amidst lots of reflection, one big aha kept rising to the top.

It wasn’t extra help at home, more interesting TV or hosting projects, or even less temper tantrums (although less tantrums are always a winner!) that gave me the feeling of contentment and control.

I was at my happiest, tranquil, flowing-in-the-now, getting-shit-done zone, when I refused to cave-in on a few key calendar items, i.e. non-negotiable activities and events that I felt allowed me to be the best me I could be, in all corners of my life.

Over the past week, I tasked myself with outlining my MNN – Mom Non Negotiables – which you can read here.

Below,  I’m sharing some tips I hope will help you not only uncover your own MNN, but create a blueprint to truly make your mom non negotiables a meaningful part of your life. And, as with anything in mommyland, there’s always an out button, because almost nothing ever goes according to plan!

Mom Non Negotiables Step 1 – IDENTIFY DESIRES

Mom Non-Negotiables Guide MNN by Pamela PekermanThe hardest part of being a mom is uncovering your desires. Believe it or not, not all moms are the same. (Insert sarcastic voice!) You don’t have to mother like your sister, your friends, or some influencer mom (me included) that looks like she has it all figured out.

Figure out your own formula for a happy life. Here are some prompts, to get the mama musings flowing:

  • What are your favorite moments from your own childhood? (I loved family dinners … before it got dark … this was, of course a different era, and my parents were not growing businesses and working in the capacity that my hubby and I do)
  • Can you incorporate your favorite childhood memories into your family formula? (I had to give up the notion of family dinners ever night at 6:30pm. It was a hard pill to swallow, but I’ve negotiated one dinner for all four of us on Friday. And, I have dinner with the kids a minimum of 3x per week. The options are finding another career or not having one for myself, moving to a less-hectic city, or finding a hubby with 8-4pm job.)
  • Is being the drop off, I’m-there-every-morning mom more important than the I’ll-read-you-a-book-and-put-you-to-sleep-mom? Can you afford to be both? And, if you canafford all the help in the world, does that mean you have to use it!? (Believe it or not, many women are torn about using or not using help. I was one of them! #NotAMamaMartyrAnyMore and no judgement on myself when I enlist paid help … usually)
  • Do you care to be on the PTA or is Personal Time Away going to make you a happier mama? (I need me time, and that might mean skipping out on a bake sale or other events/kid projects that don’t’ rank high on my happy-making list)
  • If your day flowed exactly as expected what three items/actions would you like to invite into your daily life? (For me, it’s creating useful time-saving content for you mamas, 1hr fitness which always feels like meditation, and crafting with kids. That’s my dream day, and sometimes this actually happens! You need to know your dreams, in order to drive the ship in the proper direction.)
  • Do you have a passion for your career? Is it time to off-ramp and be a stay at home mom? Do you care to be a full-time stay at home mom? Can you be a stay-at-home mom and explore a new professional endeavor? (Ya, these are heavy questions, but it’s key to pause and think them through. It’s taken me years and tears to be honest with myself about wanting to be more stay-at-home than I ever thought I could tolerate. And, yet, I still must be of service outside my family unit, hence our mom tribe community and my volunteering with The Vasculitis Foundation.)
  • What and whom do you want to put first? How much me is in mommy? (All I’ll say here is that you always have time for the things you put first, and putting yourself first will make you a stronger mother. So, yes, ask the hubby, sister, friend, babysitter to watch the kids for three hours, so you can indulge in Mom Sunday Spa Night).Mom Non-Negotiables Guide MNN by Pamela Pekerman

Which brings me to ..

Mom Non Negotiables Step 2 – SHARE YOUR DEMANDS

Demands is a strong word, but I like alliteration so “desires” flows nicely into “demands”.

You need to share your wishes with your hubby/partner, daycare helpers, family, friends, whomever needs to know your non-negotiables. Don’t be afraid to share, and don’t feel that you don’t deserve to have the you time, or the simple fun time with the kids (i.e. just the crafting, without the dinner making, dish washing, laundry washing … just the fun stuff … you know, like most dads get to do just the fun stuff … just saying).

 

 

Your hubby/family want you to be happy. Tell your nearest and dearest what you need in order to be the best mom you can be. They will, hopefully, help you achieve your desires, as your joy is their joy.

And, your nanny is paid so you can be free and happy. Be clear with your desires of them and yourself. Don’t be a slave driver, but don’t be afraid to ask them to cook, or lightly clean, if that means youwill have the time to create unique works of art, with your unique works of art. (Did you figure out, yet, that I love crafting?)Mom Non-Negotiables Guide MNN by Pamela Pekerman

 

Mom Non Negotiables Step 3 – DON’T DAMN YOURSELF

Sure, I’m all about non-negotiables, but I’m also a very realist mom, with very real kids, and very real mama drama.

If your kids get sick and you can’t make your monthly spa appointment, that’s okay. Mom life happens. We adjust, when needed.

Now, if your kids happen to get sick every month, at the same time, then you should talk to the hubby or other parties about pitching in, so you can commit to your non-negotiable.

Also, don’t set yourself up for failure by created a non-negotiable that’s unrealistic for your current situation. If your non-negotiable is exercising three days a week, or being home by 4pm so you can spend an hour practicing reading skills, but you begin to see that it’s just not feasible – you don’t have the job, the nanny, the extra hours to make it happen – that’s ok.

You may need to pause or edit the framework of your non-negotiable. Maybe you do a yoga video athome, and in a few months when the kids go to school or you convince your boss it’s a good idea to work from home twice a week, that non-negotiable can go back on the list.

Mom life is about being flexible.Mom Non-Negotiables Guide MNN by Pamela Pekerman

Mom Non-Negotiables Guide MNN by Pamela Pekerman

I truly hope these prompts help you, as much as they have helped me, to craft MNN (Mom Non Negotiables, which will feed you more vitamins of vitality and joy, better than a bag of pink M&Ms!!

Drop a comment and share your top Mom Non Negotiables or find me on Instagram @PamelaPekerman where I’ll be sharing how I hope to stay true to my own MNN.

 

 

 

How to Make a Birthday Hat and other Crafty Mom Musings

DIY cone hat for my daughter’s 1st Birthday Party

In theory, I love to DIY. In reality, I don’t have the patience for reading long how-tos. Consequently, I wing-it, often times making the crafting process much harder. Now, I’m very artist – a gift I acquired from my late father. He could draw anything. (Side note: Let’s just say my elementary school projects were legendary.) But, I digress.

When my daughter was born, I had all these lofty ideas of what to make for her room, what to make for memories sake, what to make for the grandparents, etc. Many suggestions were shot down by my non-DIY loving husband. Many ideas never materialized because I didn’t allocate the time needed to properly create something, anything. This was going to change with Ilana Rose’s birthday approaching April 4th. I was determined to make a 1st Birthday Party Hat.
I spend about $300 on supplies because I couldn’t make up mind mind, and 
I needed basic crafting supplies. Don’t worry, $250 of it is going back. 

With a vague idea of what I might need (see above about winging it), I heading to Michaels. The results are documented below. The memories are emblazoned in my heart. This wasn’t just about crafting, it really was about slowing down for two hours, Friday morning, and thinking about the past year as a new mom. I savored every minute of the cutting, folding, and gluing … and then Ilana woke up for her morning nap. Friday night, after dinner, I spent another thirty minutes wrapping up the project.

SUPPLIES
  • Foam paper
  • Craft paper
  • Ribbons, pompoms, stickers, anything else that catches your eye at the craft store that might work as décor accents (a good return policy is essential, if you like to play with options!!)
  • Faux flowers
  • Glue stick, scissors, staple gun
  • Downloadable cone shape


DIRECTIONS
  • Download a cone hat shape. Print and cut out the shape.
  • Decide on color scheme or theme. Mine was soft yellow, blush pink and Champaign (because I couldn’t find rose gold products). In keeping with our English garden, Tea Party theme, I wanted everything to feel romantic and elegant.
  • Trace the cone shape on the foam and cut out the shape. I used foam as my base for the hat.* You can use it as the main hat and skip additional layering and gluing. (* Next time I’ll use thicker stock paper, as foam is a bit trick and way too thick when you glue one end of the cone to the other.)
  • Trace the cone shape onto the back of your craft paper, but don’t cut it out.
  • Make slip cuts along the curved edge of the cone shape, on your craft paper. This helps make the final look neater.
  • Glue the craft paper to the foam. Press and hold as you go, to get a permanent stick.
  • If you are planning to have pompoms, feathers or other items at the tip of the cone, cut out a small bit from the top of your (still flat) cone hat.
  • I used faux flowers as my ‘cherry on top’. Simply cut off the stem, leaving about an inch to wrap with strong tape and a rubber band.** (**I loved the look of the flowers, but next time I need something lighter. The weight was too much for my daughter’s precious little head. I’ll explain in an upcoming post about the dos/don’ts of baby photo shoots! You live and learn.) 
  • Because my hat was rather thick and the flower ‘cherry on top’ was a pinch heavy, it was easier to warp and glue the cone with the ‘cherry on top’ flowers already being held inside vs. sticking them in after the cone was all glued. (However, I may try that the next time. Much like motherhood, I’m learning as I go.)
  • I couldn’t find a pre-made number 1 that matched my color scheme, so I cut it out (using stencils – which isn’t winging-it, but I could heard my husband’s voice in my head and I knew stencils were the way to go).
  • Decorate away. I purchased beautiful stickers from the Martha Stewart Crafts collection, to make life easier.
  • To make her name stand out, I cut a strip of thick, yellow paper and made a band around the hat. The paper needs to be cut in the same degree as the cone, otherwise you will not get an even strip look. Math hasn’t been my strong suit in years, so eyeballing it/winging it meant this step took longer than necessary.
  • In order to hide the tiny gap created on the back of my really thick hat, I added a bird slip. J Birds = garden = tea party. It makes thematic sense.
  • Rather than use wire, which would have held the hat on my daughter’s head a heck of lot better during our photo shoot (more on that later), I opted for pretty yellow lace. Cut two equal pieces long enough to tie a bow around the neck. Attach one on each end with staples. Hide the staples with décor. I used flower stickers.
  • Marvel in your glory. 

Faux flowers = My version of the “cherry on top” pompom for a birthday hat.
I knew the bird clips would come in handy!! Also, note to other
wanna-be DIYers: any “error” can be craftly corrected.