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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.

 

 

 

improve your sleeping beauty routine

The Gift of Sleep, a Mom Essential: Sleep Comfort Month

Hey Mamas,

I hope you had a blessed, joyful holiday weekend.

Okay, I actually hope you got lots and lots of sleep. Really! Isn’t that what we all want? Just a small spot (pillow optional) to curl up and drool for a few hours.

With the holiday hustle-and-bustle upon us, does anyone find it odd that November is National Sleep Comfort Month?

Forget about comfort, how about just lobbying for National Mom Will Sleep Anywhere Anyway Month? (PS I’m so going to try and make that official, some day.)

Day-care holiday parties, Thanksgiving decorating, charity fundraising, corporate gatherings, gift shopping, fa la la la la la la la la ….
Sleep, when?

But, seriously, quality sleep is a luxury me and most moms could not put a price tag on. And, it’s something we need to try and prioritize.
TRUTH – I’m sitting at Le Pain Quotidien on Lexington Avenue and 64th Street, at 3pm on Monday barley keeping my eyelids open, as I draft this post. This has become my permanent state.

Which is why I’m committing myself to focusing on sleep.

Oxygen. Food. Sleep.

Here are a few tips I’m trying to incarnate into my life, in order to improve my sleep routine. I hope they resonate with you, as well.

1. Learn to Say NO

There are only so many hours in the day, and 9pm-12am is not the time to work on an arts-and-crafts project for your son’s class. (Guilty – but I’m trying to change). It’s okay to say no to someone or something else, and say yes to you time, sleep time.
Don’t volunteer for every cause. If you pass out while gathering canned soup, you’ll be of no use to the charity you’re supporting, or your own family. Don’t agree to bake a cake for your kid’s holiday party – buy it! Don’t feel the need to accept every holiday invitation. Your friends will understand. And, they would much rather you focus on the dark circle under your eyes. Seriously, they told me so.

2. Learn to Let Go

Your kids will be fine if you go on vacation, mini vacation, or frequent date nights. They will live if someone else tucks them into bed. You are a kickass mom. But, if you are running low on fuel, you will burn out and be a miserable Grinch. Don’t be a Grinch.
Get yourself to a bed – even if it means you sleep at your mother-in-law’s house during the day, while a babysitter comes and watches the kids for a few hours. YES, I’ve done that. I’ve actually called a babysitter to come and watch my kids while I “go to work”. Work meant sleep … one block down … at my in-law’s house… at 2pm. #ChooseSleep

This Works Deep Sleep sleep comfort month

3. Go to Your Bedroom

Going to your bedroom doesn’t mean you have to go to sleep. But, commit to being in your sleep space by a reasonable hour. I’ve trained my kids to be in bed by 8pm. Now, I’m aiming to train myself to be in the bedroom by 10pm. This can be journal time, reading time, meditation time, bath time, whatever time. #MeaningfulMeMoments

Me Time Sleep Time Sleep Comfort Month

4. Get Soothing Sleep Supporters

From sleeping on silk, to spraying your pillow with sleep-supporting essential oils, the below are my absolute favorite sleep props. You’ll especially want to get everything – EVERYTHING – from This Works, a UK-based brand that puts sleep at the center of its beauty empire. All their products focus on your body’s natural circadian rhythm (aka your sleep/wake cycle or body clock). This Works’ Deep Sleep Superblend, is a must for any mom looking to reboot her sleeping beauty routine.

essentials for beauty sleep1. This Works Deep Sleep Bath Soak $41  ;  2. Shhh Silk 2-Pack Queen Marble Pillowcases $139  ;  3. This Works Deep Sleep Breathe In $33  ;  4.  Slip Silk Eye Mask $45  ;  5. This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray $29

Enjoy the last few days of Sleep Comfort Month, and keep me posted on your sleep strategy and success. As always, I’ll be sharing my highs, lows, and sleep-deprived woes on Instagram, Facebook ,and Twitter. #GiftMomSleep

Always Be Your Best You Pamela Pekerman

Spa Week $50 Treatments are Back, Moms Rejoice & Rejuvenate

Hey Mamas.

It’s Sunday. And …

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Spa Week!!!!!

spaweek_sheva_spa_2

You didn’t actually think I would say holiday shopping? It’s WAY too soon to think about that, so stop stressing me out.

In fact, stop stressing yourself out, and indulge in Spa Week $50 treatments during the week of October 17 – 23, 2016.

It’s still not too late to save money on a luxurious facial (try a diamond facial, it will glow you up and remind your skin what it’s like to look like you actually get enough sleep), or a foot massage (because mama’s feet scream at the end of the day.)

Whenever I’m near my hubby’s office in midtown, I try to get a foot therapy massage at Sheva Spa NY. Outside the spa doors, it’s the business buzz of one of Manhattan’s most frantic, dollar-driven neighborhoods, inside it’s a zen-zone of purple and orange flowers, gilded deities and all-you-can-drink Thai tea.

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spaweek_sheva_spa_ny_1

I never cared about foot massages until I became a mom. Mom is the most on-your-feet job I’ve ever had, more demanding and damaging (physically …. and mentally) than anything I could have imagined.

So, I indulge. I indulge whenever, wherever.

I create Meaningful Me Moments at home (hello kid-free bedroom with candles), in the bathroom (because locking the door and putting on Brazilian bum bum cream while munchkins are screaming outside counts!!) in the car (yes, I’ve been know to stay in the car longer than needed while my mom or nanny are with the kids, so I can listen to music, or just listen to my brain go numb … like you haven’t don’t that?) and, at the spa (by far, the best option).

Like I always say, I’m no good to anyone else, if I’m not at my best. And, I’m not at my best, if I’m not taking some time outs.

My good friend, Latham Thomas, whom I recently profiles in my momBOSS series (more inspirational moms coming soon, promise) says, “You need to mother yourself first.”

So, if you’re looking for your next mommy-time-out that’s actually away from the house, check out SpaWeek.com. And, while you’re there, check out my latest articles for SpaWeek’s blog, where I discuss why it’s so important to make time for yourself.

There are tons of high-end spas and medi-spas participating in Spa Week October 2016, all across the country. So, moms everywhere can rejoice and book up.

Share your #MeaningfulMeMoments spa experience with me @PamelaPekerman on Instagram, and let me know how taking time out makes you feel better about yourself, makes you more productive and even makes you a better mom.

spaweek_october_2016

Summer Beauty Inspired by BBQ and Beach

Summer Beauty Ingredients Inspired by BBQ & Beach, on Great Day Washington, Plus How I Almost Missed My Shoot #MommyHood

What a week! How is it only Wednesday afternoon? For those of you who don’t live in DC, below is my “Summer Beauty Inspired by BBQs and the Beach” segment, featured on Great Day Washington wusa9, yesterday. Thank you to my girl Meaghan Mooney for rocking it out with me, once again.

Summer Beauty Great Day Washington Pamela Pekerman Meaghan Mooney

Before I go ahead and share all the retail credit (I hate when shows don’t actually tell you where you can buy items … That’s why I post it on this blog), allow me to vent about the past 72-hours in mommyhood.

Saturday Morning – Ilana, my 3-year-old has been on antibiotics for three days. Strep isn’t contagious anymore. It’s okay to play/interact with David, my 2-year-old. The heatwave is keeping all of us indoors. Family bonding and fun.

Ilana_July_2016

Saturday Afternoon – everyone is napping. I usually get anywhere from 2-3.5hrs to do my own thing. “my own thing” could be laundry, sleep, shower, prepping for segments, planning the kids week ahead, blogging, etc. Time is cut short when David wakes up with a deep wheezing cough. Right away, my husband and I know David has croup. Been there, heard that. Text doctor. Calm David. Open fridge doors and sit next to cold air with him.

Saturday Wraps Up – David is being nebulized with Meds to help open his airways. We now have these on hand. Doctor has approved. Does he have strep? Tomorrow it’s another office visit. Meanwhile, what about my trip to DC? Shoot!!

Sunday Morning – Ilana is with my in-laws, while hubby and I take David to Brooklyn where our Pediatrician practices on weekends. Okay, no strep, just croup. Keep nebulizing.

Sunday Afternoon – I can’t cancel on “Great Day Washington”. I did that last month when I rushed a very dehydrated, stomach-aching Ilana to the hospital. Who’s going to book me? Why bother working even a little?

David_July_2016

Sunday Evening – okay maybe mom can help. Nope not the whole time. Nanny, but not all Monday and Tuesday and plus it’s two sick kids. Nobody can handle that but mommy! But I need to go.

Monday Morning – still haven’t canceled. Gotta cancel.

Monday (late) Morning – a combo of mom, in-laws, nanny, cleaning lady (my daughter loves her!!) and hubby make my 30-hour business trip possible. This was a close one.

Monday 1 hour later – I’m heading to the airport!!

THAT’s mom life. It’s a crazy, cooky existence. But, I truly appreciate every insane moment. When you see me on TV talking about time savers, products that help me (try to) keep it together, I’m speaking from my heart. To be a (semi) decent mamager, you have to be flexible and know that the plan doesn’t always go according to plan!

Now, where’s my moisturizer, silk sleep mask and Rose?

CHARCOAL 

Activate charcoal is a clear winner for adsorbing oil and debris from pores on our face and body, making it the must try beauty ingredient of the moment. I’ve already raved about this black magic wonder on PIX11 NY.

Summer Beauty Charcoal

  • HASK Charcoal with Citrus Oil Collection ($2.49-$5.99) A complete line that features a Shampoo ($5.99), Conditioner ($5.99), and Deep Conditioner ($2.49) that are formulated to give you a deep clean and bring hair back to life. Charcoal, a hero ingredient derived from coconut shells in the Philippines, acts as a magnet and attracts and removes impurities – like product build-up from all the anti-frizz us East-Coast gals are using during list latest heat wave – so you are left with hair that is full of body and shine.
  • First Aid Beauty Cleansing Body Polish with Active Charcoal ($28) This multi-tasking treatment cleanses, exfoliates and smooths to banish bumps and reduce flaky skin. The clay-based paste turns into a foaming scrub when blended with water, making it an ideal prep step for flawless self-tanner application.

SEAWEED

If you love the Vitamin C, iron and calcium boost you get from your seaweed salad, you’ll want the superior hydration as well as anti-aging and anti-inflammatory benefits it gives as a hero beauty ingredient.

Summer Beauty Seaweed

  • The Body Shop Seaweed Clarifying Toner ($15) Don’t skin on toner, like many gals do. This alcohol-free toner,  refreshes the skin, removing traces of makeup (ya you still see plenty of makeup even after a good cleanser) and bladderwack seaweed from Ireland leaves skin looking shine-free. looking skin.
  • Aveeno Pure Renewal Shampoo and Conditioner ($5.79) Due to FedEx errors, these products didn’t actually make it into my segment, which is a shame because I’m such a fan of this sulfate-free shampoo. The Seaweed Extract and naturally derived cleansers help rebalance hair’s  moisture levels, so we’re not dryied out and lack-luster.

WATER

You know drinking 6-8 glasses of water keeps your body hydrated, but did you know the ingredient is just as important in keeping your skin healthy? It’s all about 24/7 hydration perfection.

Summer Beauty Water

  • BECCA Aqua Luminous Perfecting Foundation ($44) The 32% water composition of this liquid foundation makes it super lightweight and easy to apply. It’s also free of parabens, sulfates and phthalates.
  • SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator ($178) Your skin will want to drink this up! The serum helps diminish appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and supports the skin’s natural ability to replenish its own hyaluronic acid ( you know, that cool stuff young kind produces in abundance making it look plump!!).  Use HA5 twice daily, once in the morning and once at night. Apply it after toning, and treating your skin, right before you moisturize.

ALGAE

Summer Beauty Algae

They may be the bottom of the underwater food chain, but up here, algae are sitting reaching the top of the beauty world. The living plant organisms are the latest ocean ingredients making motion on land because they have many proteins, amino acids and minerals.  Think stimulating collagen and evening out the skin tone, for starters!

  • Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lift and Firm Night Cream ($76) If you invest in one beauty item, it should be nighttime rejuvenation. This award-winning cream normalizes your levels with moisture-magnet lipids called ceramides that are made in abundance by young skin. Wake to skin that looks strengthened, younger-looking, smoothed, firmer, more lifted, and minimizes the appearance of lines and wrinkles thanks to key ingredients like algae extract.
  • Tata Harper Beautifying Face Oil ($48) You know I adore this company! This lightweight, fast-absorbing face oil hydrated skin surface, and creates a brighter and firmer appearance. The brown algae extract reduce the appearance of dullness and fatigue – ya, I’m talking to you new mom. You want this in your bathroom cabinet.

PS Shout out to my beloved David, who’s doing much better, and taking a nice nap, while mommy types away.