Lost…But I’m Found

Have you ever felt lost?  I know I have.   And believe it or not, I currently do.  Lately I’ve been looking at my life and realizing how crazy things are.  And despite how busy I feel, I’ve been feeling very alone lately.  Let me explain.

I grew up surrounded by people, and always seemed to have a lot of friends.  My circle may have been small, but it was there all through high school and college.  As I got older, I started to work more and I ultimately found a job that I liked.  I even made friends at that job.  We’d make plans, hang out on the weekends and life was good.  Now, most of these friends have kids.  I don’t.  And part of me feels left out.  Because I don’t have kids, I’m not included in a lot of things anymore.  Instead, my “kid” is my business and it’s in the toddler stage, which means it needs a lot of attention.  And finding a balance can be tough.

As I work on building my business, and work toward my ultimate goal of freedom, I have realized that this is, and will be, a lonely process.  My business is me, myself and I.  That means working my full time job 13+ hours a day plus working on my passion 2-3 hours a day.  Then factor in sleep and you’ve got the entire day accounted for.  Where does that leave time for relationships?  It barely does.  As a result, my circle of friends has shrunk.  Am I ok with it?  Not really.  But then I think about it and realize that the people who are still with me are my true supporters.  They are in my tribe and will always have a place next to me.  And the others that have faded away, well they’re still in my mind, but not in the forefront anymore.

The relationship that means the most to me is the one that I have with my direct support – my husband.  And I’ve noticed, my relationship with him is starting to suffer.  And I don’t like it…not one bit.  I said to him just last night that I feel like I never see him anymore.  Like ever!  Because I’m working so much, I try to set aside one night a week to have some us time.  It’s usually Fridays because at the end of the week, we all need a break.  Sometimes I try to plan something and it doesn’t actually work out.  Last night, that’s exactly what happened.  And for some reason, it destroyed me.  I cried, I was angry, I was fed up with my life and I broke down.  I told him I couldn’t live like this anymore because I felt like it was breaking me down to the point where I couldn’t handle anything anymore.  We didn’t talk almost all night.  I hated it.

Today, was better.  We talked and agreed that I can’t keep going like this because it is breaking me.  I mean, we all experience times where our relationships struggle, but to continue down the same path means going to the dark side.  So how do I fix it?  Together we formed a plan, created a timeline and took a breath.   The breather was the best part.  It was needed…desperately.  It helped me realize not everything is as bad as it seems.  Instead of being bad, it’s more of an uphill challenge.  So my journey toward freedom and a better life for me and my husband might take longer and my circle of friends might get smaller but in the end, it is mine and is being done my way.  Just like your journey is yours and only yours.

In the meantime, how will I handle the anxiety and stress along the way?  It won’t be easy, but I know I’ll be able to manage it.  By using meditation, self-care techniques, proper nutrition, scheduling my time and taking time off, I’ll be able to work through the challenges ahead of me.  Bring it on obstacles, I’m ready for you!

Short Girl Problems

Has any of this ever happened to you?

If the answer is yes, then you must be a short girl like me.  I’m only 4’10” and trust me, I’ve heard all the sayings…”God only lets things grow until they’re perfect”…”Good things come in small packages”…

But do I really believe it?  Not so much.  Years ago I hated being short.  My pants would never fit, I could never reach anything on the top shelf, I’d get my ID checked everywhere because they thought I was 12 and yes, I wouldn’t be tall enough to ride certain rides at amusement parks.  Being short caused so much anxiety in my life but I hid it from people because it was easier.  I’d get every short joke in the book thrown at me, I’d have friends think it was “cute” to pick on me because I am so little and I’d even have nicknames like Shortie, Little Jenn or Squirt.

But it’s ok.  Over the years, I’ve learned to embrace my height.  And trust me, you can too!  Being short can be challenging.  It can also be really rewarding.  You’re probably thinking I’ve totally lost my mind.  Well, let give you my top 5 tips for managing being little and then tell me if you think I’m still crazy.

Tip# 1 – Have a stool close by.  This one is kind of obvious, but it has to be said.  In my house, I have one in the most common places I’d use it – my kitchen and my upstairs bathroom.  And the stools stay there.  Why?  Because then I can do whatever I need to myself and not rely on someone else.  Yes, it’s nice to have someone else around, but it’s also nice to be independent.

Tip# 2 – Be strategic.  In your home, try to put things within arm’s reach away.  Don’t put shelves too high if you don’t have to.  If you commute to work, wear comfortable shoes and don’t worry about the high heels.  They aren’t good for your alignment and back muscles anyway.  And don’t be afraid to talk to strangers.  You never know when you’re going to have to ask for help.

Tip# 3 – Don’t be defensive, be receptive.  When you meet people for the first time, you can tell if the height comment is coming or not.  And if it does, don’t be defensive.  Be receptive to the fact that people are acknowledging you.  I’ve been in situations where people literally don’t even see me and that can be much worse.

Tip# 4 – Check out the kid’s department.  No, I’m not kidding.  You may be able to save money on clothes and shoes just because you’re smaller.  Take advantage of that!  Athletic shoes for example in the women’s department can range in price from $55 to over $100.  But in the kid’s department, the same brand and style can be priced at less than $50.  Even if you save $10, it adds up over time.

Tip# 5 – Be proud of YOU!  It can be tough at first but remember those sayings?  They were created for a reason.  Yes we may be small, but we have heart and that can mean way more than your size.  My favorite saying is “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog” and it’s totally true!  So stand tall and be proud of you’re perfect petiteness.

Ok, so do you still think I’m crazy?  Heck, even if you do I’m ok with that.  But we’ve all got a little crazy in us, right?!  Especially the little ones.  😉

 

Looking for health and wellness vendors?

Yesterday I was able to participate in an event north of Boston and let me tell you, it was amazing!  The event was the Health and Wellness Fall 2017 Show and there was all types of organizations there.  From meditation and relaxation, to nutrition and healthy eating to physical fitness.  Each organization had something different to offer and although I was there representing Just Live Mindfully, I got a chance to interact with a few. There were that stood out for me and I wanted to showcase them today.


The first was my neighbor – Wicked Healthy Vending.  They are exactly what the name says, healthier options offered in a vending machine.  So cool, right?  I think their concept is great because when you’re on the go, you want something quick and is easy to access but sometimes, healthier options aren’t always available.  That’s where Wicked Healthy Vending comes in.  They offer both beverages and snacks and at yesterday’s event had some of my favorites!  Think Simply Lemonade, Polar Seltzer, Clif Bars, Kind Bars and Food Should Taste Good products.  Tina, the founder and CEO was so kind and you could tell genuinely loved being able to offer healthier options to people on the go.  They’re already in a number of corporations and growing.  If you’re in the market for this kind of service, I would highly recommend Tina and her team.


Next, I connected with a couple of lovely ladies from Curves in Topsfield, MA.  Karen and Meg were terrific!  Full of energy and you could tell they loved what they did!  If you don’t know about Curves, let me tell you about it.  Curves is a a place to get in a quick 30-minute workout that involves cardio and strength training.  I used to go to a Curves with my mom and honestly loved it!  Keep in mind, that was years ago!  But today they’re so much more than just the 30-minute workout.  Curves has classes from Jillian Michaels to boxing to balance and even more.  And I love the fact that Curves is specifically designed for women of any age and any body size.  You can feel comfortable at Curves because of the support system that you can sense the minute you walk in the door.  I can attest to that…especially after meeting Karen and Meg.  If you’re looking for a gym that can give you a complete solution, and live in the Topsfield area, definitely check Curves out.


The third company I had a chance to interact with was LizzyJays.  They offer a variety of cold pressed juices and cleanses.

If you haven’t had a cold pressed juice, you really don’t know what you’re missing.  It’s a great way to get in your veggies without having to eat a ton of food.  I personally love to get my veggies in this way and I find when I have a cold pressed juice, almost immediately I find a surge in energy.  It’s amazing!  I was able to meet Steve, the VP of Sales, and was able to taste the Crisp Greens.  It was delicious and Steve was great in explaining the story behind the company.  Having found there weren’t many options available to eat and drink raw, live-energy foods, the founder Casey Sabol, began juicing.  While juicing is becoming more and more mainstream, the quality of ingredients is what’s important.  My favorite part is that LizzyJays even ships direct to you!  For me, that’s a win-win!  Definitely check them out and see what juicing can do for you!


These three weren’t the only vendors at the Health and Wellness Fall 2017 Show yesterday, but they were the three that I connected with.  And that connection is what’s important at these types of events.  Each person’s health and wellness journey is different and unique and as such, you have to seek out the companies that will work for you.

If you were at the Show yesterday, I’d love to hear about your experience!  What companies did you stop by?  What was your biggest takeaway?  And what actions do you plan to put into play for your health and wellness journey?

Why is Everyone Always Rushing???

Seriously?  Why does everyone always seem to be rushing?

I work in the city right now, at a full time job that seems to be so fast paced.  Everyone works through their lunch and never seems to stop.  But why?  I’ve been asking myself this question more and more lately and I’m not sure I’ve found a true answer.  What I have found is this…

When you think of it, we only have a finite period of time on this planet.  Many don’t look at it that way, but it’s true.  And maybe, just maybe, that’s why people cram a lot into their days.  But here’s my follow up question, why do we spend so much time during our days doing things we are not passionate about?  Let me give you an example.

Monday through Friday, my days are pretty crazy.  I wake up at 5am, get to my desk at my full time job by 7:30am, leave at 3:30pm, get home around 6pm and then, and only then, do I get to start doing something I love.  During the day, I’m working because I have to.  Don’t get me wrong, I like what I do…but I don’t love what I do.  I work because right now, that pays the bills.  And if you noticed in my shortened timeline, there isn’t any room to do anything I love.  I’m rushing around doing something that is just a job.

As I continue to ask myself this question, I realize that it’s not healthy to be doing this.  Not mentally and not physically.  Feeling rushed can add a lot to our stress levels and slowly bring us down.  This is why we have to take advantage of the time we have.  Right now, I take advantage of the time I have on the train rides to work.  I spend the time reading, connecting with my followers and clients, meditating or listening to podcasts or planning my day.  And it helps ease some of that stress.  You may not be someone who has that kind of time so what else can you do?  Here are a few steps you can take to slow down and use your time wisely.

Step 1 – Find 15 minutes in your work day.

Yup, just 15 minutes.  This can see like a really short amount of time, but I guarantee if you plan it right, you can get a lot of things accomplished.  You could use this time to sneak away from your desk job and make a few phone calls for your personal life.  You could read that new book you’ve been dying to get to.  Or you could find a quiet space and meditate.  The choice is yours, but getting away for 15 minutes can help you clear your head and stay productive.

Step 2 – Get a journal.

You can use this journal in a number of ways – actual journaling, list writing or doodling.  Either way, carry the journal with you everywhere and the you have something pop in your head or get inspiration, pull it out and get to work.  I have one (well, I have a few) and use it as my way to destress throughout the day.  If something challenging comes up, I pull it out and just start writing.  Even if I’m at my full time job, I take the time to sit and write.  It helps to refocus the mind and continue with my day.  And my ego isn’t harmed!

Step 3 – Consciously make a decision to slow down.

Yes, I know it’s super hard to do.  Even for me who is always on the go.  It seems like every weekend I have something to do.  But by making a conscious effort to slow down, I remember to go at a pace that can work for me.  Every few weeks I take a little “me time” and go for a massage, have reiki, paint my nails or just stay in my pajamas all day.  Don’t even leave the house if you don’t want to.  Just slow day, say no and make time for you!

So how will these three steps help you to stop rushing around?  You’ll start to form habit and create patterns in your life that allow you to realize there is more important things in life than doing things that do not bring you joy!

First thing’s first…find a spot and make your plan.  I think I’ll start right here…

I Am What You Might Call…Weird…

Weird?  Yup.  That is self-proclaimed too.  Now, you might think two things:

A. She’s crazy!  She looks like she’s got her shit together!

OR

B. I get it.  I’m like her.

If you’re thinking A, well, I’m going to fill you in and trust me…I do not have all my shit together.  If you’re thinking B, I’m glad you’re with me because we’re not alone in this world.

Let’s start with all you A-ers out there.  You may follow me regularly, here or on my social media accounts and see a lot of good things being posted.  Listen, I like to spout positivity because it helps me feel better and I think what I have to share can be of value for some one you.  I’ve got a lot of ideas crammed in this tiny, little head of mine and I’ve gotta get them out.  The thing is, you don’t see a lot of pictures of my messy house, my exhaustingly long work days or what I look like in the morning.  Trust me, you don’t want to see that.  It ain’t pretty.  I may look like I have my shit together but behind the scenes, I’m a hot mess.

For the B-ers, you and I can probably relate on a lot of things.  My bed isn’t made every morning, sometimes I leave dirty dishes in the sink and even sometimes I skip an event because, let’s be honest, I’ve got better things to do.  You get me, right?  We fall into a category that I call weird because we live outside of what others call normal.  We may want things that others don’t want and some of us may even be working hard (like really hard) to follow our dreams and the normal folks don’t understand us.  Us weird people are dreamers.  And trust me, that’s ok.

Now why did I tell want to tell you this story and air my dirty laundry?  Well, I want to be real…like really real…with you.  Part of my story was posted on Insta on Thursday and as I typed out the caption, I started to cry because I realized I was finally beginning to realize that it’s ok to be weird and different and want things you friends and family don’t.  I mean, I tell my husband all the time that I’m the Black Sheep of my family because I want a l life that’s full of freedom, not traveling and being able to make choices not decision.  And sadly, I think I may have lost some friends and family along the way because of my choices.  But yesterday I realized that that’s ok because my Tribe has found me on my path and we’ve locked arms and said “We’re doing this together!”

So if you’re feeling weird, like you’re the Black Sheep of your family and like you’re totally alone, don’t worry…you’re not.  There are tons of people out there that will understand you.  Including me.

Now, let’s all air our hot mess life together!  Comment with your hot mess moment and be proud of it.  Remember, things happen and they happen for a reason.

Sorry…Not Sorry…

We say sorry a lot.  Maybe not all of us out there, but a lot of women say “I’m sorry”…a lot.

I am one of those women that used to say it all the time.  We say it for bumping into someone, when we don’t pass in a project on time, when the look on another person’s face shows we upset them…the list goes on.  I mean, how many things can we say “I’m sorry” for each day?  And how many times do we use that phrase and really mean it?

I still say that phrase from time to time, but more and more I catch myself.  I’ll tell you how I figured out I was using that word a lot and how I stopped myself, but before I do that I want to share a bit more on this dangerous phrase first.

As a woman, we try to people please.  A lot.  And that can mean doing or saying something that someone else might now like.  Now, this is a generality and it can go both way, but how many men do you see saying sorry on a regular basis?  Not many, I bet.  The thing is, being a people pleaser can be a good thing.  But overusing this phrase can be harmful.

Using this phrase too often can make us look like we’re vulnerable, like we are saying it just to say it and like we’re not confident.  I’ve experienced this first hand at work.  I said “I’m sorry” for messing up a situation at work, or so I thought.  And really did mean it.  The problem is, it made me look like I didn’t know how to do my job.  It was a hard reality check, but it’s the exact smack in the face I needed.  Thankfully, it came from someone I’m close to.  But using the phrase too often can be harmful if people are paying attention.

So how did I realize I was saying it too often and how did I fix it?  I listened to myself and made a conscious effort to pay attention to when I said the phrase and what was going on when I said it.  Having context surrounding my use of this phrase was helpful because then I could see if the use of the phrase even fit.  Learning how to fix it was a trickier process.  Which is why I’m going to give you a few tips for changing your behavior surrounding the phrase “I’m sorry”.

Tip #1 – Take a breathe

Before you even go to say the phrase, take a breathe.  Think about what’s happening, why you want to say the phrase and how it will be portrayed.  It’s a lot to think about in a split second, but our brains work fast so I’m sure you can do it.  Taking this breathe will let you gather your thoughts and then continue the conversation.

Tip #2 – Don’t apologize if you’re not really sure why you’re saying it

The majority of the time the phrase “I’m sorry” is used, it’s not even really necessary.  If you’re late to a luncheon with your friends, you don’t necessarily need to use the phrase.  They don’t know why you’re late and may not even be upset that you are.  Or if someone asks you to watch their kids but you can’t because you have plans, the phrase isn’t needed.  It’s not wrong that you already had plans, is it?  You didn’t do anything wrong.  If you’re not sure that using the phrase will fit, it probably doesn’t.

Tip #3 – Don’t say “I’m sorry” just to fill the gap

One thing I hate is that uncomfortable tension gap.  I used to fill that gap with some word or phrase just to cut the tension and make things ok again.  Filling the gap with the phrase “I’m sorry” doesn’t always make sense.  You may be saying it just to take up space and if that’s the case, the words have been wasted and do not really mean anything.

Now that you’ve read this, here’s my challenge for you.  Over the next week, take a note of how many times you say “I’m sorry”.

Is it less than 5?  Is it more than 10?  Is it more than 50?

And in what context are you saying it?  At work?  At home?  With your child’s day care provider?

This challenge is not to make you stressed or upset that you may or may not use the phrase often.  Rather, it’s to help you understand where you can improve.  It’s to help you understand the meaning of the phrase and how to use it better.  Report back and let’s see if we can get you to stop using the phrase “I’m sorry” when it doesn’t fit.  Go get ’em!

An Asthmatic’s Accomplishment

This weekend we’re traveling…again.  But we always try to make it fun.  So we decided to go to Bushkills Falls in Pennsylvania.

We both love hiking and thought it would be a perfect thing to do before we check into our hotel room.  We had never been there before but my husband’s boss said “Go right, there’s less stairs.”  Well, as we’re always up for a challenge, we went left.

Here’s the map of the trails.  Number 3 is the Top of the Main Falls and is pretty much your starting point.  We took the red route.  let me tell you, lots of stairs going down.  But what I didn’t realize until later is that would mean a lot of stairs going up.  As we got to Number 7 – the View of the Lower Gorge – we decided to keep going along this route.  There was a sign that basically said to turn around if you weren’t an experienced hiker.  We consider ourselves fairly experienced so kept going.  This is when I realized I left my Pro Air at home.

Now, this might be an asthmatic’s worst nightmare.  And I’m not going to lie, I was little nervous.  But mind over matter, right?  And I wasn’t going to tell my husband.  I kept going.  There was a part on the Bridal Falls Trail that made me huff and puff a bit, but I went slow and paid attention to my breathing.  “In through the nose and out through the mouth.”  I even had to stop a few times and catch my breath, but I knew I could keep going.  I kept telling myself I could do it.  And if I didn’t keep going, I would have missed out on views like this:

Gorgeous, right?

So what’s the moral to my story?  Being out in nature can make you have a different mindset and having a different mindset can push you to a point that you think you may not have been able to get to.  Another piece of the puzzle is believing in yourself because this is half the battle when it comes to facing something tough.  Despite not having my inhaler with me, I knew there would be a way to counteract my fears and have a great day.

I don’t know how many stairs we climbed, but I know it was a lot.  And at the end of the day, I felt so proud of myself.  For a lot of reasons…

One – I was able to have a successful hike without having an asthma attack.  The focus on my breathing helped tremendously!

Two – I found I didn’t even need my Pro Air.  If you asked me to do a hike without my inhaler 10 year ago, I would have said “No way, Jose”.

Three – I’ve found a way of life where I don’t have to be dependent on medications.  By changing my diet and increasing my physical activity, I’ve been able to find a life where I can live independently.

Sounds easy, right?  Not so much.  It has taken a lot of learning (about myself and how food affects the body), time and patience and encouragement from the members of my tribe.  I’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs too.  But I didn’t, I wouldn’t be in the position I am now.  Ready and willing to take on life, head on!  So asthma-free living, I’m coming for ya, whether you’re ready for me or not.

Find a new way to THINK!

A while back I signed up for Oprah’s Thought for Today newsletter.  This quote came in back in 2013 and made me smile.  It also got me thinking.  In order to make our lives better and find out who we really are (or are going to be), we must change the way we think about things.

Let’s say I’m a “glass half empty” kind of person.  If my whole mindset is that of a pessimist, I will think that everything is going to go wrong.  I’ll think that things will never go the way I want or dream of and life is just going to be stagnant.  And I’m going to be honest, I used to be this way.  When I was young, I went through a major depression and because of this way of thinking.  It took me a very, very long time to to realize that my life is mine to make.

Today, I’m a “glass half full” kind of person.  Today, I see the positive things in life and it helps me push aside the negativity.  I now realize that the world is my oyster and I can take from it what I want and give back to help the world be a better place.  Don’t get me wrong, though, I’m not perfect.  I still have moments when things aren’t going my way and I get sad, or angry, or frustrated.  But I have a great support system around me to help me bounce back.

What this quote should help you realize is that if you want ANYTHING in life, you need to start THINKING differently.  Do not let negativity run your life.  Don’t let it ruin your life either!  One tough moment does not not have to destroy your whole day.  It can hurt or sting, but it will pass.

Your first action…surround yourself with people that will support you and help you see the beauty around you and IN you!  These people will be your tribe and you’ll never want to let them go.  I have a few people that are in my tribe that I cherish dearly and I would be lost without them.

Who do you have in your tribe?  Tell me about them.  I’d love to know how you’re supported day in and day out.

 

Pantry Clean-Out!!!!!

It’s time for a pantry clean-out.  Most people don’t even think about cleaning out their pantry but I had to.  The timing was right for a lot of reasons.  One, I’ve been doing a lot of research lately and I wanted to clean up my diet.  Two, my A-game organization skills were clearly slacking.  And three, I needed to shorten my meal-prep time.  Sounds logical, right?  I thought so too.  So here’s what my pantry looked like before I started.

Looks organized, but trust me, it’s kind of messy.  I tried to place like-foods near each other – breakfast,  snacks, dinner prep, things for a party etc.  This set-up has worked for quite a long time.  Since we’ve moved into this house, really.  The thing I notice when I look at these shelves, though, is that everything is just, put on a shelf.  There really is no organization.  Some things are hidden behind other things, the stuff on the bottom seems to get lost and the foods that I have at eye level may not be the healthiest.  So what did I do?  I literally took everything off the shelves.

Everything was put on the floor so I could go through it all, one item at a time.  This allowed me to get a sense of the space I have available. Doing this took some time, but let me tell you, it was so worth it!  I cannot tell you how much stuff I had that was expired.  Seriously!  I’m talking stuff back to 2015!

After clearing out all the junk and the stuff that was too old to even open, I had to develop a plan.  How was I going to get all my food back on the shelf without it looking like it did before?  I did not want to go back to where I was before and I did not want to have things expiring without me even knowing it.  I knew I needed some help and I knew I needed a few things to help me organize and prep in a way that would work.  Two things immediately came to mind – baskets and snack size bags.  These were the easiest “tools” I could find to help me get e started.

The baskets I got at my local department store for less than $10.  They came in two sizes so I grabbed both.  I didn’t realize it, but I would use them for two different reasons.

The taller, more square baskets I decided I would use for tossing things in.  Prepped foods that would be great for grab-and-go, like granola bars and bagged snacks.  I also used these for putting like-items together, like seasonings.  The shorter, longer baskets I decided I would use more for keeping things together.  Like toppings for my yogurt and salad additions.  Easy peezy!

The other tool I grabbed was snack size Ziploc bags.  The snack size ones.

These I knew would be good for prepping the grab-and-go foods.  I had pretzels, sweet potato and beet chips, sweet potato chips, trail mix and nuts.  Once the snacks were prepped, I tossed them all in one of the taller baskets.

So what did the end result look like?  Well, here it is!  Clean, organized, put together and ready for the taking.  I felt a sense of accomplishment.  I felt at peace.  I felt like I could take on the world.

Ok, no, I’m just kidding.  But I did feel like my life was organized again and like I would be able to eat healthy and not feel guilty about what I’m putting into my body.

If you’re still with me, you probably are wondering if you could do this too.  Trust me, you can.  All you need is some time, some energy and maybe a little bit of money.

This project was definitely something I loved doing and it was fun for me.  If you need help going through this exercise, let’s schedule a meet-up.  I’d be happy to come over and help you do your own pantry clean-out.

 

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Are You Trying?

Do you get asked this question?

It could pertain to anything.  And I think this question comes up for kids more than adults.  When it comes to sports or homework or chores around the house.  But for me, it comes up in a completely different way.

I get asked this question because people want to know if I’m starting a family.  Yup.  I get asked this question on a pretty regular basis.  I’m at an age where a lot of people think it’s strange that I don’t have kids yet.  Growing up in a small town in Massachusetts, it was normal to date, get married and immediately start a family.  However, that was not my path.

Don’t get me wrong, I like kids.  But my husband and I have a 24-hour rule – we an only babysit for 24-hours.  It’s a existing joke, but it’s true.  And we have this rule because we feel, right now, there is a bigger reason for us being on this planet.  If kids are in our future, then they will be in our path eventually.  For us, it’s that simple.  If it’s meant to be, it will be.

Bringing kids into our life is an exciting idea.  It makes us smile.  And we both know that we can be great parents.  But for me, the idea brings on a bit of anxiety.  Ok, a lot of anxiety.  Why?  Because I want to be a great parent.  I want to be there, fully, for my kids.  Right now, I don’t think I can do that.  There are a lot of reasons, but they don’t really need to be explained for the purposes of this post.  What I’m really here to do, is talk about this question.

Asking this question has caused anxiety for me from time to time.  I get anxious because I don’t know how to respond to it.  I also get anxious because because deep down, I question myself.  Sometimes when I get asked this question, I don’t feel like I’m doing enough or like I’m not good enough.  I have even questioned the path I’m on.  I have even thought this question is just as bad as the other side – “Are you pregnant?” But ultimately, every time, I feel stress.  Recently, I’ve come up with a few tips for myself to deal with this stress…to deal with this question.

First and foremost, I need to remember to breathe.  I take a breathe when I’m asked this question because it allows time to think.  I need to think about how I’m going to respond so I don’t fly off the handle.  Depending on who asks me this question, it can come off differently – pushy, rude, aggressive, curious.  And my mood will have a direct correlation to how I respond.  Breathing first helps.

Second, I take it into context.  Is your mom asking this question because she wants grandkids?  Is your friend asking because he/she is curious?  Everything depends on who is asking the question.  The person doing the asking has their own reasons for asking, which I may not know right away.  The context of the conversation will help showcase those reasons.

Lastly, be kind.  I have been in this situation many times and it’s hard to not be kind.  Being asked this question may make you immediately feel defensive.  I know I have felt that way before.  And yes, there have been times when I have responded in a not-so-kind way.  Responding with kindness is easier for everyone in the end.

Despite this question being asked in so many different ways, by so many different people, it’s still a hard question to be asked.  Yes, I want to have kids, but I want to have them on my own terms.  And it has to work for the lifestyle within my family and that means my husband and I.

Moral of my story, if you’re going to ask this question, be considerate to who you’re asking it to.  They may struggle with the answer.  They might feel uncomfortable with the question.  And they might not be in a place where they can even answer.  Your best bet…steer clear of the question.

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