Greeting Card Saga

Years ago when I became a mom for the first time it seemed everyone wanted to hear about the newest addition to our family and see pictures of him (so I thought!!!).  So, I began writing and sending an annual holiday newsletter with pictures, letters and photos that evolved over the years to include separate columns for every member of the family (with my kids eventually writing their own with much coaxing!).

Sending out these newsletters was on the top of the list of priorities for a dozen years that I could remember. The planning would begin months in advance. The list of recipients grew to include not only close friends and family but business colleagues, associates and clients. Most people expressed joy in receiving it and looked forward to getting their annual update and greetings from us. Several joked about how I must have had too much free time or that I falesly believed that people really cared about what my kids were doing, how they were doing at school and what my husband and I were doing in our careers and personal lives.

But after carefully crafting the newsletter for over a decade, I finally came to the difficult conclusion that it wasn’t a priority anymore. That year, I reluctantly sent out one of those picture cards of the family. The next year, another photo greeting card. The following year, a store-bought card with a hand-written note and a separate family photo. Then, last year, a card with no photo…just a signature!

This year, I wasn’t even going to send out cards! I reflected on how important cards (and newsletters) were to me over the years and how they lost their importance in the busyness of life. I chose a reactive method of sending out holiday greetings in response to those I received and didn’t send any out in addition.

So, as the saga continues, next year as my eldest  finishes high school and my youngest begins, I will again revisit the holiday greeting card ritual to evalutate the importance of the tradition, possible alternatives, and then decide what 2012 brings.

What holiday traditions are most important to you?

Have these holiday traditions held the same level of importance over the years? If not, how have they changed?

What new traditions have you put in place in recent years?

What traditions have you eliminated?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!!  Share your thoughts and answers to these questions in the comments section below. And…don’t be checking your mailbox for a holiday greeting card from me this year, unless you sent me one first! 

Happy Holidays to all and to all a healthy and successful New Year!

The Tension of the High Achieving New Mom

Also found this article at the Glass Hammer site in the Work/Life Balance area. The tips are interesting and insightful so I thought that New and Expectant Moms visiting my Blog might also enjoy the content.

Here’s the link:

The Tension of the High Achieving New Mom

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Hardest Working Mom

Did you hear the news??
….MADONNA has been named the hardest working mother in showbusiness!!!

She topped a new poll in Forbes Magazine ahead of REESE WITHERSPOON and GWYNETH PALTROW. With take-home of $110 million (£75 million) in 2008, she’s in the forefront of high-earning women with children.

Madonna, who is the mother to adopted 3 year old toddler David Banda, 8 year old Rocco, and twelve year old Lourdes, took most of her money from her world tour as well as record sales and a string of endorsement deals. She and hubby Guy Ritchie divorced in 2008.

Also topping the hardest working mom chart (based on earnings) was divorced mother-of-two Reese Witherspoon who took home $24 million (£16.5 million) in 2008. The actress has two kids, Ava, nine, and son Deacon, five, with ex-husband Ryan Phillippe Paltrow, who also has two children, with husband Chris Martin, came in third with earnings of $20 million (£13.8 million). Mother of three Julia Roberts captured the fourth spot, while actress Sarah Jessica Parker, who has a son with husband Matthew Broderick, rounded out the top five.

If you ask me, hard working moms abound everywhere and it’s certainly not only a measure of what we earn. Many hard working moms earn little or no salary for their efforts.

Mom Makeover

Check out the Mom Squad mom makeovers from Parenting Magazine,19840,1154748,00.html

I’ve been the Life Coach for Parenting Magazine’s Mom Squad since it began this series early in 2005. Find out how the team of experts helps moms with real life challenges starting with the March 2005 issue.

The Mom Squad team consists of Billie Causieestko, Fashion Stylist, Sara Johnson, Makeup Artist Ellie Krieger, R.D., Nutritionist, Nikki An-Ledi, Hairstylist, Sharson Monplasir, Fitness Expert, Natalie Gahrmann, Life Coach, Jarnine Sarna-Jones, Organizer.

Being a Mom (a tribute I received in my email)

Below you’ll find another tribute I received that’s perfect for Super Busy Moms to reflect on to help increase your appreciation of all you do and who you are. Unfortunately, I don’t know who the original author is so I can’t provide proper credit to that incredible person!

Being A Mom-Most Beautiful!

We are sitting at lunch one day when my daughter casually mentions that sheand her husband are thinking of “starting a family.”

“We’re taking a survey,” she says half-joking. “Do you think I should have a baby?”

“It will change your life,” I say, carefully keeping my tone neutral.

“I know,” she says, “no more sleeping in on weekends, no more spontaneous vacations.”

But that is not what I meant at all. I look at my daughter, trying to decide what to tell her. I want her to know what she will never learn in childbirth classes.

I want to tell her that the physical wounds of child bearing will heal, but becoming a mother will leave her with an emotional wound so raw that she will forever be vulnerable. I consider warning her that she will never again read a newspaper without asking, “What if that had been MY child?”That every plane crash, every house fire will haunt her! That when she sees pictures of starving children, she will wonder if anything could be worse than watching your child die.

I look at her carefully manicured nails and stylish suit and think that no matter how sophisticated she is, becoming a mother will reduce her to the primitive level of a bear protecting her cub. That an urgent call of “Mom!”will cause her to drop a souffle or her best crystal without a moment’s hesitation.

I feel that I should warn her that no matter how many years she has invested in her career, she will be professionally derailed by motherhood. She might arrange for childcare, but one day she will be going into an important business meeting and she will think of her baby’s sweet smell. She will have to use every ounce of discipline to keep from running home, just to make sure her baby is all right.

I want my daughter to know that every day decisions will no longer be routine. That a five year old boy’s desire to go to the men’s room rather than the women’s at McDonald’s will become a major dilemma. That right there, in the midst of clattering trays and screaming children, issues of independence and gender identity will be weighed against the prospect that a child molester may be lurking in that restroom.

However decisive she may be at the office, she will second-guess herself constantly as a mother. Looking at my attractive daughter, I want to assure her that eventually she will shed the pounds of pregnancy, but she will never feel the same about herself. That her life, now so important, will be of less value to her once she has a child. That she would give herself up in a moment to save her offspring, but will also begin to hope for more years, not to accomplish her own dreams, but to watch her child accomplish theirs.

I want her to know that a cesarean scar or shiny stretch marks will become badges of honour. My daughter’s relationship with her husband will change, but not in the way she thinks. I wish she could understand how much more you can love a man who is careful to powder the baby or who never hesitates to play with his child. I think she should know that she will fall in love with him again for reasons she would now find very unromantic. I wish my daughter could sense the bond she will feel with women throughout history who have tried to stop war, prejudice and drunk driving.

I want to describe to my daughter the exhilaration of seeing your child learn to ride a bike. I want to capture for her the belly laugh of a baby who is touching the soft fur of a dog or cat for the first time. I want her to taste the joy that is so real it actually hurts.

My daughter’s quizzical look makes me realize that tears have formed in my eyes.”You’ll never regret it,” I finally say. Then I reached across the table, squeezed my daughter’s hand and offered a silent prayer for her, and for me, and for all the mere mortal women who stumble their way into this most wonderful of callings.

Please share this with a Mom that you know or all of your girlfriends who may someday be Moms.

May you always have in your arms the one who is in your heart.

Check out more free articles for Super Busy Moms!

Warm regards,
Coach Natalie