Mothers have been conditioned to believe that a "good" mom sacrifices her needs for the needs of her family. Although sacrifice is necessary, it cannot define you. Ultimately, you will get lost in the shuffle.

Studies confirm that your emotional, physical, and mental health impacts your family.

The following posts will guide you to Live the Life You Want Your Kids to Live because a happy, healthy family starts with you!

The greatest gift you can give to a friend is to care about her/his kids. Show interest and follow their progress though life. When the time comes, be there to celebrate them or console them–just be there. Tell them how proud you are of their courage, hard work, and accomplishments. Recognize their gifts and cheer for them. That is what friends do for each other. I am so proud of the kids that my friends are raising. Let your friends know you are, too. Make it a great weekend!

Work really hard to be the mother who doesn’t criticize other mothers. None of us walk in each other’s shoes. We all know life is hard, why rub each other’s noses in it? Remember, when you criticize, your kids hear you. They are watching and learning how to treat others. Raise your kids to be supportive and lead by a strong example. “We don’t compare, we only support.” Is a great family and life motto to help you and your kids live a life rich in building others, not tearing them down. Say this motto to your kids to encourages strength and discourages criticizing and comparing within your home and outside of it. Build a world where support is the norm. Praise it in your home and your kids will carry it out into the community. You can absolutely do it!

When everyone pitches in at home, life is sweeter. The sooner your kids feel like they contribute, the sooner they will reap the benefits of being a part of a team. Cooperation and working together create strength and chores builds those muscles. Start small and start early. “I love the way you loaded your dish, great job!” or ” Look at you, you sure picked up your toys fast. Wow, you are like lightening!” Make a list of the chores your kids are capable of doing. Post it and create a schedule. It doesn’t need to be fancy. Remember, work strengthens responsibility, self esteem, and confidence. Working together creates happier, healthier, and stronger families. Just do it.

No matter who you know, where you live, or the title after your name, if you are a parent, you struggle. Every parent struggles! We struggle with not knowing–wondering if we are doing all we can, if it’s right, or the best thing for our kids. This parenthood thing isn’t a walk in the park. It’s hard! We are all equal when it comes to knowing what exhaustion, frustration, joy, and sadness feels like. You are not alone in your struggles– every parent stands alongside you. You are not alone!

You are living the best days of your life. Believe it or not, your children will grow up–sooner than you think. For many of you right now, that may sound like a relief, yet in what seems like a blink of an eye, your dreams will come true: You will have a spotless kitchen, you will have a clean car, and you will have plenty of time to make four course meals and it won’t matter to you–you won’t want it then! You will long for the mess, long for those crazy-making moments in the morning and evening, and yearn for art work to walk in the door each afternoon. I know that your life is crazy–accept it. Own it and make it your crazy.

Bullies are made, not born. Don’t allow yourself to fall into the “kids will be kids” trap to rationalize hurtful, mean-spirited, or destructive behavior. Your kids need you to give them a clear understanding of what is healthy and how to manage their emotions. They will take your lead. One of the best ways to teach them how to deal with conflict is to be a positive role model as you manage through your frustration, anger, and disappointment. Make it clear that It is NEVER okay to humiliate or demean with words or actions–no matter how frustrated or angry you are. Your leadership is crucial to raise kind, accepting, and respectful kids. Your kids are walking your walk!