Author: Elise Schreier

My First Foray into Judgement Free Motherhood

If you’ve been here for a bit, you know that CTWM’s primary mission, along with keeping it real, is Judgement-Free Motherhood. The second the idea was born and the tag line was added to the page, it felt like home to me. Not that I’ve never judged another mom before (quite the opposite, actually) but because I had already been tasked with letting go of judgement of one of the most important mothers in my life – my kids’ mom. As a foster/adoptive parent, you are taught how to manage symptoms of trauma, navigate the court system, and follow...

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What I’ve Learned about Raising Children from Having a Pack of Dogs

So far, I’ve had 4 dogs along with my three children (I like a challenge) and while I try to avoid comparing my 4-legged trouble makers to the 2-legged ones too much, I’ve found that I can draw at least one important parallel. The newest addition to our over-sized crew is a sweet, lab mix puppy named McGregor.  I’m kind of obsessed with him. Our favorite thing to do together is to go hiking at this unofficial dog park in our town.  He’s never met another dog (or person) he doesn’t love and does well off-leash so he gets lots of...

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Let Them Fail

Being achievement-oriented with perfectionistic tendencies, I have read enough parenting books and articles to know early on that I would need to make a conscious effort to allow my children opportunities to fail. I truly believe that getting good at making mistakes is a key element to being successful in life.  It wasn’t so hard when they were little and the stakes where low, but as my children get older it gets harder and harder to bite my tongue, sit back, and let them roll with the punches.  I still do it, mind you, but finding that proper balance between being supportive and being a crutch is is a much finer line. A few weekends ago, my resolve was really put to the test.  My son is in his first year of competitive gymnastics.  This whole new world that has opened up to us (FYI: Its called a leo NOT a leotard…and oh btw, and its $100 for the 6″x6″ piece of stretchy fabric ::sideeye::) has been fun, exciting, and chalk full of learning opportunities at every bend. In January, my son and some boys from his team competed in a large regional competition at the XL Center.  His previous competition was a much smaller, local one so this felt a lot like the “real deal”.  At his first comp he came home with fistfuls of ribbons and bursting with...

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If I could only get a glimpse…

One of the tough things for me as a parent is that very little of the work of parenting yields immediate feedback. Parenting has a long end-game and no one really ever knows how well they are doing until the bulk of the work is done. Sure, there are hints along the way, but I don’t yet fully know who my children will become. Part of this is exciting, as I get to “meet” a little more of my babies every day, but part of this is scary…as you might be able to gather, I’m not so good with unknowns. Am I balancing my career and my family as well as I think I am? Or when they look back on their childhood, will there be a business-trip-shaped void? Am I striking the right balance between being firm and respectful in my discipline? Are my frequent compliments making them self-confident or self-absorbed? How are our house rules and my modelling shaping the development of their eating/work/spending habits? Okay, yes, I know I may be over-thinking this a bit.  After all, today my children are happy, healthy, and thriving. But there is still such a question mark about what the future will hold for them. Surely there will be struggles and difficult times, but how will the foundation I am laying for them now stack up later? Will they be happy, healthy, well-adjusted adults? Will their strengths...

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Gaining Peace with My Weight Loss Journey

I’m really good at losing weight. I’ve done it hundreds of times, including that time I lost nearly 70lbs before my wedding! And, yet, I’ve never been thin. You see, am your classic yo-yo dieter.  I can’t even tell you the number of times I have flirted with the same 20-30lbs.  Up (busyness, holidays, stress, babies, vacations, heath issues, and just plain old apathy) and down (weight watchers, Whole 30, Paleo, 21 day fix, My Fitness Pal, supplements, shakes, fat blockers, and the list goes on…). For a long time, I classified my weight loss journey as a complete and total disaster. No matter how well I was able to find success in other areas of my life, in this, I failed again and again and again.  When people complimented me on my weight loss I began to say things like, “Yeah, well, we’ll see if it sticks.” But my wife, who has seen me cycle through the ups and downs many times in our 16 years together, has a different reply. She simply – sweetly – says, “You always go back to it.”  What I saw for so long as a weakness, she viewed at a strength.  As the peace creeps in, I’m starting to see it that way, too. The truth is, despite my struggles with my weight being such a prominent, and visible, part of my life over...

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