Mama's Lost Her Mojo

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Hey there - remember me?

The BadAssMama has been MIA for the past week or so. Things have been a bit hectic with the busy-ness of Thanksgiving, entertaining the kids while they were home from school and dealing with a brutal case of food poisoning (nothing like a mystery stomach ailment to kick off the holiday season!).

But, to be honest, none of those things have really kept me from writing. The fact of the matter is, The BadAssMama has fallen into a bit of a funk. While this Cali girl does suffer from the winter blues around this time each year (12 years and counting, I STILL can't get used to Northeast chill), things seem to be hitting me a bit harder this year.

It's hard to believe it, but The BadAssMama feels like she's losing her mojo. The twinkle in my eye is becoming overshadowed by the ever-present dark circles that even my best Bobbi Brown is challenged to cover up. While I'm still kicking ass in the fitness department, the face I see in the mirror looks closer to my calendar age than the forever-27-year-old in my head. My days have become a lather-rinse-repeat of school drop off, rush to the train, meeting-meeting-meeting, rush to the train, eat dinner, pack lunches, bath, books, bed. Most nights I'm nodding off over my Kindle by 9pm.

So sad.

I've all but abandoned my Journey to a Year of Joy (gasp!) because I'm finding it hard to find to happy in every day moments. The fact is, I am simply overwhelmed with the responsibility of being me. Mother, wife, executive, coach, author, blogger, sister, daughter, cousin, friend. My laundry basket, rather than my cup runneth over these days. By the time I get through the basics of keeping my day job and my family running, I've simply run out of gas to do the things that keep ME going.

Ridiculous.

When it comes right down to it, I think that The BadAssMama has lost her passion. No, not the sex part  you dirty-thinkers (although life with two-under-the-age-of-six can suck the life out of that part as well).  But life in general. I'm stuck in the never-ending cycle of responsibility rather than enjoying life as it should be - as a grand adventure.

Like any good twelve-stepper will tell you, admitting the problem is half the battle. So, here goes: My name is The BadAssMama and I've lost my mojo. I would like to get it back, but I don't know where to start. I'm busy and tired...all the time. I've forgotten the things that used to make me happy and I fear that I'm beginning to lose my identity apart from my kids.

That's right. The mother in me has swallowed the rest of me.

I spend roughly 362 days each year focused on my kids. The Hubs and I spend a weekend away for our anniversary and I typically get a half day each on Mother's Day and my birthday to chill and do me. Around BadAssMama Central, date night is like the Loch Ness Monster - everyone talks about it, but there is no evidence that it actually exists. Most nights out sans-kids are related to work events or other social obligations. Apart from a glorious girls weekend 2 years ago, I haven't been away from my kids with the exception of a business trip for the past 6 years. Girls nights with local friends are few and far between because they are living the same life that I am!

I'm exhausted.

It's clear to me that I need some time to myself. To get back to the things that make me happy, just for me. Problem is, I have no idea how to do it. And even if I could find the time, what the hell would I do? It's been SO long since I've done anything just for me (with the exception of exercise and an occasional mani/pedi) that I don't even know where to start.

So, I'm here to ask for your help. What do YOU do when you lose your mojo? How do you keep from losing YOU in the midst of the crazy-busy-mommy life?


Hickory Farms Holiday Traditions & Giveaway!

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What are your favorite holiday traditions?

Here at BadAssMama Central, we like to put up the Christmas tree the week after Thanksgiving, set up our Christmas villages and compare the past 6 years of Santa photos side-by-side to see how much the kids have grown (and laugh that Victor is STILL afraid of Santa...).
A GIFT FOR YOU! To thank you for being a loyal BadAssMama fan, I have partnered with Hickory Farms to giveaway a fantastic Hickory Farms gourmet gift basket (a $25 value).

Click here to enter! http://badassmamagiveaways.blogspot.com/2012/12/holiday-traditions-hickory-farms.html


Lessons in Stillness

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I received an unexpected gift from The Hubs this morning.

Since he was working close to home, he offered to take the kids to school - sparing me my typical morning of routine of screaming at the boys to hurry-up-we're-already-late, followed by an 11 mile drive to school, dash to the train station and 1/4 mile sprint from the parking lot to catch the 8:56 into the city.

I think the boys felt relieved as well, because the morning routine went along swimmingly, with nary a tantrum in sight and a pleasant round of hugs and kisses before Daddy swept them out the door at precisely 7:45am. After a final wave good-bye from the window, I sat down at the computer to order The Hubs a new pair of work boots, cleared the breakfast dishes and swept the crumbs from the table. I poured a cup of tea and sat down at the kitchen counter. The refrigerator gently hummed in the background, accompanied by a steady blurp-blurping from the monster goldfish tank (my goldfish is a monster, not the tank....but I digress).

Without warning, a sense of dread rose from my belly.

I was alone, in my own home, with nothing to accomplish. Rather than reveling in the moment, I found myself struggling to remain calm and just sit still. How crazy is that? For years I've complained about the perpetual motion that is my life and the first chance I get to simply sit still, it freaks me out!

I've been reading so much lately about the power of stillness, quiet. How important rest is for the mind, soul and body. As busy mothers, we know that these moments are hard-earned but sorely needed. If you're anything like me, when you find yourself with the gift of time and solitude, you may be uncomfortable as well because it is just so damned foreign to us. Perpetual motion has become our comfort zone - not because it is comfortable, per se, but because it is familiar.

As we enter the season of universal perpetual motion known as the holidays, I am making a vow to become re-acquiatined with my old friends stillness, solitude and quiet. This morning, I managed to sit still and enjoy the warmth of my tea for 8 whole minutes. I know it doesn't seem like much, but those were 8 of the most delicious, refreshing moments my soul has experienced in years.

Maybe tomorrow I'll shoot for 10...


Liar, liar...

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Depression is a liar.

It tells you that your life is hopeless. That you are a failure. It whispers that you are a bad mother and terrible wife. It screams that you don't deserve to live out your dreams, and that even if you were worthy, you aren't smart enough to make them happen anyhow. It sneakily, stealthily, consistently eats away at your joy until you wake up one day and find that you can't remember the last time that you were happy, or even how it feels to be so.

But these things are not true. Life can be hard. Storms come and destroy. Jobs change. Marriages face challenges. Kids test every ounce of our patience. We fall and fail time and time again. But there is still hope. There are still reasons to be thankful. There are things that remain beautiful in life.

When we fail, when we fall down (and, let's face it - we all fail and we all fall down at some point), depression whispers in our ear. It tells us that there's no use in getting up, in trying again. Better to just stay down on the ground where we belong. No one believes in you. No one really thinks you can do it. Things will never get better, so why even try?

Depression is a liar. Repeat this phrase three times. Daily. Tell your loved ones. Tell your friends. If you think you might be battling with depression, don't face this battle alone. Talk to your doctor. Talk to a therapist. You can even send me a message and I will do everything that I can to get you the help you need (sherice@badassmama.com). It is so easy to think that it's just you - that you're the only one who had ever felt this way. Or worse, to feel like you are a failure when you can't seem to snap out of it.

That's bullshit.

Depression tells you that you're not good enough. That you're crazy. That you're the only one who deals with this, and if you tell anyone about it they will think you are a loser. You are not. Depression is a liar. Don't believe it.

I say this with conviction because I know what it feels like to deal with anxiety and depression. For years, I espoused the "suck it up, buttercup" philosophy and attempted to shake my depression with food, work, exercise or a good drink. Anything to prevent me from actually facing the emotions that were driving me to question the value of my own life.

After years of struggle, with the help of an amazing therapist, a supportive family and antidepressants I finally understand and believe that depression is a liar. It is something that I have to deal with, but it does not define me. I won't pretend that I have it kicked and it never gets to me. Even with the medication I have my moments. But now, instead of falling into a deep hole of hopelessness (or burying my head in a tub of ice cream), I know that I need to slow down and be kind to myself. I sleep more. I try to exercise in the mornings. I check in with my therapist more often and do my best to identify what I am feeling rather than trying to run away from it.

Depression is a liar, but you are not alone. 

Makeup Mondays with D'angelo Thompson

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Beauty Starts with You
By D'angelo Thompson

No matter what serum, elixir, foundation or eye shadow color I may suggest, the key to beauty is the message we send to ourselves. So stop dissecting your traits that make you unique from everyone else and celebrate them. In my book, 'Enhanced Beauty' what's makes the 10 women I featured unique is they are vastly different yet dynamic!

--
D'angelo Thompson, make up, groomer, beauty educator, blogger  and author
www.dangelothompson.com

A New Holiday Tradition

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As we began to return to the semi-normal pace of life this week after the storm(s), I realized that I was WAY behind in my holiday shopping (meaning I hadn't even begun to THINK about it). As I opened the spreadsheet from last year (yes, I do keep a spreadsheet...), something just didn't sit right with me. How could we spend money on relatively thoughtful but truly unnecessary items for friends and family when so many around us had lost so much?

And then it hit me. The Hubs and I sent the following message out to those on our annual Christmas list. I think it's a fitting tribute to those who lost so much in the storm, and a reflection of the true spirit of the holidays. The BadAssMama would consider it a personal holiday gift if you would consider doing the same - or at least making a donation to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy as they struggle to recover.

Here is our family letter...


Friends and family,

As we approach this holiday season, we find ourselves in the middle of one of the greatest natural disasters the tri-state area has ever seen. As much as we enjoy expressing our love for each of you and your children through gifts each Christmas, our family would like to celebrate the joy of the season by giving back to those who have lost so much in the past 2 weeks.

This year, the Torres Family will donate the money that we typically spend on Christmas gifts (for both the big and little ones on our list) to support the victims of Hurricane Sandy. We will make a donation to The Vineyard Church’s Hurricane Sandy Restoration Fund, with 100% of the proceeds going to help our neighbors on Long Island to recover from the devastation of the hurricane and most recent noreaster.

In return, we ask that instead of sending gifts to our family this holiday season, please make a donation to The Vineyard Church (www.thevineyardchurch.com) , The American Red Cross (www.americanredcross.org)  or the local charity of your choice. Together, we hope to spread more than holiday cheer. We want to use our financial blessings to make a difference in the lives of our friends and neighbors who have lost so much.

Helping one another – the true spirit of the holidays.

With love,
Angel, Sherice, Little Angel and Victor Torres

Lessons From the Storm

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The past 10 days have been more than eventful here at BadAssMama Central. While there is devastation all around us, both in our surrounding neighborhoods and the tri-state area in general, we are truly blessed that the storm did little more than knock out our power and rattle our nerves. And as yet another Noreaster approaches our area later this afternoon, I must admit that I am feeling more that a little bit anxious, battle weary and shell-shocked.

While I can't say that I have completely recovered from or truly absorbed the magnitude of what's happened here in the Northeast, I can say that I have learned a great deal in the aftermath of the storm. In no particular order, here are The BadAssMama's lessons from the storm:

Things are just things I do not say this to belittle the overwhelming loss that so many have experienced in the wake of this storm. I say it because when the wind is howling, the trees are swaying and your home is creaking so loud that you fear it will be ripped from its foundation, you realize that what's most important are not the things in your home - it's the people. You ache to protect your children, cling to your husband, to tell your loved ones just how much you love them just one last time. Things can be replaced (eventually). Relationships are all that matter.

Simplify In the powerless days and nights after the storm, we found a peculiar comfort in the simplicity of life without the constant humming, buzzing and chirping of electronic devices. We read by flashlight, played board games or hide-and-seek with the kids. Rose with the sun and went to bed shortly after dark. After the fear of storm damage passed, we slept long and deep each night - cold, but warmed by the fact that we were together as a family.

Be kind While it was pleasant to spend so much uninterrupted time with our family, I would be a big fat liar if I didn't say that SO MUCH family time did begin to wear on the nerves after about 4 days. The kids were tearing down the walls with cabin fever, The Hubs and I began to bicker more than usual. So many lost so much - why weren't we just overjoyed to be together, safe in our own home? Because we are HUMAN. And humans are imperfect and work each other's nerves after extended periods of time together. We had to learn to be kind to each other, and to ourselves in the days following the storm.

Help each other We will be forever grateful to the neighbor who let us run a power cord from his generator to keep our refrigerator going - both to feed our family and to keep Victor's daily medication cold. We went door-to-door to our closest neighbors asking if they needed to refrigerate any essential items (one had a critical medication that required refrigeration as well). Countless friends sent out pleas for supplies and organized volunteers on Facebook. Our church opened its doors for anyone from the community to get warm, charge phones, have a hot bowl of soup or cup of coffee. In the middle of a nightmare, we came together to help in any way that we could.

The election may have taken over as the big news of the day, but the need in the Northeast remains great. Hundreds of thousands are still without power, many have lost everything and are mourning the loss of loved ones. While we struggle to recover, another storm - bringing snow, high winds and coastal flooding is headed to our area as we speak. Please help where you can....

http://www.redcross.org/charitable-donations

http://www.samaritanspurse.org



Makeup Monday with D'angelo Thompson

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Beauty Has A Name(s)
By D'angelo Thompson
I am always like a proud dad when my peers introduce new brands to the beauty market especially women entrepreneurs. Launching this week 10/26 Rich Cosmetics (www.richcosmetics.com) by celebrated make up artist Cynde Watson and in two weeks 11/8 Carousel Beauty Box luxury make up brush line by Mary Khadijah Brooks (www.carouselbeautybox.com)...