Archive for april o’leary

Over 12,000 Kids Publicly Shamed This Year at Dick’s Last Resort

15 06 16 end shame dicksDick’s Last Resort- A restaurant chain where gruff staffers serve a Southern-style menu in a rowdy roadhouse environment.

According to a Star Tribune article Ralph McCrackin, the company’s president said, “We’re colorful, but not off-color. We’re irreverent, but not rude.” You decide.

Public Shaming of a Child at Dick’s Last Resort on June 14, 2015:

A waitress runs out to the middle of the restaurant with a roll of Saran Wrap and grabs a boy, probably about 6, who had been standing on his chair.  She pulls his chair out to the middle of the aisle for everyone to see.  She then starts Saran Wrapping him to the chair, with the help of his mom who is holding him down so he can’t get away.  He is struggling to break free.  Is this supposed to be funny?

The Shaming Continues

Around and around she goes.  My heart is beating in my chest.  I want to get up and push the waitress out-of-the-way and rip off the Saran Wrap.  I’m ashamed to say I sat still in my chair stunned by this entire scene.

His arms are fighting against the wrap which gets thicker and more impossible with each loop the waitress makes.  He’s heaving his chest to try to get out, his face turning red.  Finally realizing he’s not getting he makes a mental shift.  I can see it.

Just like the kid at school who has been labeled with a hurtful nickname often chooses to disguise his pain with laughter, this boy decides if he can’t get out he might as well show he doesn’t care.

All the adults around are laughing.  The mom is taking pictures.  His sister, probably 8, looks distressed.  She runs up to try to help him and thinks better of it.  She doesn’t want to be the next one.  She runs back to her chair.

It doesn’t stop there.  The waitress then tips his chair backwards once he is securely strapped to the chair. His back is now lying on the floor feet upwards to the ceiling.  The waiters come by and start covering him up with piles of paper napkins which were lying on the floor after being thrown just moments before to celebrate someone’s birthday.

Finally the waitress, with a nod of approval from the boy’s mother, takes an orange sharpie marker and draws a mustache on his little face and brings his chair back to an upright position.  The ‘fun’ is over.  For now.  Until they do it to another kid.

In 2013 I was here too. The same thing happened and the boy didn’t laugh.  He cried.  I found another video posted back in 2010 with over 73K views titled Dick’s Child Abuse.  Scroll through to about 8 minutes in and you’ll see the same thing.  That was over 5 years ago!

 

Standing Up and Speaking Up

After the boy was released, I got up from my chair and walked over to his table.  I bent down and gave him a hug and said, “Are you okay? My girls were scared for you.”  I spoke briefly to his mother and as we were leaving asked to speak to the manager, Mikey.

As Mikey and I stepped outside to get away from the noise, the words that came out were calm and confident.  This is a brief summary of our talk.

“Thanks for your time.  I wanted to let you know that as a professional who works with families, the Saran Wrapping of a child, which I’ve seen happen twice now, is totally unacceptable and upset not just me but my children as well.  Is this endorsed by your corporate offices?”

“Yes.  A parent has to approve of it.  We allow for a pie to be thrown in their child’s face or to have them Saran Wrapped.”

“Oh.  So the parent said this was okay?”

“Yes.  We asked her first.”

“Well does the child also have to agree to it?  I’m assuming they do.”

“No.  It’s done with the parent’s approval.”

“I’m not sure if you noticed but that boy was not having fun.  He clearly was trying to break free while everyone else stood by laughing.  Is that entertainment? I’m sure he didn’t’ think so.”

“Again it is the mother who agreed to have it done.”

“Did you know that would be considered public shaming?”

“I didn’t.”

“There is a movement I’m involved with right now to end public shaming of children.  That’s why I felt it was so important to talk with you.  Every week children are harming and even killing themselves due to treatment like this.  In fact I just wrote about a girl named Izabel Laxamana whose father cut off her hair as discipline. Video-taped it, and uploaded it to YouTube.  A few days later she committed suicide.”

“I had no idea.”

“Well I am working with people like Dr. Shefali Tsabary to help end this type of acceptance of public shaming of children and I wanted to be sure you knew how this affected me personally as a patron of your restaurant, how damaging it is to the child and how it is perpetuating this idea that publicly shaming a child is okay.”

I handed her my business card.  She said she’d write it up in her nightly review.  It’s been a few days and I still haven’t heard back.  I bet we will soon if we ban together!

It’s time to #endshame @DickSez. Over 12,000 kids a year shamed at your restaurant says @uofmoms! http://bit.ly/endshame <===Click to Tweet

The Shaming In Numbers

I looked up Dick’s Last Resort and there are 17 locations.  Let’s assume they Saran Wrap two kids a day every day of the year.  That would be 2 kids a day x 17 location x 365 days a year = 12,410 kids a year they are publicly shaming with the permission of the parent.  I’m guessing it’s more than that.

Let’s go one step further.  12,410 kids a year being shamed and let’s say there are 100 people in the restaurant at the time this occurs that would be 12,410 kids x 100 patrons viewing per wrap = 1,241,000 onlookers who are doing nothing but laughing, maybe feeling uncomfortable and then walking right back out the door.

OVER A MILLION PEOPLE!

That’s crazy.  One million people a year who are witnessing public shaming of kids in a restaurant where they are paying for food.  I am choosing to be one in a million people who will speak up.  Will you?

Public Shaming Epidemic as Seen at Dick’s Last Stand:

PROBLEM 1.  Dick’s Last Stand corporate office endorses the shaming of children in their restaurants.

PROBLEM 2.  Parents are agreeing to the public shaming of their children.

PROBLEM 3.  Over one million onlookers a year for the past 30 years have done nothing to stop this.

We as a society need to ban together to educate ourselves and empower our children. Join us to raise awareness of public shaming and put an end to it.

Be a Powerful Parent who Chooses Solutions to End Public Shaming:

SOLUTION 1.  Refuse to speak or post negatively of your child online.  Choose private conversations and support as your tools of building a more connected and conscious family environment.  Sign up for our free Conscious Parent Mini-Series if you need help.

SOLUTION 2. Stand up and speak up.  When you see public shaming online or in person be proactive.  It’s our responsibility to advocate for children.  If not you, then who?

SOLUTION 3. Join our #endshame movement by tweeting in support of ending the public shaming of children.  Share inspiring quotes.  Share statistics and facts as you learn them.  Share positive pictures of parenting.  This is where our collective education will start.  Check back often to retweet and reply.

It’s time to #endshame @DickSez. Over 12,000 kids a year shamed at your restaurant says @uofmoms! http://bit.ly/endshame <===Click to Tweet

SOLUTION 4.  Watch this very important video message from Dr. Shefali Tsabary.

As Dr. Seuss says so profoundly, “The time has come, the time is now, just go #endshame, I don’t care how!”  Or something like that.

Please comment below and let’s start talking about this.  Share this article on your Facebook page.  Let’s do our part to end the public shaming of kids.

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The Tragic Suicide of Izabel Laxamana and 3 Ways to Parent More Consciously Online

15 06 05 Posting Positive PicsI used to spank my kids.  I remember putting soap in their mouths.  I remember saying to my husband in a moment of exasperation, “If they don’t obey me at 3 they’ll never obey me at 13!”

Jim was always more conscious than me.  When I was at the end of my rope, he would gently take Molly in his arms and she’d melt.  I guess my time-outs and ‘discipline’ weren’t working but at the time I thought his ‘giving in’ was doing the damage.  Thank goodness Facebook didn’t exist.  Or YouTube.  Or social media at all.  What happened at home wasn’t publicized.

Then conscious parenting change everything for me and my family in 2010.  Dr. Shefali literally saved me and I am forever indebted.  Being a new life coach and having done a lot of personal growth work in other areas I was still parenting traditionally.  Meaning: “Do what I say.  Now.”

Learning that our children are a spiritual gift to help us grow up was revolutionary to me.  I started seeing how my ego was getting in the way.  How my need to be right had damaged relationships throughout my life.  How thinking my child’s behavior was a reflection of me had me trapped.  Little by little I started letting go.  I judged less and loved more.  I looked for ways to connect and not control.

Dr. Shefali posted a heart-wrenching article on Facebook yesterday which has been the topic of much conversation.  It starts out with this tragic paragraph:

“Izabel Laxamana, a 13-year-old girl in Tacoma, Washington died by suicide after jumping off a highway overpass on Friday, May 29. Days before, Laxamana’s father Jeff had reportedly punished her for an unspecified transgression by cutting off her hair and uploading a video to YouTube. There’s now a controversy brewing online and among the girl’s friends and family over whether the video caused her death.”

How can this happen?  Yet it does happen.  There are blogs that encourage you to post pictures of your children when they are throwing tantrums. There are moms who write sarcastically of their children’s dramatic behavior and think it’s funny. Publicly shaming your child?  Since when was funny?  Never.  That’s when.  Dr. Shefali said in a recent text thread that suicide from public shaming is happening almost every other week!  That is insanity which must be stopped.

Think about this for a minute.  Once something is online it is PERMANENT.  There is no way to take it back.  What happens when your child grows up and reads your blog or sees the pictures and videos you are posting of them?  How will they feel?  Did you ever stop to think about that?  What are you hoping to gain by sharing their mistakes?  Would you want me to come and publicly record you the next time you are senselessly yelling at your child or worse?  Of course not. None of us would.

Rather than pointing a finger I’d like to suggest a solution.  Here are 3 simple ways we can all commit to parenting more conscious online:

  1. Remember you are not perfect- This can go a very very long way. Humble yourself and extend the same grace you would hope to receive to your children.  There is NO WAY your children will NOT make mistakes.  This is part of life for all of us.  Conscious parenting embraces mistakes as an opportunity to learn and grow.  It’s a chance to connect with your child.  Create a teachable moment free of judgement.  Think right now of the ideal way you would hope someone would treat you when you mess up and then act that way towards your child.
  2. Commit to only positive comments and posting– I remember my sister used to keep a journal where she would only record all the things she loved about her day. Great people she met.  Places she went.  Things that surprised her.  What a great way to create memories that focus on the positive.  What if we did that for our child.  Keep a journal of all the things you love about them.  Only post positive moments and comments about your children online.  Make it a discipline to see life through this filter and keep your conversation with your child mainly focused on what a wonderful person they are.
  3. Commit to consciously choosing the blogs and books you read– Your eyes are the window to the soul. Don’t allow your eyes to feast on negativity.  Sarcastic and negative jesting about children is not worth your time.  Keep your energy and attention focused on who you want to be and hang around with people online who also share these same values.  I have loved every second of Sandra’s Conscious Parent blog.  Support Patrice and the amazing work she is doing in the world.  Dr. Shefali is a pioneer.  Follow her everywhere she goes.  Suzi and her husband Jami shine so brightly.  Meghan, The Prof Mom, is one to follow too!  These are women you want to choose to be around as much as possible.

There is so much more.  Too much to share here.  Read The Conscious Parent if you haven’t already.  Take our free conscious parenting mini-course to learn more.  Transform yourself through the gift of your child.  Awaken to the beautiful perfectness that is standing right in front of you with messy hair and crusted oatmeal on their face.  Then day-by-day, week-by-week you will see the light of consciousness growing in you and spreading outward to others.

My heart goes out to the Laxamana family for the devastating loss of Izabel and to all children who feel isolated and unheard.  We will do our best to help your parents see that your life is their biggest spiritual blessing.  You are the one they have been waiting for their whole lives to help them grow up.

We love you all and pray for those, like your father, Izabel, who are living unconsciously and who are hurting those around them.  May your light and legacy continue to shine and help others as we bring your story to the world to help make it a more conscious place for everyone to live together.

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Creating Healthy Boundaries for Ourselves and our Children

Mom and ToddlerI have always believed and subscribed to the thought that firm boundaries are an important aspect of life. Setting boundaries allow us to designate where our limits are and are not to be crossed. This can apply to all areas of our life – from children, relationships (family & friends), work environment to behaviors/tolerances, respect, acceptances and everyday encounters in today’s world.

If we have outlined healthy boundaries for ourselves and our lives, it goes without saying that these boundaries will translate easily for us as parents to our children and show up significantly in their lives too. But if we have not then much consideration to incorporating firm boundaries into your family dynamics is a must (in my opinion). Between my husband and I – I am definitely more of the one to set the boundaries for our little one. And as we know our different strengths as parents, the “laying of the land” usually falls more comfortably into my hands by default. This has definitely been one area in our daughter’s growth and development that continues to be “tried and tested” and it has come with many deep breaths, tears, upsets and gray-hairs to say the least but we have seen some significant changes recently and for her too. What I have learned in the little 3.5-years of her life and through my own parenting approach is that in order to create an effective outcome from the boundaries that are being set, I must continue to stay conscious of my “presentation” in communicating them to her so that she learns them with as little “noise” as possible coming from me – like frustration, raising my voice, etc. I’ve found that setting the firm boundaries before the anticipated episode (vs. during the meltdowns) is more effective.

Another absolute is consistency and follow-through. Parents cannot expect their children to adhere to the boundaries if they are ever-changing or if the child is not aware of when they are breaking the boundaries. Constant communication and “teaching moments” need to be at the front and center of every parent’s mind so their children value what they are being taught.

The Process of Laying a Limit – Laying limits firmly, yet from the heart is one of the most challenging things to do. It requires that we open our hearts to our children, deeply connecting to our own feelings and then, connecting to theirs. Once they see that we are fully present to our own authentic expression and theirs, we can lay the limit firmly, without guilt or doubt. But first we need to go within, check ourselves, ask ourselves what the limit means to us, why it is important, and then go ahead and lay it. When we do this inner work first, we are then coherent, consistent, and amply clear. Many of us lay limits willy-nilly and this is when they come back to bite us.Dr. Shefali Tsabary, author of The Conscious Parent

How effective have you been as a parent in setting boundaries with your children? With yourself?

Have you clearly communicated with your children what those boundaries are and if not, why not, what holds you back?

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My Conscious Parenting Journey

Photo May 18, 7 20 07 PM

My Parenting Journey:

From 2001-2009 I was that parent I swore I would never be.  I was a yeller.  I was frustrated.  I was overwhelmed.  I wanted to be better but frankly I didn’t know how.  I’d look at my kids as they were sleeping with those peaceful angelic faces and say, “Tomorrow…yes tomorrow…I will enjoy each moment.  Tomorrow, I won’t rush so much.  Tomorrow I won’t lose my patience.”

Then tomorrow came and you know the story.

So after I ended up running myself into such a rut, I finally got help.  First for myself.  Then, well, for myself again.  It went something like this, if I could simplify it to such a degree.

STAGE 1- The Misery:

1) I was a tired SAHM of 3 girls under the age of 5.

2) I was overwhelmed and frequently took it out on my girls.

3) I felt lost in my life, had an affair and almost ended up divorced.

This led to some awesome stuff.

STAGE 2- The Awakening:

1) I learned that it’s okay to take care of myself, first.

2) I learned how to let go of guilt and stop focusing on perfection.

3) I learned how to stop being a people-pleaser and a victim and started focusing on creating a life I wanted to live.

This led to some more awesome stuff:

STAGE 3- The Application

1) I realized that change was up to me, not anyone else.

2) I decided that I wanted to be a better woman, wife and mother and that I wanted others to join this journey with me, so I became a life coach.

3) I started working with others to help them through the Awakening stage and also found The Conscious Parent in 2010.

Now I’ll be the first to tell you I am NOT a parenting expert.  I am a parent and educator.  

I am always open to learning and growing.  One day as I was dreaming about publishing companies, I came across Namaste Publishing.  By a matter of chance (if you believe in that…I don’t) I found this book, The Conscious Parent by Dr. Shefali Tsabary and was so intrigued by it, I pre-ordered it.

Once I received it, I devoured it, and devoured it again.  I started practicing the principles in my home and watched in awe as the environment changed.

My home was more peaceful.  My girls were more communicative. I was more patient and relaxed.  I stop focusing on perfectionism and instead focused on building healthy relationships based on mutual respect.  I learned how to set boundaries with love and also to allow for natural consequence.

You see, this was all a result of Conscious Parenting, and it was the healing balm my family needed.

I reached out to Dr. Shefali and introduced myself.  I asked her question after question.  I was using her book to coach clients in my office.  I was so passionate about her work that I wrote a workbook as a companion to her book, which Constance, the founder of Namaste, approved for use in the courses I began teaching in my area.

I did this to help others see what I saw.  

So if this sounds like something you’d like to learn, if this sounds like an approach to parenting that might just trump a traditional top down parenting-style you might like to explore Conscious Parenting and see if it can do for you what I did for me, and my family.

I am forever grateful for the work of Dr. Shefali Tsabary.  I am grateful that she was able to verbalize this in a way that we can use.  I am grateful that she is willing to be a pioneer in the very opinionated and rocky world of parenting experts.  Her work is a huge part of the shift we all are making on this road to greater self-awareness.

Join us for this 4-week Conscious Parenting Course.

Take it one step at a time.  Go at your own pace.  The course starts when you’re ready and will be delivered to you by email once a week for 4 weeks.  You will need your own copy of The Conscious Parent by Dr. Shefali.  You will receive a complimentary workbook, which you can only receive by joining this course.

Plus we are over on Facebook in a group that is open for discussion of the Conscious Parent approach.  We are a warm and welcoming group of parents who want to do what is best for our children and for ourselves too.  We want to transform ourselves through our parenting and we are supportive of you as you transform too.  No judgment here.

It all starts with you making a choice to do something different and be the parent you really, deep down, know you can be.  

We love you and hope to see you in the group!  Once you join make sure you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about you and your child and we’ll be happy to help you.

Register Now Ticket

 

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The Worlds Toughest Job…what is it?

I hate to admit it but what I thought was the toughest job is not what this is about and it struck me in a way that I thought it was worth sharing.  

Before I watched it my mind jumped to a few conclusions as to what it would be about…

Top on my list were:

  • Alaskan fishing jobs (I saw a movie on this once documenting how dangerous it is and it has just stuck with me…not sure why I put this on top of the list but it was the first thing that came to mind)
  • Police officer in an inner city ghetto (dealing with drug dealers and gangsters seems really tough..that’s an understatement I’m sure)
  • US Soldier (goes without saying, no explanation needed here!)
  • Neurosurgeon (like Dr. Ben Carson…who separates conjoined twins)
  • ….something along these lines..

But it wasn’t any of these.  This is a real job interview for a real job put on by a real boss.  Comment below when you are done and let me know what you thought it was!

 

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Gratitude: One Photo at a Time

13 11 22 Gratitude Collage

Frustration.  Toleration.  Acceptance.  Gratitude.  Love.  Freedom.

Traveling the journey to greater peace and gratitude one photo at a time.

These past 4 weeks Brene Brown’s Course “The Gifts of Imperfection” have been nothing short of life changing saving for me.  Thank you Oprah for having her create this course for me!

Being a perfectionist, by nature I presume, is not easy.  I have put a lot of pressure on myself, and others, to keep everything running smoothly, and neatly…and that’s not easy with three kids, a husband and a plethora of pets!

In 2010 I had the epiphany moment that it was okay if my house wasn’t perfect, which is part of the story of how Ride the Wave: Journey to Peaceful Living was born.  A constant source of tension was released, which was huge for me and my family.  That may seem like a simple realization, but for a perfectionist, being able to live without stressing while some dirty dishes lie dormant in the sink is nothing short of miraculous.

Well as all journeys begin with excitement and mystery it continues on to this day with revelation after revelation, setback after setback.  I’ve certainly had my highs and my lows.  But you see the honest truth is I’ve been struggling lately.  Even having accomplished so much and having launched my first big conference just 2 months ago, I had fallen into a slump. 

Have you ever felt that way?  Like, when is enough enough? How much more do I have to DO to prove to myself that I’ve done a good job?  It’s flat out exhausting!  So in my job as a life coach I wear the hat of a teacher most often, but I needed some time to be taught and I signed up for the course, not really expecting anything supernatural, but thank God for the unexpected.  The commitment to stick with it and keep going on this path to teaching moms how to be the best they can be has been renewed over these past few weeks.  As I sit here typing this now I feel a great sense of joy.

What happened?  How did this change come about?  It lies in the transformation of a mindset of tolerating to being grateful.  There is a difference between tolerating something and embracing it…you know what I mean?  Tolerating is equivalent to ignoring but ultimately zaps your energy.  It’s the things you are ‘putting up with that need to be fixed’.  Embracing something is knowing it’s not perfect and saying, “That’s just fine.”

Back to the story…my house had become a ‘toleration’ and so had my business.  They were both something that I put up with (albeit peacefully) but in the back of my mind there would come a point where I needed it fixed.  Whether that meant cleaning up messes at home or ramping up my programs online I had to jump into action to make it ‘right’ again.  Be the best in every area.  

So after completing the first 3 weeks of assignments which included making a list of things I am giving myself permission to do (or not do) during the class…for me one of them was permission to cry…finding a picture of me when I was at my most authentic, and also my most awkward and then recognizing my trigger points, how I numb myself when I’m triggered and what brings me true comfort, I thought I was home free.  They were fun and revealing exercises, but nothing too heart-wrenching.

Photo Nov 25, 8 49 48 AM

Enter week 4.  Gratitude.  Now to say this was orchestrated by the greater powers that be is an understatement.  Two months ago I was booked to speak to a group on the power of forgiveness and gratitude THIS WEEK and what is this week’s lesson?  Gratitude.

Assignment: Get behind your camera and take pictures of the everyday things you’re grateful for.  Easy enough…or not.  I was home one morning and decided to tackle the task.  I walked around the house with my iPhone and started snapping.  A pile of shoes in the closet brought a tear to my eye.  A sign taped to Sadie’s bedroom mirror “Disney Imagineer at Work” stuck out amongst her unmade bed and messy floor, Molly’s miniature drum set sat atop her neatly arranged desk overlook her trampoline, the one she begged us for last Christmas, and Amy’s self-portraits from kindergarten.  My how time flies.  Her progress shown right there hanging proudly on her magnetic dry erase board.

Photo Nov 25, 9 01 26 AMAs I sat down at my computer to review my photo shoot, I took one last shot.  This is my life.  Me.  My yoga pants.  Working.  My computer.  On the kitchen table.  With Monty at my foot.  How these moments slip by so quickly unnoticed.  I began crying.  I mean really crying.  It felt weird.  I wanted to stop it, but I remembered my permission slip, so I went there.

No one was home, the kids had gone off to school and Jim was at work.  I felt my heart that had been so productive and focused and goal-oriented for the past 3 years crack open to a new sensitivity.  The tears were running down my cheeks and I let it all out.  Recognizing that what really matters is the mess. 

My girls who are growing so quickly.  My husband who is so relaxed that a messy pile of shoes wouldn’t even register on his radar.  And my freedom to be able to work from home, pursue my passion to help moms live happy and fulfilling lives and still be present for my kids.

This is what I’m grateful for.  I’m not tolerating my life, the messes, the to-do list, I am grateful for it.  It means that there are people around me who need meals cooked for them, it means the girls have permission to be themselves without the pressure to perform to my preference of perfection, it means I can embrace my hubby without thinking about the pile of shoes that need straightening.  That is true freedom.

So I challenge you to look at what you are tolerating and see if you can embrace it.  Stop just accepting life as it comes, be grateful for each and every moment no matter how small.  Gratitude for the small things brings love, freedom and a new appreciation for whom and what surrounds you. 

With Thanksgiving just a few days away take a minute to snap a few of your own photos to mark this precious and fleeting time in your life and see how that brings new perspective on the ordinary, messy and often overlooked moments.  I bet a tear will come to your eye too.

Post a comment below to tell me about your Gratitude Photo Experiment.  I’d love to hear it!

April O’Leary, B.A. Ed. is a Certified Master Life Coach and founder of the University of Moms.   She is the author of two books: Ride the Wave: Journey To Peaceful Living and Focus on You: Your Needs Matter Too.  She happily resides in Southwest Florida with her husband and three daughters. 

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Unjunk Your Mind and Your Plate

Family Food Experts Radio Show

Food can be such a touchy topic for parents and kids.  How do you get your children to eat healthy meals when all they want is pasta with butter, chicken nuggets and pizza? Well that can be a difficult challenge, but not impossible to solve.  

Join me with Ellen Briggs, founder of Kid Kritics and Stacey Antine, founder of HealthBarnUSA as we talk about the mindsets that prevent us from taking good care of ourselves and our children. This interview is full of ideas, recipes and fun.  Listen in as we solve some of the challenges parents face everyday.

Click Here to listen in NOW! 

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Fall Semester Classes- OPEN

The air is finally cooling off a little bit here in Florida.  How about you?  Are you enjoying the change of seasons?  But despite the break from the hot summer sun, the holiday season can be a tough one for moms.  Not only are we busier than ever, but the pressure to make everyone else happy is heightened and it can leave us lacking for time, energy and patience.Although we all desire a ‘picture perfect’ family (and are eager to send cards showing everyone our happiness), behind closed doors we might be a little more stressed than we allow others (except our children) to see.So if you are feeling overwhelmed, if you are dreading the next few months or if you just want to find a better way to not only cope, but breeze through this time of year with a smile on your face, then you are reading the right email!

Give yourself the gift of education.  Our two University of Moms signature courses, led by me, are about to launch LIVE in just a few weeks.  They are aptly named Self-Care for Moms 101 and STOP Reacting 101 and in them I share the nitty gritty details of how I went from a stressed-out and unhappy mom (who yelled a lot) to a mom who is now calm, happy and patient.

Here is what one mom had to say who took both courses.  And check it out, she is a parent educator and and early intervention specialist!  Who would have thought she needed this course?  But she did!I originally decided to take the sample class because I thought It would be interesting and I could possibly use it to count for my job as a parent educator/ early intervention specialist for some continuing Ed classes. While taking the class I realized it was a blessing that it fell into my lap. I have 3 small children and the perfect life I had always dreamed of. Why then was our family full of so much yelling and reacting. Why did I feel out out control and not supported. Through April’s classes and incredibly supportive coaching I was able to dig deeper and realize I wasn’t taking care Of myself.  The stop reacting class was so wonderful for myself and my whole family. This class went above and beyond my expectations. April is a gifted life coach and the class and her coaching have truly been life changing for everyone in my family. ~Dana M., Family Counselor, NC
Each course is 4 weeks long and costs only $39.
Or take both classes for just $69 and get my book Ride the Wave: Journey to Peaceful Living free!
Click the images below to read the course descriptions.
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So skip the new shoes or the monthly pedicure and invest in yourself.  Learn something new and then do something different and I guarantee you WILL get different results.  Like more peace in your house, less stress and rushing and a richer, deeper appreciation for yourself as a mother and a woman.If you can’t join us at the LIVE times as posted don’t worry.   The classes will be recorded and provided to you each week by email so you can listen in when it works best for you.  All live class options include a private Facebook group for support (optional) where you can ask questions and meet new mommy friends too.For the small amount of time and money required to participate, you will reap great rewards that will make your life happier.  You’re children will learn, from you, how to be proactive in life, not a victim, they’ll learn how to find constructive solutions to life’s challenges and how to manage their emotions with ease.

All of this is possible…and more!  How do I know?  Because my house is DIFFERENT than it was just 5 years ago.  It’s quiet.  It’s not stressful.  We look for answers together instead of pointing fingers at one another…and best of all I know how important it is to take charge of my own happiness. I’m not waiting around anymore for someone else to give it to me.  That is why I can honestly say…JOIN ME.  Let me show you how you can have all this too.

As always much love today and always.  Here’s to your peace.  Your happiness.  Your family.  Let it be a pillar for others to admire…all because you created it to be.

April O’Leary
Certified Life Coach
Founder of UofMoms.com
Proud Mother of 3Author of Ride the Wave: Journey to Peaceful Living
Co-Author of Focus on You: Your Needs Matter Too!
www.apriloleary.com and www.uofmoms.com
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Self-Care tips for Moms

I shared some info with my friends over at Just Between Friends that I thought you’d like to see.  It comes from experience and a lot of trial and error.  More error than success frankly.  So although I am not always a perfect example, I am learning each day how to make sure I take care of me, so that I can take care of others to a greater degree.

Click here and you’ll see my TOP 3 TIPS for moms on how to take better care of yourself, and find more happiness in the busy-ness of life.

If you enjoy it please sign up to get our FREE 4-lesson Video Course called “Find Time For You And Be Happier Too!” these tips and more are shared along with exercises to help you uncover areas where you are getting stuck and how you can overcome some of these common self-care sabotage mindsets.

Get Your Free Video e-Course Here

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Lots of love!!

 April O’Leary, Life Coach
Founder of the University of Moms
Creator of the Happy Mom Conference

Author of Ride the Wave and Focus on You
Proud mother of 3 girls

 

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2 Free Mother’s Day Gifts For YOU!

Happy Mother’s Day!  I come bearing gifts to show you how much I value you as a member of our community of moms.  I don’t take it lightly that you take the time to read these blog posts.  I think it is wonderful that you make it a priority to be happy and learn whatever you can so that you can be the best mom you can be and this is my small way of saying, “You’re Awesome!”

The University of Moms Sticker can be yours free!1)  The first gift is a University of Moms auto sticker and a personal hand-written note of encouragement.  Look how cute it is!  I have one on my car (you can see my hand taking that picture) and many other moms do too.  Join the revolution!  To claim yours please email me at april at apriloleary dot com with your mailing address and I will stick one in the mail to you on Monday with a personal note of encouragement.  How often does that happen?  REAL MAIL!  Yes, real handwritten mail…just for you…and feel free to share something about you, your family, your successes your struggles.  I would be happy to respond!
Get your digital copy of Ride the Wave today.  Expires at midnight.2) The second gift is a digital copy of my book Ride the Wave: Journey to Peaceful Living.  In it I describe my challenges as a mother of 3 girls under the age of 5, how I fell into frustration, anger and resentment and how I was able to turn a marriage on the brink of divorce around.  Yes, we are still happily married today.  You can do it too, if you follow my simple system which I have outlined for you in the book.  To get your copy of Ride the Wave: Journey to Peaceful Living (value $8.99 on Kindle) CLICK HERE. Offer expires at midnight tonight.

“What can you do for me?” you asked.  That’s so sweet of you to think of me…I really appreciate it.  If you could share this post with 3 mommy friends with a personal note about the University of Moms and invite them to join us at UofMoms.com that would be a wonderful gift..not just for me, but for them too!

You are also invited to download the University of Moms App!  
If you don’t already have it on your phone I hate to say it, but you are missing out!  We have moms in our community from the US, Canada, New Zealand, Europe and as far as Pakistan!  It’s a free download and you can get it in the iTunes and Google Play stores.  On it you’ll have access to our courses, books, daily motivational messages, other free material and more.  We’re here to support you every step of the way!
Finishing School
And if you haven’t checked it out yet, I have put up a ton of free audio classes, interviews, downloadable workbooks and more.  No registration required.  Click the “Finishing School” image to see them.  No email registration required.  I am lowering all barriers to entry just so you can be the best mom you can be.  🙂  Why? Because that’s my way.
I wanted to make sure you saw this one-minute video if you missed it.  Christian did an excellent job catching the feeling of the top ten reasons you HAVE TO come to the Happy Mom Conference.  For more details and EARLY BIRD registration visit HappyMomConference.com.  


If you have been detailed enough to read all the way to the end you’ve just found one more way I’d love to support you.  Schedule a free 30-minute coaching consultation.  I’d be happy to hear from you.  Much love to you today and always!  Have a wonderful Mother’s Day.  Treat yourself kindly and embrace the woman you are!  Remember when you are with the University of Moms….being a happy mom just got easier!  Love you all!  April

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