Alexandra Hughes

Coaching Mothers to a Place of

calm & joyful living

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%22good%22 baking mom

Good Mom things.

So that’s a photo from my vision board last year.

It is not me.

It is what I want to be…

That good baking Mom – the one who has fun throwing flour all over the place while she bakes with her child.

Playful memories full of carefree laughter.

Well, sorry to say, but that particular image did not manifest itself last year.

Nope.

 

Arts and crafting
Baking cookies.
Boardgaming.
Cooking together.
Kicking the soccer ball around.
Lego building.
Playing tag in the park.
Reading a book.
Sledding down the hill (with my bottom on the toboggan).

 

This is that list of stuff I feel like I should do with my kids.

Isn’t this what memories are made of?

And don’t I just suck if I don’t do it?

 

Yes, that’s the kind of self-talk that goes on inside my monkey mind a lot.

And when something goes wrong with one of my kids, I blame myself for not having done those good mom things enough.

 

In fact the self-talk goes beyond not having done these things

(because even I have done each and every one of those things at least, well, once)

 

For me it is about not doing all of it.

Every single day.

(Not-enoughitis anyone?)

And, worst of all, for not actually enjoying that stuff as much as I should.

 

This not-enoughitis and shoulditis business was so prevalent that I even went as far as to try manifest it through vision boarding!

Come on, Alex!!

Let’s get real.

 

I mean, it’s taken nearly a decade to accept that I don’t really enjoy playing tag

That I’m not always in the mood to bake

That sometimes I’m too lazy to get out the arts and craft stuff (and then tidy up after!)

And hey, I actually like to cook alone.

 

Why does it feel like I’m a bad Mom when I feel and think this way?

 

I’ll tell you why…

Because we’ve bought into this idea that doing these good mom things make us, well, good Moms.

And for those of us who enjoy these things naturally, then hoorah!

This is so worth celebrating.

 

But for those of us who grit our teeth when asked to build yet another lego castle…

I want to say I get it.

I want to say it’s ok.

We aren’t all like that…made of that material.

 

In fact I’d go as far as arguing that it’s healthy for our children to have their own worlds

And just as healthy for you to have yours.

 

What if the greatest gift to your children is to be yourself – authentically, truly, madly, deeply yourself?

Full of joy

Full of confidence

Full of love

Full of passion

 

What if…

 

I wonder if this were you, then the nexus where your worlds met would be defined by all these things

By joy, confidence, love, passion.

 

Maybe not all of the time…

But maybe more of the time.

 

I wonder…

 

So maybe it’s ok to say no.

Maybe it’s ok for them to know that you don’t like everything they like.

Maybe it’s ok for them to know that you don’t always feel like doing what they want.

Maybe it’s ok for them to know that you are not their entertainer.

 

Because more important than all of this…

Is that you be true to you.

Guilt-free authenticity.

Imagine that.

 

Hmmm.

 

P.S. If you want some handholding in your work towards guilt-free authenticity, then keep a look out for news about my MAMA inJOY mentorship program in your inbox tomorrow. I’m opening up 6 spaces for this 6-month coaching program tomorrow.

photo credit: Laura Ferreira

Wanting it all…

The modern day Mama wants it all.

Result:

We are spinning many plates

Juggling many balls.

We are aspiring to the undefined ever-changing impossible.

 

The modern day Mama thinks other modern day Mamas have it all, perfectly and blissfully.

Result:

She hates the other modern day Mama.

She is constantly looking out and wanting that.

She hates herself for not having it.

 

The modern day Mama believes she can and should do it all perfectly and blissfully on her own. By herself.

Result:

She feels alone.

She feels a failure.

She doubts.

 

The modern day Mama worries however much she gives, it just isn’t enough.

Result:

She gives more.

She exhausts herself.

She loses herself.

 

The modern day Mama believes if the above are not achieved, she will forever have fucked her kids up.

Catastrophe.

This is the ultimate failure.

 

Let’s pause for a moment…

 

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credit: Image Catalog

When Doubts visit.

Mr. 5 really belongs in Montessori.

If only I’d kept the office job…that would have paid for it…

Or maybe I should have home schooled him…

I know! We should have moved to Ottawa (where we could afford Montessori tuition)

 

Mr. 8 feels lost in this D.C. boy culture.

If only we’d stayed in the UK…

If only we’d moved to Ottawa…

If only I’d signed him up for Boy Scouts…he’d surely have felt a sense of belonging there.

 

Ms. 11 is a scatterbrain…she loses everything and is super disorganized.

If only I’d never taken that office job…

If only I’d been more there for her when the boys were little…she needed me to guide her more along the way.

She was thrown to the wolves when the boys came along.

 

If only…

 

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photo credit: Jessica Lucia

“Why do Daddies work more than Mummies?”

“Why do Daddies work more than Mummies?”

I whip my head around, look at my boy and just to make sure I heard right…

“WHAT?!”

I catch that holy-shit-what-did-my-son-just-say-to-me-we’re-getting-something-majorly-wrong-here panic in the shrilled one-word question.

More cautiously and slowly, he repeats:

“Why do Daddies work more than Mummies?”

 

It’s an innocent question.

 

Yet I’m totally shocked.

Speechless.

I don’t even know where to begin.

 

In retrospect, I know that I should have asked (without judgement): “Why do you think that, honey?” and explored the subject calmly.

 

But I didn’t.

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imperfectbeauty

Getting it wrong

I’m that Mom that sends her kid off to soccer practice with indoor gear, when the game is outdoor.

I’m that Mom that takes her kid to the wrong venue, 30 minutes late.

I’m the one who hasn’t quite figured out what league team her aspiring soccer star is on.

And sadly, I’m the Mom who yells at her kids for being late when it was me last out the door!

 

I’ve given up on water bottles.

Homework is optional.

Clean sheets are luxury.

 

So standards are basic.

And yes, I get it wrong

All. The. Time.

 

And the cherry on the cake is that I’m the so-called “lead” parent.

I mean my husband doesn’t even know the kids teachers’ names.

(Now that’s bad!)

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