How to survive one of those mommy days?

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We all have them, one of those mommy days where everything goes wrong, where your kids have decided to become little monsters, the to do list just gets longer and you have no idea how to survive the day.

I had one of these today. I don’t know if it is because daylight saving time went in last weekend, or if I was just in a bad mood and my kids picked up on that, but today was one of those days. Even though they are only 1,5 and 3 years old, they were fighting all day and being mischievous little monsters. So how do you survive these days?

  1. It all starts with acknowledging that these days exist. And it is okay to have them. Usually it is just a day, (however sometimes it is a little phase,) and yes it will pass. So if it is one of those days where you think: ‘why did I become a mother?’  then put it in perspective, it is just one of those days.
  2. Breathe, just breathe, and take another breathe. Try to let your breath flow your body.
  3. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10. Yes count to 10 before you react. Such an easy task, so hard to follow through. These ten seconds can help you take some time before you react.
  4. Figure out what sets you off. Why are you so stressed out and yelling? Is it your work deadline? A fight with your husband? A to do list a mile long? Haven’t had a descent nights sleep in ages? Whatever it is, know that it is in the back of your mind and it influences your day. And then realize, why do you get so angry when a situation occurs? My kids were just really naughty today, and just not listening to me at all. I felt as if I didn’t exist, and that linked with no sleep led me to be super cranky.
  5. Figure out what sets your kids off. Yes, there is always a moment where a situation escalates, where a little cry becomes a huge tantrum. My little man can escalate quick when he is tired and feels that a situation is unfair. So I definitely do not want to go to the supermarket with this guy when he is tired, hungry and wants an ice cream.
  6. Change up the energy. Have you ever noticed that when you sit in a meeting all day, you are bored and tired? Well, the same happens to your kids. If they have the same activities with the same energy all day, then they tend to get cranky. So try to change up the energy once in a while, reading a book, going outside, coloring, and then dancing to music, etc.
  7. Have a support system in place. Some days,  it can become too much. If that is the case, use your support system, a family member, a neighbor, another parent….. Sometimes, all you need is a half hour to recuperate. If your child can just play for half an hour at a friends, then you have some breathing room. Sometimes that is all you need….. and if that is not possible, the boob tube can sometimes also be a solution.

This helped me get through today. I am turning in early and today will be a new beautiful day where we will see what will happen.

 

 

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Letting go of my soda addiction

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I confess, I am addicted to diet coke or in European terms cola light. I didn’t even know how bad it was, until the coke machine broke at work and I walked to another building to get diet coke .

I told a friend, and she laughed so hard. And said “you are not the only one” and proceeded telling her story about her inspiring India trip where she kind of went nuts when she couldn’t find any diet coke. So she finally found 2 cans at a gas station, and was trying to figure out what would be the best time to drink them  in order survive the trip.

I have been drinking diet coke since I was in high school and haven’t stopped since. I drink about one glas to a whole bottle a day, easy. My best friend calls it Zoe’s accessory, can’t leave the house without it.

Yesterday, I decided it has been enough. How can I just quit something that has been such a big part of my life? After some online research, I was shocked as to what this artificially sweetened fizzy drink could do to a person.

When looking at the ingedrients – sparkling water, caramel color (E150d) Phosphoric Acid (E338), Citric Acid (E330) Potassium Benzoate, Aspartame (E951), Natural Flavors and caffeine – I noticed that I was drinking a bottle full of chemicals.

My three year old asked me:  “mommy, can I have some?” and that was the moment when I decided enough is enough. I am ditching soda for a three months, weaning off of it long enough to let go of the addiction. It has been on my bucketlist for ages, and starting yesterday, I decided it was time to let go of the caramel fizzy drink that has made me happy and sane (as I like to call it) all these years. Wish me luck.

 

 

 

 

Vote for Love

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Today, the Netherlands have their elections. We are voting for our future for the next four years. It is interesting how a small country can have 27 parties to chose from. In the end, our government is a mix of different parties. However, how do you chose if you want to vote and how do you chose which party you are going to vote for?

Well, after brexit and the us elections, I chose to vote. When you vote, you have a voice and your voice counts!.

The last weeks the media has been all about the elections and there was a lot of negativity and I was sick of it. And apparently, I was not the only one. 12 chief editors of dutch womens media thought it was enough and that it is time for some positive energy. Their message: vote for love – do not vote con,  but pro, and let your heart speak when you vote.

This message was powerful and made me first think about my values and what I wanted on the big political positions before looking at what the different parties stand for. I voted for love and really let my hart speak.

 

 

Finding your voice

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Foto by Jason Roswell (unsplash)

Finding your voice is something special that everyone needs to experience at least once in their life. I used to know who I was and what I stood for, however, somewhere along the way I lost my voice. I became a wife, a career woman, a mom, a …. well let’s just say I was so busy with living life and living up to everyone else’s expectation that I lost my voice.

So I guess this blog is my way to find my voice or well myself again. And find that sparkle that I have always had. How to let go of being perfect? How to let go of wanting to have people like me? How to let go of not disappointing? How to start being me? I don’t have the answers to these questions, but that is  what I want to find out.

How to do this, I have no clue. I am figuring this out as we go. I do know I like to explore life, do experiments, read (a self help book junkie), laugh and well, just try not take myself seriously (that last one will actually be hard work.
So let’s find my voice.

Hello world

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Hello world! My name is Zoe Carmichael. I am a woman, wife, mother of two youngsters, a career woman, a traveller, a creator and well ……a bit lost. I came to that realization a year ago while on vacation. For the first time in a long time, all I had to do was be there for my husband and kids. No cleaning, no laundry, no cooking, just enjoying the atmosphere and running after two little ones. After a week, I realized I had lost my sparkle. You know, that twinkle in my eye…..that spark in your step…..the way life just looked good.

So I stood still and decided life needs to change. I was so busy with being a good mom, having a career, being a wife, that I forgot about myself. I was stressed out, living on to do lists and just tired all the time. To be honest, change has been slow. My youngster (1 and 3) have decided that sleep is overrated, so this mom is tired all the time.

I have decided to start this blog to share my journey to find my sparkle again with the world. I am a mom on a mission to find my sparkle and share it with the world.

 

 

 

 

A day off not well spent

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Photo: Clem Onojeghuo (unsplash)

In my eyes, a day off should look like the photo above. Relaxing with your loved one(s), enjoying the moment and enjoying life. However, today did not look like that. I took a day off because I was tired and overwhelmed. My husband confirmed it by telling me I had been snippy lately, which was my sign that I was stressed and needed a personal day. There was so much to do, so much on my plate, how does this thing called life work.

So I took my day off. And was busy with catching up on mail and emails, cleaning our house, shopping, watching Netflix and going to the hairdressers. In short, trying to shorten my very long to do list.

While I was sitting at the hairdressers getting my hair colored, I thought “What am I doing here? Am I spending valuable time sitting here because of vanity?” And then my hair color turned out horrendous, so I had to spend a total of three hours in the seat and the battery of my phone was dead.  So all  there was, was silence…. And I was the saddest person…. All because I had to sit still and actually feel emotion. There was nothing to distract me from how I felt. I realized that this day, the time spent could not be taken back. Time is so precious, and all I did was waste it.

So my next day off, will be spending time my time wisely – spending time with my family, relaxing, enjoying life, laughing and putting the to do list away.

When all you need is rest…..

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Foto by Morre Christophe (unsplash)

I looked at this picture and just thought “wow, this is what I want”: some rest and peace, sleep, lots of sleep, time to be me, time to find me again, time to find my sparkle.

Motherhood is amazing and it is also hard. Once you become a mom, you have to refind your balance: the balance of life, love and who you are. A mother, a partner, a lover, a friend, a career woman,  a neighbor, a …….. however, you are also you. And well, I haven’t found that balance yet. I fell into the trap of becoming a mom and predominantly being the wife and mother, and somewhere out there trying to do something about my career and trying to be a good friend, but ‘me’ does not really exist. I have sacrificed ‘me’ for the greater good, for a clean home, for a home cooked meal, for soothing my babies when they cry, playing with them, feeling as if I have to be on call 24/7 for my family, for my job, for my friends, always feeling guilty about something.

And right now, all I need is rest. If you would ask how my dream day would look like, I would love to check into a luxury hotel, turn off my phone and sleep. Just be in a nice beautiful comfy fluffy bed and not have responsibilities, just let go of the to do lists, of the worry, of the constant on call, just let go and sleep.

So this is me: a 37 year old mom of two, wife, parttime consultant who does not get enough sleep. I have not slept well for it feels like ages… my one year old does not care for sleep or care that mommy and daddy are going insane with waking up three or four times a night. I looked in the mirror today and could not recognize the woman in the mirror. Let alone the lines that have decided not to go away, I see eyes that do not radiate joy. Where did the sparkle go? You know that twinkeling in my eye I always had and the sense that life is beautiful and fun.

So I decided that I am going on a mission to find my sparkle. I don’t know where to search for it or where I will find it, but it has to be out there somewhere or somewhere in me….