Nicki Anderson
Archive for the ‘Being a Mom’ Category

Let Go of Scrooge and Create Your Own Holiday Joy

By Nicki On December 21, 2013 4 Comments

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For the last 15 years I have experienced and enjoyed the holidays fully. When I was young, I had the all too common experience of divorce in my family which resulted in less than stellar holidays, and often some form of drama. My story isn’t unusual, but how I decided to change it all is  important

From the time I was about 11, which was shortly after my parents divorced, I never looked forward to the holidays. They were painful, often included awkward moments debating  where we were to spend Christmas, who bought what for whom and how much they spent on each child and on and on. It was never enjoyable.  I was more excited to see the holidays end versus start of the season. My recollection is that the celebratory part of the holidays were nonexistent.Therefore, my best defense or my coping strategy was getting sick. Invariably, every Thanksgiving or Christmas I was sick.

Being sick kept me in bed and gave me a “free pass” to skip out on the holiday drama. I found it worked well. Unfortunately, when I started my own family the behavior continued. One summer I went to visit my relatives and we began reminiscing. We got on the subject of the holidays and my cousin asked about my family holidays, “I hate the holidays. It just stirs up all the old crap and quite frankly, I dread them every single year.”

She looked at me with cheerless eyes and said, “Oh Nicki, now is the time to create your own history. You’re doing yourself and your family a huge disservice by allowing the past to dictate your future.  Why not start your own family traditions and build new, happy memories?”

Why hadn’t I thought of that? How selfish I was to allow my bad experiences to flow over in to my family. I started thinking about the time I had wasted having a pity party for myself. “What’s done is done,” I thought. What was odd is that I had managed to master the skill of leaving behind my past  in so many other areas, yet the holidays I couldn’t seem to cut loose. That was until my cousin put things in perspective for me. Sometimes you’re just ready to hear things.

The following Christmas I made the decision to enjoy the holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I vowed not to get sick and to enjoy MY family. It was time for our family to write our own history and most important for my children to experience great holidays. Trust me, it wasn’t easy but it really wasn’t  about me now was it? It’s about so much more no matter what your beliefs.

This Christmas will be the 15th Christmas since having that discussion with my cousin. Each year becomes more fun, more enjoyable and we have built some pretty incredible memories. At the end of the day it really was up to me to discontinue the cycle of negativity and create an opportunity for my children to construct their own memories and traditions. And we definitely have traditions, special, wonderful, fun, loving traditions.

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No matter your history, your future is yours to write, however you choose. We can continue to live in the past allowing it to dictate our future, or we can grant ourselves the opportunity to generate new memories making the past something to cherish. To me, that is the best present of all.

I wish you warm holidays, wonderful traditions and most importantly a story full of hope, love and possibility.

 

Here’s to never wishing for more time, rather making the most of it.

Nicki


Thanksgiving- Lost in Translation

By Nicki On November 25, 2013 2 Comments

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One of the reasons I love Thanksgiving is that it’s not about the gifts, it’s about family. Coming together, sharing a meal, sharing stories and realizing what really matters. However, thanks to this crazy world of consumerism, we can’t even forget about the world around us for one day because stores have decided to open. I don’t know about you, but I really hate the idea.

If you look at the evolution of Christmas, this once very sacred holiday has become more about everything other than the historical meaning. People have become obsessed with shopping and getting the perfect gift.  Money, greed and stress have replaced, peace on earth.  Kind of crummy.

I know there are some people that cherish Black Friday as  a family tradition. They wake up at the crack of dawn and begin their shopping marathon. Given that it’s AFTER Thanksgiving I figure to each his own.  But now it seems no holiday is immune to the marketing  ploys of big business. The one day a year when people come together, the good, bad and the ugly of holidays feasts and it’s now compromised because the world of retail has come up with one more tactic to part you with your money and your family.

Personally, I will not even think about going out shopping on Thanksgiving, it’s the one day out of the entire year where we sit down as a family, with no agenda, no place to be, no rushing off to work and we can just be a family. No cares, no worries. I always considered Thanksgiving the calm before the storm. The big exhale of the holiday season. thanksgiving-pledge

I don’t know about you, but I plan to stay toasty and warm without any plans  other than being with my family. I owe it to them and to the holiday. It’s is a time to be THANKFUL. The idea of putting shopping before family just doesn’t sit well with me.  As much as people have complained about losing Christmas or Chanukah to the world of retail, that loss now includes Thanksgiving, the one holiday I thought was immune. Sadly, I was wrong.

What will you be doing on Thanksgiving?

 

Here’s to never wishing for more time, rather making the most of it.

 

Nicki


Don’t Let Technology Trump Family Time

By Nicki On August 4, 2013 2 Comments

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More and more I’m noticing a trend, and I don’t like it.  The trend is families engaging less with each other and more with their iPhones or iPads.

It’s no longer uncommon to see families out to dinner all texting with zero conversation throughout the entire meal. I see Mom’s pushing strollers while talking on their cell phone. And all too often, I see parents in the car at a stop sign, checking their phones and kids on their phones.

Personally, I have a hard time with it and want to gently remind parents that time with your kids is fleeting, don’t miss it by spending more time with your phone than with your kids.

I know, I know the world is changing and maybe I just need to get with the program. However, one thing that never changes in the importance of face time with your children.

When pushing a stroller you may feel that walking behind your child means chatting on the phone with a friend is fine, it’s not. It’s a perfect time to get away from the regular distractions of everyday life. It’s a perfect time to point out nature moments. Or simply to have quiet time.MomIphone2

Out to dinner, really? Please parents, I beg of you. The time with your children is precious and sadly short. There is no more important time with your family than meal time. Put technology away, it will be there tomorrow. Your kids however will be gone before you know it.

Car conversation was invaluable when my kids were little. I was briefed on the daily doings at school, who was  mad at whom and what things happened at school that day, both good and not so good. I miss that time and trust me, you will one day too.

I  understand that there is a new generation of  tech savvy parents, but the one constant is time and it passes quickly.

Next time you’re with your kids, put the phone away and ask that they do the same. You will never get back those precious moments with your kids. And though they may not like the idea of  technology breaks, 20 years from now, they will thank you.

 

Here’s to never wishing for more time, rather making the most of it!

Nicki


What Me Worry? I’m a Mom, it’s my job!

By Nicki On July 27, 2013 3 Comments
College grad at last!

College grad at last!

This summer, my last college graduate is home doing what many recent college grads do, hunting for a job. (She’s a telecommunications/marketing major if anyone is hiring!)

As I watched her cross the stage to get her $100,000.00 piece of paper, I couldn’t ignore the  movie playing inside my head of all that’s passed and brought us to this day. First steps, first tooth, first haircut, first day of pre-school, first day of kindergarten, 5th grade “graduation.” Then there’s the Jr. High years, we’ll skip those. First high school dance, date, parties and high school graduation. Like all high school grads there is  reticence about choosing the right college, and ultimately she found her dream college, was accepted and I became an empty nester. (Insert happy dance here).

This was the fourth time going through this process and no matter how many times I’ve been through it, I worried every step of the way. From the time they were born, I’d lie in bed praying for their safety, their happiness, making the right choices, and on and on. I now have 4 adults and the worries are no less.

One of my favorite Mom stories happened with my 3rd son. We were heading down to visit a college and we were waiting to get on a tram to take us to our destination. The tram pulled up, doors opened and I dropped something. While picking it up, the doors closed to the tram and my son was on it with out me.  I screamed his name at the top of my lungs,”M-I-T-C-H!!!!” A couple of people ran over to ask what was wrong, I said, “My son, he’s on the tram without me. ”  They asked, “How old is he?”  At that moment I realized how awkward this situation was. I replied, “19.”  Of course they looked at me not quite sure what to say. Finally, one woman said, “I’m sure he’ll be fine.”   When I connected with my son, all he could say is, “Mom, that was embarrassing. I could hear you screaming.”  I tried to explain it was simply a worried mother. He didn’t buy it.

My boys with their worrywart Mom.

My boys with their worrywart Mom.

Just last night, my daughter was out. I didn’t sleep well until I heard the door unlock, listened to her footsteps as she made her way to her room and the safety of her bed,  lights out.  Happy Mom.

My Grandmother told me, “Sweetheart, no matter how old your  kids are, a mother’s worry never ceases.” I’m reminded once again how smart my Grandmother was.

 

Here’s to never wishing for more time, rather making the most of it.

Nicki