This is not the Mother’s Day essay I intended to write

This is not the Mother’s Day essay I intended to write.  

This essay is about me. It’s about how I learned forty-year-old woman can act like petulant toddlers – and their Moms will still love them.  This is the absolute uncensored truth on all levels.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom, (aka Grandma Macaroni). I love you.

I bicker with my Mom.

I roll my eyes at my Mom.

I am exasperated with my Mom when she buys my child expensive birthday / Christmas / Easter / no reason other than she wanted to presents.

She ‘just wants to’ frequently, so I’m frequently exasperated.

I am frustrated with my Mom when she morphs into a short order cook and meets my child’s utterly random requests for ‘melty cheese’ or ‘macaroni and peas’ or ‘the good crackers.’  I am most especially frustrated because I have no earthly clue which crackers are the ‘good’ crackers. This is their little game, and if I’m honest, I’m a little jealous.

I am irritated with my Mom when she brushes me off and gives my child another cookie. Extra cookies happen often, so yes, you guessed it – I am irritated often.

This past week I sat with my coffee and my laptop, morning after morning, trying to summon the great American Mother’s Day essay. Concentrating and meditating and deleting, as the words just never seemed right, never seemed enough.

I was searching for words of love and wonder. But, those words packed themselves up for a holiday without notice, leaving me dry. In a final, desperate bid to summon words, any useful words, I flipped back through old journals.  Surely reading my words, written in my hand would unstick the spigot – it had to, I had deadlines and time waits for no writer.

So I sat reading my journals. Leafing recklessly though pages that contained lists of what I was grateful to have in my life, plans for the future, recollections and hopes and joys. I was flipping back and forth a bit recklessly when I slammed into the wall of fear and pain. Stung by the scrawl I didn’t recognize as my own, I read the entries full of fear I wrote last winter.  I noted how my letters were bigger, loopier, rushed and raw. I wanted to turn the pages and run from my words, but I was stuck there by the stinging, searing, memories. For three months I was gripped by a variety of fears as my mom, who I can’t recall even having the flu was desperately sick.  Some unknown bizarre infection was wreaking havoc in every sense of the word - and I was powerless.  I was frantic, powerless and lost. I closed my eyes and willed the images away, but still I remembered the phone calls to and from my brother and father. I remembered keeping the phone ringer at full volume so I wouldn’t miss a call or text. I couldn’t miss a call or text.

I was submerged by the memories of the vows I made that began ‘If my mom is ok.”

If my Mom is ok I’ll let her buy my child whatever she wants to.

If my Mom is ok I’ll never be snide when she asks me to call to say I got home ok.

If my Mom is ok I’ll never complain that she lets the baby watch TV.

If my Mom is ok I’ll never roll my eyes when she questions my parenting.

If my Mom is ok I’ll never chastise her for undermining my parental authority.

If my Mom is ok… If my Mom is ok… If my Mom is ok…

Had I fulfilled any of those vows? Any? Even for a short time?

Didn’t I just question why she bought another American Girl outfit? Wasn’t it last month I pleaded with her to keep the Easter baskets reasonable this year? I allowed the first cookie so why, I recalled asking, did she have to push it to two cookies? And for the love of life could someone tell me which crackers are the ‘good crackers’ so I know which brand to buy?

Stunned the clock brought me back. Another day’s office hours resulted in nothing productive and know the toddler needed to be picked up.  I put the old journals back, splashed water on my face and hit the Starbucks between my front door and school pickup line. Yes, I had made coffee that morning, but it grew cold and sour while I tripped on my memories. Not much in life is worse than cold coffee or broken vows, besides I needed the familiarity of the drive thru to steady me. I needed the caffeine to snap me back.

It was raining so we couldn’t play on the schoolyard slide.  As my toddler waved good-bye to classmates, I noticed the quivering lip, the sad forlorn brown eyes and sensed my window to restore calm was closing – quickly.  I knelt to explain we’d play another day, steeling myself in case this mission went south with the reminder: this kid saves the tantrums for me because I’m the safe harbor. I’m the person it is safe to screech at, stamp feet at and glare at while yelling, “I’m so frustrated.”

I get to deal with the tantrums because I’m Mom.

My love is sure and absolute.

My love is constant and relentless.

That absolute, relentless love despite anything this kid throws at me is the love that Moms talk about when we say we’d do anything for our kids. Anything to see them happy, see them safe, see them spared of pain or robbed of joy.  Maybe those moments when being the Mom is tough are really gifts; I get to prove that fierce love over and over and over… and Please Lord over and over and over and over for a long time to come.

Standing in the cold spring rain I realized I didn’t really break those vows. I was just testing the limits of a more mature Mother / Daughter bond. Giving her the gift of loving her child over and over and over and over and Thank You Sweet Lord over and over and over again.

My Mom’s love is without question and therefore, can tolerate eye rolls, snide comments and exasperated sighs. I looked deep into those big brown eyes and said, “Hey, you want to call Grandma?”

“Good crackers?” the small voice asked?

I replied “Sure, Mommy promises to ask Grandma were to get the good crackers.”


Jennifer Bellber is a Certified Professional Life Coach & Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner. She's a wife, mother of a toddler, sometimes blogger, photographer for fun and charitable causes, slow runner and weight lifting enthusiast who reduced her physical self by 120 pounds a few years ago. 

Jennifer's passion is helping overwhelmed parents figure out who they want to be when their kids grow up, ditch the Mommy Guilt (or Daddy Guilt as the case may be) and live a connected, empowered, wickedly amazing sexy life of their own design.

To learn more about Jennifer, visit: www.jenniferbellber.com

Source: www.jenniferbellber.com

My Word for 2016

As a society we seem to have turned away from New Year’s resolutions and turned toward a single word to sum up our intentions for the clean slate of a new year. A Word which could and would bring us back to center in moments of uncertainty, moments when a decision mandates we consider the bigger picture of our why and how.

As I embraced the search for my own why and how I paused to take a look deep inside, to see what was important to me. Really, I was searching for a word that summed up my goals and aspirations – but what are they? Some aspirations like prioritizing my marriage, regaining a higher level of fitness and shedding the final forty pounds of baby weight have been with me for a while. Other goals like ignoring comparisons to other mothers are newer, but no less compelling. These goals required a word that was action oriented and contemplative.  A word that wouldn’t shrink under the sheer volume and momentum of a mompreneur’s to do list.

I’m not entirely sure if I found my word or my word found me. Either way it is concise, compact and oddly liberating.

My word for 2016 is Me.

That’s Me with a deliberately capitalized M – the Me of my higher, enlightened Self.

What does Me mean? It means a year of radical self-love and radical self-care, which ensures I show up as the best version of Me possible.

Me: connecting deliberately with my husband. Sharing my joy, my strength, my passion and my compassion.

Me: connecting consciously with my child.  Focusing when we are together kicking the ‘must multitask’ monkey mind to the curb and reveling in the joy of raising a competent, independent thinker.

Me: shrugging off unsolicited advice and comparisons. I’m the Wife, Mother and Woman I’m meant to be. I am enough as I am and I chose to grow stronger and more fearless each day.

Me: eating healthy foods 85-90% of the time. Me and My Family are worth the time and cost associated with proper, healthy meals, nutritious foods and luscious desserts. Oh and drinking more water because I’m worth the potty break time-outs.

Me: Running. Lifting. Coming back to my badass self who could once out lift every other chick in the gym.

Me: Splurging on new running shoes, seamless socks and a weekly yoga class.

Me: growing into my professional role. Working during office hours with clients and on programs that bring passion, purpose and empowerment.

Me: caring about those who care about me. Friendship is built on trust, loyalty and laughter.

Me: laughing long and loud with those friends I value who force me to level up my game.

That’s Me for 2016. What’s your word?


Jennifer Bellber is a Certified Professional Life Coach & Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner. She's a wife, mother of a toddler, sometimes blogger, photographer for fun and charitable causes, slow runner and weight lifting enthusiast who reduced her physical self by 120 pounds a few years ago. 

Jennifer's passion is helping overwhelmed parents figure out who they want to be when their kids grow up, ditch the Mommy Guilt (or Daddy Guilt as the case may be) and live a connected, empowered, wickedly amazing sexy life of their own design.

To learn more about Jennifer, visit: www.jenniferbellber.com

Source: www.jenniferbellber.com

A Heartfelt Thanks To My Mum

To the one who gave me a Beautiful #gift called #LIFE – My Mother!!

My GRATITUDE list is endless, but here are a few reasons that make her special. I'd like to extend a heartfelt THANKS to my mum for:

  1. Making that choice of putting my happiness and well-being ahead of her own.
  2. Teaching me the hard lessons to do the right things.
  3. Making me strong and confident and to become independent in life.
  4. Being there always as a strong pillar of support.
  5. Being strong in my weak times
  6. Walking my path with me and not leave my side.
  7. Being my VALENTINE this year and every year – You showed me the real meaning of “LOVE”
  8. FORGIVING me again and again and again for every mistake I made in my life.
  9. ACCEPTING me the way I am with my flaws.
  10. LOVING me UNCONDITIONALLY in this selfish world.

Thank you Mom for everything!! I wish to make you proud someday and to also see you “Happy”.


Kusha Kalra is a passionate Facilitator and High Impact Presentation Designer. Friends and colleagues know her for the positivity and magnificent vibrancy that she exhibits in her training sessions. The innovations and creativity have left a lasting impression on the audiences.

Kusha is certified coach from International Coach Academy and is keen on helping people in their pursuit of happiness. To learn more, visit: www.happylives.in

Source: www.happylives.in

Love Doesn’t Have To Be Scandalous!

Let Me Set The Scene: 

“You’ve just spent the perfect evening with your “man”. He compliments your outfit and then proceeds to enquire about your day, and lovingly holds your hand while dining in a quiet, dimmed-lit cafe; then out of the blue, he presents you with an early birthday gift. Your evening is complete back at your place as you snuggle under the sheets to “get your groove on”. With a parting kiss to your forehead, he makes a quick exit before he can reply to your question about birthday plans. 

Before you know it, the day has arrived and everything is ready. Your favorite CD croons in the background as apple cider wafts through the apartment. His work schedule is relentless so you send a quick “Thinking about you” text, and then cry off from your girlfriends’ happy hour meet up without too much explanation. As the hours go by, you finally decide to call him only to hear the laughter of children in the background and a woman’s voice asking about gift advice for his mother! Surprise surprise, he hangs up and you go straight to voicemail when you anxiously call back.”

The Sad Truth

Face it, whether he’s in a committed relationship, engaged or married, he will never be yours for keeps. You are merely a distraction that not even the sexiest Victoria’s Secret ensemble can fix.

Today we have shows like Scandal (Olivia Pope), Mistresses (Dr Karen Kim) and Being Mary Jane (Mary Jane Paul) where the leading ladies become entangled in equally complicated relationships and spend their time alone during holidays and special occasions. I’m sure we all secretly or publicly know women in the exact same scenario who seem powerless to walk away.

How To Break The Cycle

Here are the top 5 challenges for women who inherently attract difficult rather than real love:

1.      Façade of confidence – appearing to be in control

2.      Addicted to discreet, short-term no obligations lifestyle

3.      Feelings of powerlessness or afraid of ending up alone

4.      Lack of a relationship exit plan and difficulty in motivating themselves to establish one

5.      Self-sabotage before, during, or after the relationship

We are each a product of our own belief system and life experiences, and naturally tend to imitate our female family members.  For many of us however, we ultimately learn about relationships from unhealthy environments or entertainment sources. Although a valuable lesson, this education often leaves many questions unanswered as we begin to meander our way through the journey that brings us closer to love.  Simply put, we are ill-prepared and blind to the spiritual, mental and emotional energy required to build and sustain a healthy relationship.

Self-Evaluation For A Better Way

You deserve to be in a better place and moving forwards. Consider this:

1.      What purpose does a complex relationship serve in your life? 

2.      Who was your role model for relationships and marriage?

3.      What does love, sex and relationship mean to you?

4.      Energy attracts like energy. What type of relationship experiences would you like to attract into your life?

You can bet that when his family events are over, he will attempt to rekindle the flame. If and when that happens, be honest and ask yourself what’s more important – having love by any means necessary, or embracing your love under a public spotlight? Just remember there is more to life than being the object of someone else’s pleasure.

Making It Happen

Don’t wait until something bad happens or get caught before you take action to make a change. People who want to lose weight do so because it will contribute to a better quality of life. It is up to you to make changes in how you view your own self-image and how to navigate to the real relationship you desire.

For women who are ready to achieve their relationship goals but may not know how to create actionable steps to achieve them or have relationship questions, you can contact Debrah at AskDebrah@Just4MyGirls.com.


Debrah Mathis, PC, ELI-MP is a highly sough-after Life, Career and Relationship coach who works with you to develop a personally effective style of leadership that positively influences and changes not only yourself, but also those with whom you work and interact, as well as your family and relationships as a whole. Visit: www.EngagetoSuccess.com

Source: www.EngagetoSuccess.com

Smart Career Women Can Have Sustainable Relationships

Hitting the five zero a few years back was overshadowed by a hectic work schedule which left little time for celebration. If I’m brutally honest though, with 2 marriages and single motherhood on my resume, it felt more like my life was in desperate need of an overhaul to break this unhealthy cycle. How could I get on the path to achieve real and sustained happiness in my personal relationships? 

The reality is, unfortunately, that I am just one of thousands in this situation across America. We grew up in households with parents who were ill-equipped to teach us how to form relationships and what our roles should be; they themselves muddled through with limited input from their own parents. This has resulted in a generation of co-dependent women who seem to attract imbalanced relationships, without the means or skills to dig themselves out of this dilemma.

What is really going on? 

Today’s intelligent and business-savvy women are high in “book smarts” which overcompensates for their lack of EQ (emotional intelligence quotient). In literal terms, their hearts become a magnet for the wrong type of relationship.

Michael Noer created a furor back in 2006 with his article in Forbes Magazine which suggested that men should not consider career women as marriage material. His rationale came from studies which concluded that professional women had a higher propensity to cheat and/or get divorced, and were less likely to want children. This theory was further fuelled by the American Journal of Marriage and Family, whose studies demonstrated a higher divorce risk where wives were the main bread winners. 

There is a wealth of evidence which supports the notion that successful women are incapable of sustaining meaningful relationships for a variety of reasons; these include being too controlling, lack of tolerance for a less successful partner, and the resentment from their partners for their financial success. Surely this then begs the question why is this happening and how can we stop it? 

Pride comes before a fall 

Dr. Robert Holden, author of Success Intelligence, is at the cutting edge of psychological relationship research and offers the following explanation: "To have a successful relationship, you have to have a developed EQ which is emotional empathy and a respect for each other's feelings. Women are often so headstrong that they override what their heart is feeling. Without the engagement of the head and the heart, relationships are not a safe place to be, but the smart woman is headstrong enough to tell herself that she will be able to make this work." Women have become embarrassed to admit that they take the lead in their relationships, and subsequently how this power and control has caused major damage to their relationships.  

In other words, we fall at the first hurdle because we’ve been conditioned to bypass our intuition and it gets us into trouble.  Case in point, my intuition ringing warning bells that landed me in ER for a severe panic attack before my wedding ten years ago to my second ex, only to realize with clarity that I had married the wrong man.  At the time, I kind of knew that the marriage was doomed but convinced myself that with our religious upbringings, "I" could make it work. 

How to change your Modus Operandi 

What energy vibe are you leading with when you meet a guy? 

* Do you find the signals you give are at complete odds to what you are feeling?

* I don't want you to meet my children?

* I'm seeing other men so I don't want you to get too close?

* I'm a financially self-sufficient woman who has her kids, career and only needs a man for sex? 

These vibes can be incredibly emasculating. When men respond by being detached, our emotional side kicks in and we wonder - why isn't he falling in love with me?

Let's be honest, most of us sensible girls aren’t very happy. Often we are the real victims because we just accept that any romantic situation is OK, when in reality it's not.  We have gotten used to wearing this very confident façade which is really to disguise our fear of not being in control and lack of self-acceptance. Intimacy involves a higher potential for rejection and the risk of being hurt and dealing with painful and scary situations. So, we become relationship jumpers because "there was no love there and he didn't stimulate me", "we rushed into it too quickly without knowing each other", or "he was my rebound guy". 

Getting to happy 

What advice can I give to successful career women who are often (secretly) unhappy and unsuccessful in love?   

·         Be willing to admit when you've got it wrong

·         Don't be too quick to lead with your body or looks

·         A sense of humor or succession of compliments is not a fair exchange for you or your money

·         Leave your dominance and competitiveness in the office

·         Don't love carelessly or unconsciously

·         Stop playing the victim role. Be open to embracing the joy of being a woman and having a rewarding career.

Finally, work on developing your EQ. Learn to have emotional strength that is about surrender, openness and a willingness to let go. This is absolutely essential because it determines the quality of your relationships with others. It is unreasonable and unhealthy to expect other people to love you more than you love yourself.

For too long, women like me and others have failed to recognize while building our careers that integrating the emotional and intuitive side of life is just as important. Whether you are in your 30s, 40s, or 50s, the time is now to educate our young women to wake up -- use your head and intuition. Test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, and not some sentimental gush. 

Ask for help 

Fast forward to the present day and we need to honestly evaluate whether Mike’s predictions were mere ramblings or an accurate sign of things to come. Look at your circle of strong sisters, are they in happy and healthy relationships or just applying an extra coat of lipstick and giving the impression that they are “in control”?

Why wait until your next breakup or your power and control triggers surface before making a change? If you hear another “it’s complicated” excuse from a friend, have the tough conversation and have her confront her fears. In order to have a healthy relationship, you must put in the necessary effort to change your attitude about what you are really looking for and prepared to give in return. If you’re feeling lost and really don’t know where to start, stay tuned for some practical steps to gain clarity on getting to happy.

In the meantime, feel free to get in touch with any relationship questions or concerns that you may have – debrah@just4mygirls.com

Debrah Mathis, PC, ELI-MP is a highly sought-after Business, Life and Career Coach in Dallas, TX. My mission is to develop individuals, couples & families with the tools & skills needed for better work-life integration in this new economy. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Follow @EngagetoSuccess, and LIKE Engage to Success Facebook Group page.


Source: www.EngagetoSuccess.com