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Live A KICK-ASS Life
The one question that has changed my life and will change yours too!
Move to the town where he lives with his ex? Struggling to make friends as the new stepmom? This one is for you!
How to forgive someone who isn’t sorry, and who continues to negatively impact your life.
The other day ... as I stood in our kitchen making dinner, after a busy afternoon running to and from hockey arenas and after school jobs, listening to the kids play in the basement…. I had a moment that made me literally stop stirring the pot of pasta.
In that regular moment, of every day mom life, I realized that, I am truly happy.
Not just in the moment happy.
But content happy. Thriving amongst the realities of everyday life, I want to bottle this shit up happy.
If you’re reading this, resist the urge to roll your eyes and whisper to yourself… okay Jamie. your life is effing perfect…. congra-effin-lations.
It’s not. Oh girl, trust me it’s not.
Right now, our life is FAR from perfect.
We are buckling up for another stressful time in our blended family life… one that I don’t openly speak about online but once it’s said and done and the kiddos are grown up, I may just write a book about.
My husband is working crazy hours, and I’m here on my own managing everything with the kids. It’s all good, but some days, it’s a lot, especially on those unexpected late nights!
Our daughter is struggling with some things at school. Even though we know it will be okay, it’s added some extra stress to the load.
And despite the goal of slowing down. things are more chaotic than ever!
But like I said, in that moment I was still, “I want to bottle this shit up happy.”
So instead of noticing how I felt and moving on with the night… I stopped and thought about what I could to do actually keep that feeling.
How could I reduplicate it?
How could I keep it around?
In doing so, I asked myself these questions.
What are we doing well right now?
What did I do today?
What’s been going right lately?
What sets this day apart from every other day of our life?
You know, we try SO freakin’ hard to try and avoid things and situations that make us feel bad. We don't want to repeat mistakes and try to avoid negative experiences in life.
And rightfully so. It’s not so enjoyable when things are going shitty.
BUT, what if, instead we focused on reduplicating the things that are going right?
What if we focused on the things that are going well…
Stay with me here…
What if we stopped and thought about the times we still felt GOOD when things were going BAD?!
Because here’s the deal - shit is going to happen.
Life is going to get hard.
If you have kids, it’s going to be busy.
You’ll have tough times with your husband.
You’ll have tough times at work.
If you’re co-parenting, chances are you’re going to have tough times with the ex.
You may have to prepare for court.
You may have extremely different parenting styles.
You will have curve balls thrown at you.
You will have times when you think to yourself “I just can’t take this anymore.”
But it all goes back to the question, and the purpose of this platform…. how are you going to thrive amongst those extra stressors?
How can you still feel happy when it would be so easy to feel overwhelmed, stressed, sad, angry… and all those premature wrinkle giving emotions?!
In case you’re wondering, here are MY answers to the questions I asked myself.
EXERCISE: I worked out that day. I had blown off some steam. I fell off the wagon for a while and it feels good to be back on.
ME TIME: I woke up early that day, and have been very committed to my morning routine [You can learn more about it here]
WORK LIFE BALANCE: I’ve made a point to stop working at 3:00 pm everyday so that I can be available for the kids when they get home from school. Previously, I had been trying to juggle work when they came in the door, and trying to do too many things at once. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that this attempt at multi-tasking shortened my fuse HUGE.
DATE NIGHT: A few days earlier Darren and I had an amazing date night out. It was so good, it left me craving more. It’s crazy how easy it can be to fall off the date night wagon. It’s even crazier how just a couple of hours with your person, can leave you feeling so good!
POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT: I have been making a point of telling the kids all the things they are doing RIGHT, instead of correcting the things they were doing wrong. The positive reinforcement has gone a long way and their behaviour has been ON POINT! It’s also resulted in me looking for more of the positive. Mindset is key!
Look, my answers won’t be the same as your answers to the questions.
But, next time you get that “I want to bottle this shit up feeling”… I encourage you to not just experience it… I want you to analyze it, and then reduplicate it.
It sounds a little crazy, but it actually works!
New month. New beginning. Here’s 10 things I’ve committed to doing doing at the beginning of every month!
A long winded post about what I’m focusing on this year!
If you’re in the same place this time next year, will you be okay with that?
What I want for every stepmom this Christmas!
The ground is covered with snow. Home Alone is playing on repeat (who else knows all the words?) and the tree is up. The holiday season is OFFICIALLY here.
Bring on the joy! But also bring on the work!
As stepmoms and moms, we tend to think about everyone else this time of year (which is great, because I don’t know about you, but around here, Christmas wouldn’t all come together if it weren’t for me).
But this year I want to encourage you to think about YOURSELF too… you’re the rock of your family. You keep the wheels turning (whether you get the appreciation you deserve or not) You’re also the one that gets shhh done.
And being a stepmom isn't easy.
You’re good enough until you’re not.
You’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t.
You’re the one who sacrifices!
It can be exhausting.
You know that I’m a big advocate for personal development!
I’m all about being deliberate about the life that I want to live, and always seeking to improve myself in some way shape or form.
Personally, I don’t want to look back on my life and think “I could have done better but I let the BS get in the way.”
So come Christmas time, as much as I am excited about all things celebrating with the fam, my mind naturally goes to the following year - and I start setting resolutions for how I can amp things up.
I have this little tradition where every Christmas I treat myself to some sort of resource that is going to help me do just that. I invest in something that is going to help me take myself to the next level the following year. Basically, every Christmas I give MYSELF a gift!
The first year I invested in a stepmom course with Jenna Korf from Stepmom-Help. The following year I took B-School with Marie Forleo to help me figure out how to do all the things I do on this online platform – I literally knew nothing when I decided to start doing this. (SIDEBAR: When I say I’m figuring things out as I go, I truly am figuring things out as I go.)
For the past two years, I’ve invested in counselling to help me plow through some of the crap that keeps creeping up from my childhood (guys, by the way, I highly recommend counselling, for like every person walking the planet).
At the end of the day, these gifts to myself, have made me a better wife, mom and stepmom. The whole family reaps the benefits, ALL year round… because as we all know, HAPPY WIFE = HAPPY LIFE (same goes for happy mama and step-mama too right?).
Every day I get questions from stepmoms asking me
how to deal with an ex-wife who is impossible to co-parent with
how to get on the same page as your husband
how to stop being perceived as the bad guy
how to develop a relationship with in-laws who are still tight with the ex
how to stop feeling insecure about being the second wife
the list goes on
The questions hit me where it hurts. Not just because I feel sick that another woman is struggling the way that I did, but because I want to give you a big shake (slash hug) and tell you that the change you’re seeking starts with YOU!
I’m not just blowing smoke with all the content I put out.
I’m not someone who has it all together all the time. I’m not a stepmom who came into this stepmom role with all the answers (if you want proof, listen my first podcast where Darren and I talked all about what that first year of our marriage was REALLY like).
We’ve had major road blocks. We’ve had really bad days. We've had REALLY bad months. This whole online platform started after I spent an evening on the bathroom floor bawling my eyes out. I only talk about that one evening, but trust me, there were LOTS of bad evenings.
We’ve had our share our issues and we continue to have them. But we work through them without CHANGING anything that anyone/anything that is causing us stress is doing...
Because we know we can’t. Trust me, we’ve tried (like REALLY freaking tried).
For the most part – the issues that we have today are the same issues that we had back then – give or take a bit – what’s different is US and how we approach them.
I was doing a Beachbody video the other day and the instructor said,
“it doesn’t get easier, you just get better”
and while she was talking about the squats we were doing, it rings true here too!
But guys, change started with ME! I did the work on MYSELF and my relationships. I did this without anyone in my family knowing I was doing it, and I'm here to get you to this place too!
This year I want to encourage you to invest in YOURSELF and YOUR family for your Christmas. Gift yourself (or ask your partner) for some sort of resource that will set you guys up for a better 2019.
Whether it be my program, The KICK-ASS Stepmom Project or something else you’ve been eyeing up, YOU DESERVE to live a better life.
Did you grab your FREE copy of The Secret to Improving Your Stepfamily Life yet? If so, you should definitely get on that get on that!
Implement the tips outlined in this guide and you’ll see change in your stepfamily life, I can pretty much guarantee it! You can grab your copy HERE!
Use the hashtag, share on your Public Twitter, Instagram and Facebook Profiles, and help keep a child warm this winter!
This post was originally sent out to my exclusive email list. Every week I send out an EXCLUSIVE email to stepmoms on my list, with tips, strategies and personal stories that never make it to the blog! If you’re not already on the list, you can sign up HERE!
Before you go into another week, I want to tell you something.
For some it may sound a bit dramatic, but for others, it will be just what you need.
As I’m sure you’ve already figured out, being a stepmom can be HARD.
You’ve probably experienced emotions that you didn’t know were possible.
You’ve probably felt so overwhelmed by things you can’t control that you felt like you were going to be physically sick.
I get it. I’ve been there.
During the first year of step-motherhood I was so consumed by my stepfamily stressors that my hands would literally shake.
There were times that I was so consumed, that I literally couldn’t focus on anything else. My “to do” lists went untouched and I was a complete freakin’ basket-case.
It affected the way I showed up for my husband, my stepkids and my daughter. It affected the way I showed up for myself.
like no one in my circle understood what I was going through
like I was damned if I did, damned if I didn’t
like my whole life has been decided without my input
like I was good enough until I wasn’t
like I had no control
like my husband just didn’t get it
Now, I can honestly say that while many of stepfamily stressors remain the same, everything is different.
The stressors no longer affect me the way they used to. I feel confident and in control of my life.
If you learn one thing from my emails or blogs posts, please let it be this.
It is entirely possible to transform the dynamics of your stepfamily, even the most high conflict situations. It is entirely possible to live a KICK-ASS life amongst all the stressors that come with being a stepmom.
I’ll say that again.
It is entirely possible to live a KICK-ASS life amongst all the stressors that come with being a stepmom.
I know some of you are sitting there thinking to yourself, “No Jamie, you don’t understand. Things are really bad. We’re at the point of no return”
”His ex wife is really __________”
”The stepkids are really __________”
My husband just really ________________”
I DO understand. I’ve connected with and worked with countless stepmoms with co-parenting dynamics that would BLOW YOUR MIND.
Seriously, I’m not BSing you here!
No matter what your stepfamily dynamic looks like, if you want change, that’s on you!
Sitting around bitching about how hard being a stepmom is, will NOT make being a stepmom any easier!
You have to change your mindset, your reactions, the way you approach the relationships AND the way you take care of yourself and your family.
It sounds fluffy, and a tad dramatic, but it’s true.
So true that I’ve literally made it my mission to show you how.
This is the point of the email, where I should write a whole blurb about how and why my book will help you make that happen for you… but I’m not going to do that..
If you want to buy the book, you’ll buy the book.
If you want change, you’ll do the work to make it happen.
I don’t care if you implement change through the tips and strategies outlined in my resources, or whether you dive into other books like Girl Wash Your Face or The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck: the Counterintuitive Approach To Living A Good Life The only thing that I care about is that you begin to understand that change starts with you.
So really, you have a choice. You can decide that you’re ready for change…
or you can carry on the same way you have been… and wait for your husband to “get it”, or his ex-wife to stop doing whatever it is she does that causes you so much grief.
You can cross your fingers that your stepkids will being to respect you, or that your mother-in-law will start to see you as a parental figure in your stepkid’s lives.
The choice is totally up to you.
I’ve seen how both options play out! I personally choose the first..
But if you’re going with the second option, I want to say just one last thing. You need to know that
You can’t control how other people act, the only thing you can control is your own reactions
Trying to do so, or waiting for other people to see the world through your lens, will be a long frustrating process. One that I am willing to bet, won’t end the way you want it to!
… and I say that with love!