| Hannah Keeley's Total Mom Makeover |
By Hannah Keeley
Genre: Inspirational & Self-Help
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WEEK ONE, DAY ONE
Get Ready, Get Set
Motherhood has a way of sneaking up on you. One day, you are rubbing cocoa butter on your expanding belly and trying to decide on colors for the curtains in the nursery. The next day, you are wearing sweatpants because you can’t button your jeans, dishes are spilling out of the kitchen sink, and the kids have colored all over the walls with permanent markers. Because of the ever-growing list of responsibilities, you begin pushing your own needs further and further down on the list. Eventually, you are just trying to make it through another day without losing your car keys, your temper, or your mind.
That’s no way to live. And deep inside, you know that. But you can’t stop long enough to catch your breath. And even when you do have a moment, you have no idea how to begin to make it better. Well, the time is now, the place is here, and you’re going to start by forgetting everything you know about motherhood.
Our grandmothers knew how to do motherhood, but that’s because they didn’t have as many options as we do now. They were raised to know how to cook and clean, how to care for babies, and how to send their husbands off to work with a wink and a smile. They were smart women who applied themselves to their homes and families. They also knew that they were only as strong as their support network, so they reached out and maintained a sense of community with other moms.
Our mothers had more options but an entirely new set of challenges. They were brave women treading new territory in their careers and personal accomplishments. But they still had homes and families to care for, so their lives became a struggle as they learned to balance their responsibilities. With the advantages came the disadvantages. Even the mothers who chose to make family their primary career felt left behind as their support network donned business suits and left for work.
That was then. This is now.
Moms today have options that our grandmothers could never have imagined. We can choose to stay at home, go to work, or even work from home so that we can build a career as well as a family. We can raise our kids and even educate our kids, build a career or pursue a hobby, invest in our marriages while investing in ourselves. It is truly a great time to be a mom, a time full of possibilities and opportunities. As a matter of fact, there are so many options today that it is often difficult to make a choice.
Therein lies the problem: How do we choose? We have a family to care for and a home to manage, but there are endless other choices to be made. We have instant access to entertainment and community through computers, televisions, and telephones. We can shop from our homes or our closest mall. We can take our kids to gym class, the park, the living room, or even to work with us. It’s no longer a question of what we have to choose from, but how we make our choices. This determines whether we sink or swim.
New World, New Strategy
The old strategies won’t cut it in the world of mommyhood any longer. It’s not how quickly we can wash the dishes or how balanced we can make our family meals that matters so much today. What matters is how we choose to invest our time, money, and energy in order to build a successful and healthy home, family, and life. So forget what you know about motherhood. If it’s not working, throw it out.
The first step to becoming a Total Mom is to forget about what you should be doing. The shoulds keep you running around like crazy, fueling everyone and everything while you dwindle down to nothing. So quit beating yourself up. There is no room in the Total Mom life for negativity and self-sabotage. Just take it one step at a time. It’s not about what you should be doing. It’s about what you could be doing. This could be the time of your life to really shine and discover all of the enormous potential that is buried within you. Quit feeling guilty. Quit feeling powerless. Quit feeling hopeless. You don’t have time for that anymore. Throw out the old and usher in the new.
Okay, maybe you should be spending less money, getting in shape, raising your children better. You could be doing that. Or you would be doing that if only. The truth of the shoulds, coulds, and woulds is that they do nothing productive for you. Instead they torment you mentally and rob you of valuable time and energy. Shoulds, coulds, and woulds dwell in some far-off world out in the middle of nowhere. Can and will exist right here, right now. If you find yourself wasting time by dwelling in the shoulds of life, then leave those words behind you. Repeat to yourself, “I can” or “I will” and move forward to take some productive action. Staring at your thighs in the mirror and regretting those Double Stuf Oreos will do nothing for you. Instead, say, “I will work on these thighs, ” and go do twenty reps of leg lifts. No more guilt. It’s time to take action.
TOTAL MOM TIP “Shoulds, Coulds, and Woulds, Oh My!”
Have You Reached a Decision?
Don’t waste your time any longer by wishing, hoping, or heaping on the guilt. If you are ever going to achieve any level of success, it must start with a conscious decision. I’m not talking about a fly-by-night whim. I’m talking about a true-blue decision, one of those moments when you close all other doors except the one you are walking through. When I was sobbing on the floor of my bedroom, physically, financially, and emotionally impoverished, I made a conscious decision to improve my life. There were no other options.
Moods will come and go, but a true decision sticks with you no matter what. It’s a “for better” or “for worse” commitment. It’s easy to make a decision to lose fifteen pounds when you just finished off a bowl of ice cream dripping in hot fudge. But when everyone around you is munching on nachos and you haven’t eaten anything except some rice cakes and a bowl of minestrone soup, it gets pretty difficult to stick to your guns. A real decision has the power to stick with you — even through the nachos.
Commit yourself to this makeover by telling someone about it, such as a close friend or relative. Make sure she is tough enough to hold you responsible for your commitment and motivate you along the way. By sharing your decision, you have taken an action to fulfill it, and this is a huge step.
TOTAL MOM TIP Sharethe News!
Sometimes a decision is easy to make because you see no other alternative. Or perhaps you do see that alternative and it scares your pants off. I saw what I was becoming, that day on the floor, and the decision to improve was an easy one. Take a look at the path ahead of you. Does it lead to success or cycle back through dissatisfaction and personal failure? If you are headed for success, then I hope this program is just more steam in your engine. If you are not headed in that direction, then you are standing at a crossroads. You need to be the one to make the decision that you deserve more. Today can be the day to take a different path.
Go For It!
True decisions have power behind them. They are not idle wishes or weak hopes. They are commitments that are set in stone. Forget about saying “I wish I had a nicer home” or “I would like to be healthier.” These are little wisps of yearnings that evaporate into thin air. A true decision comes with a launchpad underneath. “I will create a nicer home.” “I will take steps to become healthier.” These use action verbs — massive action verbs! A true decision leads you down a determined path, with no option of turning back. It pushes you beyond your current point into an entirely new reality.
Life truly can change in an instant. Today you can make a decision that will affect your entire outcome. You can begin right now to create your new reality. Envision the life that you want to live, leave everything behind, and go after it. If you know deep inside that there has got to be more to life, then you are right on track. Use your dissatisfaction to propel you to new levels of achievement. This makeover will give you the strategies you need to live the life you deserve, so make that decision — now!
Week One, Day One: Daily Exercises
1. Leave the past where it belongs. This is a new day, with a fresh start. In your Total Mom Makeover journal, date the first page and write “Week One, Day One.” You will label each day of this makeover in the same way, with the appropriate week and day. Now think about all of those shoulds that you have been carrying around with you — everything that bugs you about your home, health, family, and life — and write them down. These can be anything from “I should spend more time playing with the kids” to “I should keep a cleaner house.” Whatever it is that’s bugging you, this is the time to get it out of your head and onto paper. Take as long as you like and empty out all of the burdens you have been carrying around. Don’t worry about doing anything about them now. That will come later.
2. Are you ready to embark on this six-week journey? Make a firm decision that you want more out of life, that you want to be the best mother, wife, homemaker, and woman that you could ever be. Now set this decision in stone by writing it down in your journal. Begin with “I have decided . . . ” and finish the sentence according to what you desire for your home, your health, your family, and your life. It can be just a few sentences, or it can take up an entire page. After you finish, you may want to log on to TotalMom.com and join the Total Mom Makeover Club. You’ll be glad you did.
Excerpted from Hannah Keeley's Total Mom Makeover , by Hannah Keeley . Copyright (c) 2007 by Hannah Keeley . Reprinted by permission of Little, Brown and Company, New York, NY. All rights reserved.Back to top