Why My Children Declared War and How I’m Going To Win


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Well, as you know, I’m in this age of discovery. Finding who I am means I get to find out who everyone around me is to. This includes my 3 children.

Oh how I love my children. They are full of, well, they are my babies. I still see them as the babies they were but reality has another thing for me to see. Reality is they have sword like tongues, eyes that burn holes in anything they look at and voices that will break glass. Oh, you’ve met them too? Thankfully my youngest doesn’t have all of these traits yet and well, I am hoping to ward off this virus before it grips her too.

I have been playing this awesome game with the kids – Risk – the board game. And it has taught me a few things about war. In order to win, you do have to have the enemy surrounded or cornered. You then have to gather your forces and attack in one fell swoop. If you back off and let them have a turn they will catch on and could annihilate you. These lessons are so going to come in handy!

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The War Tactics

At any moment I could be blind sided and walk right into a full blown battle. I carry my weapons close to my side at all times – Headphones, Cell Phone, Witty-No-Nonsense-Eye-Rolling-Lip-Busting Attitude. I suggest that if you currently do not own these items, you obtain them immediately!

The Enemy

Sun Tzu (The Art of War) is absolutely correct on so many things! “You must not fight too open with the enemy or you will teach him all your art of war” “Tactics without strategy is the noise before the defeat”, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting”. All good things to remember in this battle I am preparing for.

Knowing my enemy is the first step to conquering them. I have learned, they need materialistic things to survive. They do not join forces with their own kind. It appears that electronics feed them and make them stronger. Physical labor or activity is their cryptonite. Embarrassment is the second best weapon to use against them, it will cripple them in an instant. They also have a keen sense of manipulation tactics that are almost greater than any I have seen. Attempting to reason with them is the signature on your own death certificate.

The Preemptive Strike

When you have been threatened by the enemy forces it is imperative that you gather your forces and carry out your preemptive strike. The intent is to keep the enemy from gaining ground and continuing their threats. A good thing to remember is that you will have several battles, don’t use all your strategies and tactics in each battle or they will learn your ways.

The Ongoing Battles

The reality here is that the battles will be many and while some are rather quick and fizzle out nicely, others may drag on. At times you may feel like you are in the running for a World War 3 competition. This is when it is necessary to review the art of war, your battle tactics and maybe even discuss with your allies the latest battles and your current plan of attack. You have to recharge so you can continue to keep the upper hand.

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The Winning Defeat

This is something that you will begin to recognize as you will win small battles along the way. The enemy will appear to be shrinking as they walk. At times, the enemy may also appear to take on the role of a grateful child, this one is shocking but when its sincere you will know. (Do not let their manipulation skills get the better of you here.) There will be family gatherings at which they are smiling and laughing, again, you can not appear shocked. You will know that you have won the final battle when they actually are asking for your advice, talking with you about personal matters, showing affection to you and other family members, and asking permission. All of these events will be regular and ongoing with little to no intertwining of attitude. It is at this point that you can pull back your forces and while you will never put your artillery and weapons on the shelf to collect dust, you can at this point at least not have them in front of you at all times.

So while I am currently in the stage of ongoing battles, I am fully confident that I will win – after all, I was a teenager once too.

Supermom or Human?


I have a major problem in asking for help – I NEVER do it! Ok, well maybe not never, but rarely do I ask for help. I am not sure where I got the notion that I have to do everything on my own.

When my youngest daughter was born, my mother in law would say, “oh ill get that” and my response? “No, no, its ok, I’ve got it.” As I walk with the carseat in one arm, purse, diaper bag and sometimes even groceries. I mean ‘cmon, we are simply taught through media that there is this “supermom/woman” that should exist in all of us. And it if doesn’t? Well, you’ve got problems!

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Do you honestly think this exists?

Ready for something else kinda crazy? Multitasking doesn’t work! NOOO? (Shocker!!) Yup, I’m telling you, it doesn’t work and research proves it. You think you are getting more done juggling lots of projects? Guess what? You actually are doing a worse job than if you would focus on one at a time.

So, my deduction is this, WE ARE HUMAN! Yup, I said it. That’s right, I don’t have to do everything perfect. Making mistakes is part of my nature – doesn’t mean I should rely on that fact, however, it does mean that beating myself up over a mistake is not helpful.

Here is a theory someone recently brought to my attention. Your life can be reduced to “wheels” of responsibility.

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So here is a sample wheel if I were superwoman or supermom, don’t you think I would be able to handle all of these equally? Guess what? I can’t. It’s not possible for me and that is something I have to learn to accept. I am also learning that it means asking for help.

Asking for help isn’t a weakness, contrary to popular belief. It just means that you are reaching for support. I suppose if you always reached for support and no one caught you, you wouldn’t want to reach anymore right? Understandable. But, there is another side to that.

Surround yourself with people who are supportive and then learn to reach again. Sometimes we surround ourselves with people that can be a little bit (or lotta bit) bad for us. Every friendship, family relationship, work relationship – any relationship period – takes work from both people.  If you spend too much energy on one relationship and the other person gives very little or none, its probably a relationship you want to reconsider. Our “circle of choice” (friends and family we choose to be close to) is constantly changing because the people involved in these roles change and their lives, responsibilities, geographical location can all change making the relationship take on a new role. That is perfectly normal.

Sometimes, we need to be good to ourselves and have another look at this “circle of choice” to see if everyone is where we want them to be. Maybe some people have worked their way in and they are toxic to us, or others may have been pushed out and we miss them. Re-evaluate your circle. Make a list of your family, friends, coworkers etc. and see what you could be doing differently to change that relationship. When you are done,  you know who you can reach out to the next time you need some help.

Trying to be a superwoman at everything is only going to lead to you being exhausted, irritable, strained, distant, unfocused, inattentive, lackluster and its not healthy!! So, stop running the ever speeding up treadmill in life and learn how to move fluently through your life. How to make a choice that is good for you while you take care of others in your life. It is possible to be a good mom, good employee, good friend, good daughter, good sister etc. But its not realistic to think we can do it all at the same time.

We aren’t robots or super anything, we are human and there is nothing wrong with it. I know, because everyone else is human too! 😉

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