5 Reasons to Love Your Mother in Law, Even When It’s Really Hard

When you get married, more likely than not, you also get a mother-in-law, the woman who raised your partner. And quickly there can arise conflict between you and your mother-in-law. She raised your partner and is used to things being done a certain way and you married him or her and have your own opinions. This conflict can be really hard on a marriage. It can even destroy it.

Don’t fret! By understanding more about how your mother-in-law’s brain works you can not only improve your relationship with her but you can alleviate conflict and thereby strengthen your relationship with your partner.

5 reasons to love your mother-in-law

#1 – Remember that she has experience that you don’t have. Our mothers-in-law have been doing what you are just beginning to do for probably more than a few decades. That is a lot of experience, experience that you should appreciate and take advantage of. You are new at all of this and, whether you know it or not, can use all of the help that you can get.

#2 – Remember that she did raise your partner. I know it’s hard to imagine but she did influence your partner’s life for 18 years or more. And that shouldn’t be discounted. My mother-in-law always told me that her son could clean a toilet and vacuum like a madman. I told her that, after 20 years of marriage, I had retrained him: he cleaned nothing anymore. I see now that that was a slap in her face. She worked hard to raise the person that she did and she should to be recognized, and appreciated, for that. And remember, you did fall in love with the person she raised….

#3 – Remember that she loves your kids as much, if not more, than you do. I know that my grandmother was a huge positive influence in my life. She hadn’t been a great mother to my mother but for me she was amazing. And I have learned, from my own mother, that having grandchildren is the best thing that ever happened to her. So appreciate that this person loves your children as much as she does. After all, every person who loves your child is a gift.

#4 – Remember that she really does just want to help. Mothers in-law don’t set out to drive us crazy. They don’t mean to criticize our parenting or complain about the state of our kitchen. They are there, in the house, to be with their children and grandchildren. And, more often than not, their intentions are good. Perhaps the manner in which they speak up about our parenting or our housekeeping skills is abrasive and stinging but remember they are only human and are most likely just trying to help. Really.

#5 – Remember that you are lucky to have her and that she won’t always be there. So many mothers start out with no support. Their mother and mother-in-law is far away, or no longer alive, or absent for some reason. When we are new parents, or even more seasoned ones, we are lucky to have someone there who can support us when we need it. And remember, none of us is getting any younger so they might not always be there for us. Appreciate how lucky you are and make the best of it.

There you go. 5 reasons to love your mother-in-law. It might not always be easy but I promise you, in the long run, doing so will be worth it. After all, your partner loves her. She is his or her mother. You loving her too shows your partner just how much you love them which makes everybody happy.

Do you have conflict with your mother in law? What do you do to work through it?

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Reasons Every Woman Needs a Life Coach, Even if She Thinks She Doesn’t

When we get married and have kids no one gives us a manual on how to be an effective spouse or parent. As a result we are more often than not just winging it. We check websites, talk to our friends, listen to our mothers but really we are just flying by the seat of our pants, trying to follow our instincts. And we do the best that we can.

Imagine having someone walk by your side, whispering in your ear, encouraging you and supporting you through those tough life decisions. A life coach can do that for you.

Here are my 5 Reasons Every Woman Needs a Life Coach, Even if She Thinks She Doesn’t.

#1 – To feel less torn in a million different directions and more whole. The key role that a life coach plays in the life of a mom is to help identify opportunities and make a plan. Many moms are so caught up in the day-to-day struggle of getting things done that they lose sight of the big picture. When working with me, instead of winging it, a mom is working a daily plan, one that helps her reach her goal as she defines it, a plan that she has helped create so she knows that it will work for her.

One of my clients was completely overwhelmed by her life…managing her work, both at home and at the office, her kids, her volunteer work and her friends. We took a good hard look at what was important to her and what was not so much and we made a plan to manage those things in a way that left her more satisfied, less torn, and happier.

#2 – To feel less exhausted and more energized. Imagine going to bed each night and waking up each morning knowing how you are going to get through your day. You know how you are going to take care of yourself so that you can manage this crazy life of yours and not come undone. Imagine how energizing that will feel. You are no longer flying by the seat of your pants, something that leaves you feeling completely drained. This will happen if you identify your opportunities, make a plan and work through them.

Kris knew that she would have to get rid of her farm because the chore work was more than she could handle with the work around her family. She was devastated because her farm was the best part of her day. We looked at what it was about her farm that was so overwhelming and she kept on coming back to her back pain…a pain made more intense by her farm work and made her less able to care for her family. We made a plan for her to see her doctor and get PT and within six months she was able to farm AND take care of her family. She said that attending to that one thing, her back, was life changing for her.

#3 – To feel supported and heard. You have lots of friends, a loving partner, siblings and co-workers who all make you feel supported and heard. But all of those people have lives of their own that they have to attend to and they are more likely than not going to tell you what you want to hear. Not a life coach. I am here to provide you unconditional support when you need it most. And I will listen to you and empathize but I will challenge you on your thinking, to make sure that the choices you are making and the path you are choosing is the right path for you.

#4 – To improve your relationships. Life as a mother is chaotic, jam-packed and exhausting. We are pulled in a million different ways and, often as not, we are crabby as hell. We snap at our kids, sulk at our partners and ignore our mothers. All of these things do not improve our relationships. Working with a life coach will allow you to define your goals, give you a path to get there and ultimately give you the life of your dreams. And when you are happy your children will thrive, your relationship flourish and your career will soar. Everybody wins!

#5 – To hold you accountable and help you celebrate. The best thing about a life coach is that I will hold you accountable in reaching your dreams. I will be there, by your side, supporting you step by step and if, for some reason, you falter I will pick you up by your bootstraps and get you back on the path. And then, when you reach the life of your dreams, I will be there to help you celebrate because I will know, more than anyone, how hard you have worked to achieve it. Imagine how good that will feel, reaching your dreams.

So there you go. 5 Reasons Why Every Woman Needs a Life Coach. I know it’s hard to believe that you deserve one, but remember this: if a woman is living the life of her dreams, her relationship will be happier, her children better adjusted, her friendships stronger and her work more successful.

Have you had experience working with a life coach? If so, did it work for you?

If you’re a mom and you are thinking about working with a life coach, please contact me for a free 45-minute phone session!

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Little Ways for Women to Feel Healthier, Even if Life Always Seems to Get in the Way

Every day moms take care of everyone else. That is just what we do. We make sure the kids are loved, fed, bathed and supported. Likewise our partners. We do our best to carry our share, or more, at work and always try to be a shoulder to cry on for our friends.

What we aren’t good at is taking care of ourselves. We set goals to go to the gym, or sleep more or eat better but in the end life gets in the way and we just let it go.

We don’t have to do this!

Here are 5 Little Ways for Women to Feel Healthier…

#1 – Every day do one thing that makes you happy. It doesn’t need to be a big thing but do something. Make a playlist for your car and listen to music that makes you sing out loud. Serve breakfast for dinner (because no one ever complains when dinner involves pancakes). Bring your book in the car and read a chapter while waiting to pick up the kids at school. Whatever small thing it is that makes your heart sing.

For me, when my kids were little, every Sunday was pizza night and then my People magazine and I would retire to the bathtub for an hour. I went to bed Sunday night happy and Monday mornings were much easier.

#2 – Replace the Oreos. I am willing to bet that before you had kids Oreos were not a staple of your diet. Am I wrong? But now they are because they are in the cupboard. You get tired, or stressed or bored, and there, right in front of you, is a little disk of self-indulgence. So you eat one, or 20, and you feel better for 30 seconds and then you feel not so good.

Keep something that you really love in the cupboard that will fill that need, when you get tired or stressed or bored, and go for that instead. Chocolate covered almonds or honey roasted peanuts or individually wrapped chocolates (so you can’t take a handful). And, if you have something that combines sugar and protein (like sweetened nuts) you won’t be affected by the sugar so quickly and you won’t get that Oreo cookie crash.

#3 – Play with your kids. We all have grand plans when our kids are born, to get down on the floor with them and play. And we do, at least until their sibling is born, and then we as often as not let them have at it.

Playing with your kids is proven to make you happier and happiness leads to healthiness. First of all, play makes you smile and the physical act of smiling actually makes you happy.  Also, by sheer definition, play is fun, more fun than work. So put on a tiara and frolic with your kids, at least for a bit. Try it!

One of my clients plays a game of cards with her kids and her husband every night after dinner. It only takes 20 minutes and they laugh and kid and enjoy each others company. And then off they go to homework etc. She reports that the 20 minutes makes the transitions easier and sets up a much smoother bedtime routine, every mother’s dream.

#4 – Get just a little more sleep. I know you are saying, “Yeah. Right.” But I am serious. Try to fit just a little more sleep into your day. Actually I am suggesting you build it into your schedule. Right there between going to the dry cleaners and finishing your project for the meeting. Make a plan to take a 15-minute nap right after lunch, before you head out to do errands. Or sleep 15 minutes later 3 times a week. Wherever you can fit in just a little more sleep.

If you sleep in 15 minutes 3 days a week that’s 45 minutes more sleep. Add two naps in there and you have more than an hour. Every bit of sleep makes a difference.

#5 – Do one thing that will get your heart rate up. Can’t make time for the gym? No problem. Even a little cardio is better than none. Why? Because getting your heart rate up produces more endorphins and endorphins actually produce a euphoric feeling.

Ideas? Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Dance around the kitchen while cooking a meal. Walk the dog. Ride a bike. Kick a soccer ball. Jump on the trampoline. Getting your heart rate up regularly is a very healthy thing to do.

I have a client whose family got a dog. My client was worried because she knew it would make more work for her, which it did. Of course it needed to be walked but taking it for walks actually changed her life. Not only did getting out of the house and getting her heartbeat up make her feel good, she also made more friends when she was out with the dog, and we know what more friends can do for your health!

So there you go: 5 Little Ways for Moms to Feel Happier. Give them a try for week. See what a difference it makes. Let me know when it does!

Have I missed anything? Do you have something you do that makes you feel healthier in your daily life?

Are you having trouble implementing healthy habits into your life? Do you feel guilty when you try to set aside time to make yourself feel healthier? Let’s talk.

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Ways to be Super Productive – Even if it Doesn’t Seem Possible

So there just aren’t enough hours in the day, are there? There are school lunches to be made and buses to be caught and meetings to attend and dogs to be walked and homework to be done and mothers to be called and TV shows to catch up on. The list is endless and impossible to manage.

Or is it?

Believe it or not there are ways to get on top of your to-do list.

Here are my 5 Ways to be Super Productive – Even if it Doesn’t Seem Possible.

#1 – Use a notebook. A spiral bound notebook. A notebook that makes you happy to look at and that you don’t want to lose. This is the key to being productive. Every organized person you know has one.

It is in this notebook that you keep your to-do list. When something new comes up you add it to your list. The to-do list in your notebook.

You do not keep your to-do list on a piece of paper that gets lost between the car seats or gets eaten by the dog. Your to-do list is in a notebook that you can’t throw away and you refuse to lose track of.

#2 – Set priorities. Every morning take 10 minutes to review your to-do list and to set priorities. You can do this by starring or highlighting the things on your list that you need to get done that day.

Many of us do first the things on our list that we don’t mind doing and don’t do the things that need to be done.

Jill HATED making phones calls to set up appointments. As a result she never did set up appointments and so her dishwasher didn’t get fixed and her son missed his doctor’s appointment and her daughter’s permission slip didn’t get signed. Once she started setting her priorities Jill 1) didn’t have to make all of her phones calls at the same time but made them when they needed to be made (which made them less daunting) and 2) things that usually fell through the cracks (and made more work for her) no longer fell through the cracks.

#3 – Say No! This is key. It is very, very hard for us to say no. We don’t want to say no for a variety of reasons whether it’s because we want to do something or we feel like we should do something or we think we need to do something. But before you say yes take a good hard look at why you are saying yes.

Janet always said yes, no matter what was asked of her. She liked to keep busy and didn’t want to let anyone down. But of course she ended up letting everyone down because she couldn’t be as effective at all of her tasks as she might have been. Once she started looking at why she was saying yes, and why she wasn’t saying no, she was able to pick and choose what she said yes to. Once she did that she was able to manage her time more effectively and successfully complete each task.

#4 – If it takes less than 10 minutes just DO IT. Next time you have a few minutes, while you are waiting for the bus to arrive, or for a phone call to come in or while the kids are watching TV, take a look at your list. Is there anything on it that you can get done in 10 minutes or less? If there is, DO IT! It’s those little things that are daunting and tend to add up.   And let me tell you, from personal experience, there is nothing more mood-enhancing then crossing something off of your list.

#5 – Check your computer only 3 times a day. Yes, I know. This is the hard one. We are all totally addicted to our screens. Totally. And I am sure you are familiar with the phenomenon known as “screen sucking.” This is when your computer/phone/tablet screen sucks up all of your time before you even know it. A great way to add time to your day is to stay away from your screen.

I have a client who used to check her phone every moment she got, at the expense of everyone and everything around her. At my suggestion, for one week she checked it just three times a day: once in the morning, once at mid-day and once after dinner. It was painful in the beginning, she reported, but by the end of the week the amount of time she had to be productive had dramatically increased. So try it. For one week. See what happens.

So there you go. 5 Ways to be Super-Productive. There are 24 hours in our day and everyone should sleep for 8 of those hours. That leaves you 16 hours a day to use wisely. If you do, your life will be simpler, you will be happier and those around you will thrive.

Remember- work smarter, not harder. If you feel constantly overwhelmed with your daily tasks to the point where your life is not joyful, let’s talk.

How about you? Do you have any suggestions for how to be more productive?

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!

5 Ways to Make your Partner Feel Loved, Even if it Can Be Hard to Connect

Being a mom and a partner can be tough. From the moment that your child is born all your genetic material calls to you to make this child your priority. To make sure it survives in this perilous world. Unfortunately, it is this exact thing that can create a huge divide between you and your partner. Until your child is born you put your relationship with your partner first. Suddenly that is no longer the case and this can cause severe strain between the two of you, strain that can stretch a marriage to breaking without a little care and keeping.

5 Ways to Make Your Partner Feel Loved:

#1 – Do for your partner the things that make him or her feel loved, NOT the things that you would like done to you. This is easier said than done because we don’t always know what makes our partner feel loved. In his book, The 5 Love Languages, Gary Chapman lists 5 ways that someone wants to be loved – physical touch, words of affection, quality time, acts of service and receiving gifts. Both of you should go to his website www.5lovelanguages.com and take the love languages test so that you can learn what your partner needs to feel loved.

#2 – Tell your partner that you love them. I hear it all the time. I ask a client if they tell their partner that they love them and my client says “He/She knows that I love them.” Maybe this is true and maybe it is not. Regardless, you should look your partner in the eye and tell him/her every day that you love them. It means a lot for people to be told that they are loved or that they are beautiful or that you miss them. They might “know it” already but words are very meaningful. Kristen never heard from her spouse when he was away and it was very painful. They argued about it almost every time he left. I suggested that she tell him that she loved him very much and missed him when he was gone. She says that he has called her every night he is away since she told him how she felt.

#3 – Touch your partner. Touch is one of the most primeval ways to communicate with another person. Long before there were words, scientists say, humans beings communicated with gestures and touch. Animals still do. We know the importance of touch with our babies, that touch encourages bonding and trust. Take that same perspective with your partner. Hug them when they walk in the door, take their hand in the hardware store, wrap yourself around them when you go to sleep at night. Touching your partner will speak volumes about the love that you have for them.

#4 – Be Kind. I know this seems basic but it is something that gets lost in the chaos of family life. I know, from personal experience, that as our family grew, as my life became more stressful, I took it out on my husband. I nit picked and nagged and snapped and even yelled, all for things that were as often as not not his fault. And I saw the hurt in his eyes every time I did it. I would take it all back if I could. My not being kind to him created a chasm between us that was hard to repair. My client, Jessie, came to me about problems with her husband. They had a 2 year old and she felt the distance growing between them every day but she didn’t know why. When I asked if she was kind to him she looked at me with surprise, paused and said, with a sense of wonder, “no.” She set the intention to be kind that very day and it has brought them back together in a very meaningful way.

#5 – Give them freedom. You know the saying “If you love someone set them free.” Often, amidst the chaos of every day life, we cling to our partners as a life raft, needing them with us always to keep us from drowning in the messiness. This clinginess can actually drive someone away, however, because your partner will become resentful of your need to constantly have them by your side. Both of you should have some time away from the chaos, regularly, sometimes together and sometimes apart. We were all individuals once, before we became a couple and then a family, and it’s important to nurture that individual in ourselves, so that we can be a better partner and a better parent.

So there you go, the 5 Ways to Make your Partner Feel Loved. These suggestions aren’t always easy and might require some effort on your part but stop for a minute and try to imagine what it would feel like to love and feel loved by your partner, every day, as you navigate through this crazy world. Pretty good, don’t you think?

How about you? Do you feel loved? Do you make your partner feel loved? Do you have any ideas that I have missed?

Mitzi Bockmann is a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. Her writing has been published in The Huffington PostPrevention MagazineThe Good Man Projectamong others. She works exclusively with women to help them to be all that they want to be in this crazy world in which we live.

Looking for more ways to finding happiness? Contact me NOW and I can help!