By nature and/or upbringing, I am more of a you win-I lose type of person. You know, a people pleaser, a door-mat, a placator, a peace-maker....I could go on. It's easy for me to put myself last and you first. Then I don't have to make boundaries with anyone and this helps me avoid confrontations with others at all costs. Everyone around me is pleased! It's great...in theory. But usually when I operate this way I'm the one that's miserable. I start feeling like I'm running on empty: like a battery that needs to be charged. I have a tendency to not give myself enough. I lose, you win....until I'm so low on energy (and this happens quickly) that everyone is losing, because I don't have enough to give. I thought this is how I had to operate to be considered a "good person." I thought making boundaries with others or confronting them about disrespect had to involve yelling. So I just didn't. But why did being a good person feel like crap? When I put myself last, I tend to tolerate a lot of crap. And as my mentor Linda Partridge puts it, "You get what you tolerate." She's been one of a few great examples of how to be a win-win type of person and has a really cool theory called Emotional Maturity that outlines her views on how to go about this. Over the last MANY years I have worked diligently at being more of a win-win type of person. Finding ways, thoughts, behaviors, actions, circumstances, conversations, and even meals in which everybody wins.
If you're asking yourself what the heck I'm talking about here's one example. After I had my first baby, I found myself (like most others) lost in the middle of a huge life transition. Learning how to be ME with a baby took some time...learning how to shower regularly with a baby was the first step. After many months went by I had yet to give myself time to exercise. My Eeyore-self (Oh bother...) had plenty of I lose-you win excuses: *Eeyore voice* "But I already don't spend enough time with her. What if I miss something? WHAT IF SHE THINKS I'M ABANDONING HER? I don't have time." The win-win truth was: I HAD to have time to take care of myself and everybody wins when I take care of myself. The more I take care of myself and love and like myself - the more energy I have and the more I can give to my friends, spouse, and children. It's that simple. It's what I would want my daughter to do for herself when she has her own family. It's simple AND it seems counterintuitive to ADD something to my already mile-long to-do list so that I can feel better, happier, and less stressed (research supports this btw). But it works. Don't take my word for it though. Be your own expert: monitor how you're feeling and do your own give-more-to-yourself experiment. Start with a pedicure - you have my permission. YES, men, too! Oh fine, if you have to bring along a female and act like she DRAGGED you there so be it. You'll thank me (and you) later. [...]
I don't know about you, but whenever I'm in a hurry I seem to hit EVERY stoplight. Pair that with the slow-motion function my kids tend to be operating under (breakfasts they usually devour they now eat with dainty koala-like nibbles) and you've got one stressed-out, frazzled, and late Mama who's prone to acting-out. Watch out loved ones. DUCK!
Here are my options:
1. I lose-They lose: I start nagging, threatening, and screaming like a banshee for everyone to hurry up and "EAT BREAKFASSSSSSSTTTTT!!!!!" BTW...this seems to only make them eat even SLOWER...if that's possible.
2. I win-They lose (but probably think they've won): Throw them a pre-packaged, ever-popular, breakfast pastry (or Tart) and toss them in the car. Might as well give them each a can of icing for dipping and their first insulin shot.
3. I lose-They win: Get up extra early to allow for this developmentally appropriate slo-mo-eating extravaganza. Boooo, I hate this option.
4. Win-Win: Frog Smoothie...see below
Here's my recipe for a smoothie EVERYONE will love - nutritious and delicious. My kids even slurp it down when they're sick. A serving of fruit and vegetables, and high in protein. WIN-WIN!!! Pull out the plastic cups with lids and straws (we save them from restaurants) and voila...you're out the door on time. AND, the kids are so busy slurping, they don't have time to whine in the car. Win-win-win-win-win!!! How can you win-win today?
Frog Smoothie (1 serving - I make 3 servings in one blender. 1 for my husband, 1 for me, 1 for the 2 small kids to share)
1 banana, frozen (frozen part optional...but DELICIOUS)
1/4 c. Plain Greek Yogurt, 0% or 2% (extra thick and lots of protein)
1/2 c. Skim Milk
1 heaping small spoon of nut butter
1 handful of Spinach (you can't taste it, I PROMISE!)
1 squirt of honey (optional...depending on sweetness of bananas, nut butter, and your taste)
Whiz all ingredients in blender or food processor until smooth. If you've used a frozen banana you'll have a delicious green concoction with the consistency of ice cream. If you have not used a frozen banana throw in some ice cubes. YUM! If the spinach scares you try it without...call it a PB&B Smoothie.
- I've found the best and least expensive Greek Yogurt at Trader Joe's. Also...regular plain yogurt works fine, as does flavored. It's a smoothie, not science.
- To freeze bananas remove the peel and place on a plate in the freezer from 1-10 hours. Once the outside has frozen you can place them in large plastic bags for later use and they won't freeze together into a banana brick.
-My new favorite smoothie maker is the Ninja. Found mine for around $50 at Target...love it.