Self care and delight is possible for any mama (like this one, holding her baby's feet)

The New Mama Guide for Self Care & Delight

I knew to expect my life to change forever after having a baby, but I couldn’t fathom how lost I would feel at first. All of my ideas of self-worth and success and “who am I” became a tangled glob of putty for a while, and in some ways, I’m still sorting through the beautiful mess – deciding which parts of me to carry forward and which ones no longer serve me. It’s actually a huge gift, becoming a mother – it’s a space for conscious self creation. A space that requires grace for beginning. And then – oh yeah! – self care. That thing that all the blogs and all the family tell you to do, but which can feel easier said than done. In today’s post, I’ll share some suggestions that will help you boost self-care and moments of delight to even the most tired of mothers.

BTW, this written in honor of a friend of mine; she just had a baby girl. I’m so thrilled for her, and for all of the new mamas out there who are navigating this strange new space. If this isn’t you, I bet you’ll still find an idea or two that would feel really good to use in your own life. And if you know a mama who could use these words, please share this post! May these self-care ideas help you navigate this slice of life, wherever you find yourself. 

Bursts of Self Care

Here are some self-care biggies that you may already know, but perhaps have yet to do. Please permit me this very gentle reminder. 

  1. You deserve to ask for all the help you need during this time. Consider this: from the outside looking in, people honestly can’t know how tired or lost or anxious you might be feeling. You know why? Because you’ve spent your life convincing others you’ve got it all together, and you are really good at it.  What you think is obvious sorrow or anxiety may not be obvious. They don’t know. They want to be there for you. Ask for what you need.
  2. Find or build a community of women who are in the same young-child phase. Having someone to text and say, “Today was hard,” somehow makes the day feel less hard. Someone to share your happy moments with makes them feel even happier. Life feels better when shared.
  3. Reframe “success.” This one is something I really struggled with. I went from being able to get all sorts of things done in a day to really struggling to feel successful, period. The dishes? Half done. The laundry? In the washer, but forgot to start it. That art project I was working on? Ha! So…if you’re a goal setter, set one (and only one) goal for the day. Something achievable within the day’s awake hours. 
  4. When you see your reflection in the mirror, tell yourself you’re doing a great job. Tell yourself everything you need to hear most. Remember to use your name. I promise you will see it in your eyes – the person looking back from your reflection desperately needs to hear these words. 

Moments of Delight

Moments of delight are another a form of self care that you can capture for yourself. 

  • Color: bring some sunshine into your home with a little color. If you’re feeling frumpy or underdressed, put on some earrings that make you smile. If you’ve got a shopaholic in your family – ask her to grab you some bright, happy colored t-shirts that will brighten your day. Buy some flowers. Add color to your life where you can! 
  • Smells: Smells are a great way to create calm and happiness. What smells can you bring into your home that will make you take a big breath and relax? A favorite tea? Cinnamon sticks simmering on the stove? Your favorite comfort meal? A scented candle?
  • Sounds: Sounds are powerful. For instance, you know which playlists call you when you need an energy lift, or something soothing. Youtube is great for hours-worth of nature sounds if being outside helps you quiet your mind (and you’re now stuck indoors!). 
  • Give gratitude: Gratitude for what’s at hand can help soothe a tired spirit. It doesn’t have to come from a joyful energetic space. Even small, quiet gratitude can help. Gratitude for the colors you see on your walk, or the comfort of your pillow, or the smell of your baby’s head. Gratitude for how good it is to have a voice that can sing. Gratitude for the bird that flew by. 

full steam ahead!

Welcome to this journey of motherhood! Often, I muse about how many folks out there give a strangled laugh and say how hard parenting is. (Well, it is hard sometimes). But mostly, I don’t understand why that’s the going phrase. You and I did not start families because we wanted hard lives. We did it because we want growth, and joy, and laughter, and fun. After all, it’s exciting to launch a dream and watch it unfold. With today’s tips for self care and moments of delight, maybe it will feel a little bit easier.

I’m so excited for you and so glad we’re in this together. You are an amazing mom and a light in this world. Your kid is so lucky to have you. You’re doing it right. You’re in the right place. Welcome to the club. go mama! 

***Go Mama Love is a growing community of mothers with a focus on self care, saving time, and tons of validation. If this article spoke to you in some small way, please share it with your friends on Facebook or Twitter. Every share makes a huge difference! With much love, -Ashley

Women laughing together

What to do when you feel isolated

Today’s post is dedicated to all the moms out there who feel a little isolated. Sure, it might not be an every-day thing – and sure, you probably have friends who love you tons – even so, you perhaps have moments when the kids are asleep and it’s just you at home, wishing you could be out in the world somewhere, meeting people and hanging out with friends just like you used to when you were a little more free. The real kicker is that it’s hard to know what to do when you feel isolated!

If you hatch a plan to get out of the house, I’ll give you some back pocket pointers to help make it easy to make new friends. 

Step 1: Recognize the limiting belief

You know how people say it’s harder to make friends as an adult? I’ve often thought that yes, that’s the case – for all the reasons that you and I are well familiar with. But then I met my husband. He’s one of those people that can go away for a weekend and come back with at least one new best friend. Or he’ll come home from a bar, or band practice, or anywhere with people present, and often say he shared a meaningful conversation with someone.

His example makes me re-think the idea that adults don’t make friends easily. In fact, I’m starting to think that the phrase is a limiting belief, if repeated often enough and ingested completely. I’m ready to re-frame this limiting belief and if you find yourself in the same boat, I hope you will join me! 

Steps 2-4 (which you’re about to read) come from conversations with and observations of the social butterflies in my life, my husband included. When I use these strategies myself, I often find myself with a new friend. They work!

Step 2: Believe you are worth knowing

The key to making a meaningful connection with someone is believing that you are worth knowing. And you so are! The trick here is to choose your self-talk before meeting someone (and even in-the-moment, if needed). 

Instead of, “What if they don’t like me?” Try: “I’m worth knowing, and the people I meet are worth knowing.”

Instead of, “I’m not good at meeting people.” Try: “I have beautiful relationships in my life.”

If you need an extra boost of self confidence, check out this post about all the ways you shine.

Step 3: Only tango if it’s fun

It takes two to tango. If the conversation isn’t flowing, you have every right to politely close it up and move on! 

It also can help if you remember that most people spend their time focused on their own inner dialogue and worry about how they sound to you. You will be way ahead of the game just by showing up, eager to really listen to people’s stories and ready to share a few real and true things about yourself. 

Step 4: Have a back-pocket question strategy

Ok – let’s say you’ve done all the prep work. You’ve reframed your inner dialogue. You know you’re worth knowing and you’re really eager to learn about other people! There’s just one piece left: what to say? 

I have a few questions I pull out in a pinch, and they follow this trend:  

  • Start with something super light, and each progressive question digs a little deeper
  • Stay open-ended, which will give you a chance to learn something that will spark more conversation 
  • Get to know the mom – don’t focus on her kids the whole time

Here are a couple of question sets. Borrow them or make up your own!

  1. What’s one of your favorite things about living in (your city) and why?
  2. What is the best wisdom you’ve heard that helps you with parenting kids at this age?
  3. What has been bringing you joy these days?

Or:

  1. Where do you like to take your family for fun?
  2. If you had a magic wand that could make anything happen for you or your family, what would it be? 
  3. What do you love about your life right now?

There are countless more questions you could ask. The article, “200 questions to get to know someone,” by conversationstarterworld.com could probably give you a few more ideas.

Go for it

Remember that you are a great mom, and a good friend, and absolutely worth knowing. There are so many other moms out there, wishing for friendship. Now that you know what to do when you feel isolated, you can become that warm person who makes the first steps. So get out there and do a social activity that you enjoy. With these strategies, you will be so easy to get to know! 


***I’m curious, what are your favorite conversation starters? Do you have strategies for building new friendships? Please share in the comments – may our lovin’ energy inspire and lift each other up. Go mama!

horse and rider on watery beach inspiration - your reflection can change your life

Your reflection can change your life

I know we haven’t met yet, but I bet I could name five things about you that are totally amazing. Sure, it’s a little unconventional to compliment someone you’ve never met, but let’s admit it – we could always do with a little more love in our lives! But here’s the deal: If I get any of these right, then you agree to say them to yourself for a whole week whenever you look in the mirror. Why? Because your reflection can change your life. 

If you say loving things to yourself in the mirror often enough, you’ll start to believe them, and belief in oneself has the power to change worlds.

Do you want to change your life?  

Do you accept the challenge? 

Five Amazing things that make you shine

Here are five things that make you shine: 

  1. You have an amazing laugh that makes other people smile.
  2. You notice things that others don’t.
  3. You are smart.
  4. You are resilient – it doesn’t matter what comes your way: you figure it out.
  5. You love deeply. Your love has changed people’s lives (and your own) for the better. 

How’d I do? Did I get any right? I hope you’re nodding. I hope you’re remembering these truths about yourself. 

Why complimenting yourself matters

I was reminded recently about how easy it is for women to lose sight of what’s real and good about themselves. There are so many of us who struggle to name five or ten positive things about ourselves. At some point in our lives, we direct criticism inwards. Eventually, we start to believe that criticism. Eventually, we forget the light that we are. 

I know, I’ve been there. I’m still there, sometimes. That inner critic is always lurking until I shine a light in her face and say that those thoughts don’t serve me anymore. The inner critic has no choice but to be quiet when I decide to speak differently to myself. 

Beautiful spirit, a huge part of loving ourselves involves speaking gently to ourselves. We must build ourselves up just as much as we build up our kids and those we love. This is even more important as mothers. We’ve become experts at being hard on ourselves, but to give our daughters the very best shot at operating differently, we must first change ourselves. If we can learn to love ourselves, we set our daughters up with a huge head start in doing the same. They learn first from us. 

We’ve become experts at being hard on ourselves, but to give our daughters the very best shot at operating differently, we must first change ourselves.

-Ashley Fisher www.gomama.love blogger

Motherhood and the Self Esteem Nosedive

Being easy on ourselves about how we mother is another great place to start, when it comes to self talk. Tell that mirror you’re an amazing mom, because you are!

Psychology Today has a nice article where counselor Megan MacCutcheon talks about self-esteem, and the toll that trying to do everything perfectly takes on women, especially when we become mothers. We fill so many roles, and we strive to be good at every one of them! We have this idea that not being “perfect” (whatever that is) means we’ve failed. 

Being a mom is actually an ideal place to start noticing self-talk that hurts our inner psyche and hearts. I say this because life is more in-your-face than ever before. So maybe we can notice our inner life a little different, too. Maybe now is the time to change. 

Your turn

I did win, right? Are you ready now to fill your end of the wager? (I know at least one of the compliments we started with were right. Hint: You have an amazing laugh. You’re resilient and smart. Your love changes people’s lives.)

Actually, the way I see it, there are only winners on this one. I wouldn’t set you up to fail. 😉

Your reflection can change your life, starting now. Every time you see your face in a mirror, look into your eyes and say kind things to yourself. Tell yourself what a good job you just did getting everyone to school and work. Tell yourself how strong and independent and smart you are. Tell yourself how great your laughter is. Tell that woman in the mirror that you love her. She needs to hear it. She’s probably been waiting to hear it for a long time. 

***I’m curious, what’s something you love about yourself? What will you tell your reflection, and are you ready for those words to change your life? Write it in the comments. May our loving, positive energy lift each other up. go mama!

A rainbow as a symbol that everything's ok. We don't have to live in the past or be hard on ourselves about it.

Living in the past? Here’s what to do.

Have you had days where you replay a past mistake over and over, as if reliving your embarrassment will sometimes make it better? Me too. Sometimes I replay scenes that surely everyone else has long forgotten, or at least they’ve ceased to care. And what do you do to get out of that internal re-play? Have you found a way to make it stop? If you often find yourself living in the past, this article is for you. 

Your life on repeat

I bet a number of things are happening to you when you obsess over the past in a negative way. Unkind words toward yourself are likely running through your head. You’re probably giving yourself a really hard time for those mistakes or imperfections. You’re probably forgetting how divinely loveable and worthy you are. I bet precious minutes go by that you could be using for something (anything!) more enjoyable, but you’re lost in the past, hurting your heart. Meanwhile, your body is in a stressed state of flight or flight, which will take literally hours to come down from. 

According to a Success article featuring Erin Olivo, Ph.D., assistant professor of medical psychology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, there’s no emotional difference between living an experience and re-living it in our minds. In other words, we create stress when we ruminate on a past event over and over. And what is stress? It’s triggering our bodies into a state of fight or flight. There is no danger in most of our waking moments, yet we create stress for ourselves by reliving our pasts. 

it’s ok now

Dear, bright spirit, let’s take a big breath, you and I. 

(yes, right now – big inhale…. and let it go….)

If you’re reading this, it’s because you’re on a journey to heal your heart. To heal into the now. It’s because you want to feel fully alive, and you want that joy to expand into an example that your children will follow. 

I want that for you, too. 

4 Techniques to stop living in the past

Here are a few things that can be done to help curb this habit of living in the past. Keep in mind that these suggestions should be done with love toward yourself, never as an opportunity to be hard on yourself when you realize you’re living in the past again. 

  • Notice when you are ruminating, and say some sort of mantra that calls you back to the present. I often use a mantra by Tich Nhat Hahn: “I have arrived, I am home/ In the here, in the now/ I am solid, I am free/ In the ultimate, I dwell.”  This works for me, but you might have a different one that calms your heart. 
  • Forgive yourself as quickly as possible. On Puttylike*, Emilie shares that she makes a practice of allowing herself to feel embarrassed when something happens, and then she chooses to forgive herself within hours of the event. Isn’t that beautiful? She makes a choice to let go, and in doing so – she never even forms a habit of reliving a mistake or embarrassment. 
  • We choose the thoughts we think and sometimes our minds just need a nudge in a different direction. Ask your mind to help you in not reliving moments. Tell it that these thoughts no longer serve you, that you choose to think about things that feel good and you could use it’s help in doing this. 
  • Consider the possibility that there are no mistakes, only learning experiences. What we consider a mistake is just a sign that we are growing, and there will always be more to learn. There’s flow in language like “learning experience.” A mistake sounds serious, unfixable, unmovable – but our lives aren’t like that. We move on, we grow, we only ever have “learning experiences.” 

Feelin better already 🙂

Aren’t we blessed? We live in a world where safety and beauty fill our days. It’s a choice to think hard thoughts, and we can choose again in every moment. We can forgive our pasts. We can be grateful for who we are right now. Why, we can even look at ourselves from the perspective of those who love us: they want only happiness and ease for us, in the end, and they would never spend much time dwelling on our mistakes. In their eyes, it’s all part of the story, it’s all ok.  

I hope the rest of your day has moments where you notice the deep peace all around and within you. I hope you feel the love that surrounds you. You are an amazing human being, a light in this world, a good friend and an amazing mother. Thank you for being. 

***I’m curious, is there a mantra or quote or calming technique that is powerful to you? One that helps you calm and center yourself? Make sure to write it in the comments. You never know who you will help by sharing. May our lovin’ energy inspire and lift each other up. Go mama!

camouflage bird is like this parenting secret hidden in plain sight

This parenting secret is hidden in plain sight

There’s something hidden in plain sight in every day moments. Something that says you and I are amazing parents. It can be easy to forget it, too, when so much of our focus is on our little ones.

At day-care pickup, my husband and I often try to steal a quiet moment watching our daughter before she notices we’re there. We’re so curious what she’s like out in the world, with other people.

Once we’re all home, we shift into more familiar spaces and dynamics. A routine that involves the obligatory snack and diaper changes and playing together (or averting a tired melt-down) while somehow getting dinner on the table. Where do the days go? And did you catch the melt-down bit in that last sentence? They’re getting more common. Full-body-on-the-floor tantrums, following me and crying loudly for minutes on end when she’s been told “no.” Is there ever a way to feel less frazzled in these moments? 

But still, we move on and watch from a distance when we can, eager to know what this person is like when she’s not in mama-and-papa-are-right-here mode.   

Who Our Kids Are

A family friend made an interesting comment recently. She shared an old saying: Who your kids are with other people is who they will be. The sentence has lodged solidly in my mind and I know I will be watching differently now. Looking for how she brings her home-self into the world, and also for how she shows up without that home-self version that I know so well. What a beautiful mystery she is!

The sentence also seems to resolve a common theme among moms of judging our own parenting. There’s this scene in a Netflix show I’ve been watching that drives home the point. The show’s called “Working Moms,” and it’s got laugh-out-loud moments around every turn. There’s one scene in particular that I think we can all relate to. There’s this mama who is wholesome to a fault when it comes to her children – but one day something goes wrong in public and she breaks down, telling the other moms around her how being a mom is her one job and she’s failing at it. They can’t believe their ears that this wonderful parent would say that about herself.

A parenting secret hidden in plain sight

Do you ever feel like that? It’s a crazy thing, isn’t it? Judging our own parenting when there are literally no guidelines, no criteria, and no grades. For me, the old wisdom that “who our children are in public is who they will be” brings comfort to the craziness of self-judgment and doubt that threatens the edges of parenting. It’s a parenting secret hidden in plain sight.

Think about it – we know our children deeply, in a way that no one else ever could. And yet, we somehow still can only scratch the surface. There is a vast spectrum to who they are and who they will be that we can only guess at, only hope for. In the end – because of and in spite of our lovin’ efforts – they’re already picking up the ball and running on their own. 

During my daughter’s first year, I often felt like the center of her universe. Part of me thinks now, though, that as moms, we’re always the backdrop. The solid place to come home to. And we know how to do that. We do that easily. We do it well. This, my friends, is how we know absolutely that we are doing this parenting thing right. 

***I’m curious, how do you talk yourself off the ledge when you start to doubt your abilities as a mom? What parenting wisdom has come your way? Please share in the comments. May our lovin’ energy inspire and lift each other up! go mama! 

A love letter from your future self

To speak from the heart can be a hard thing. To speak truth to yourself from your own heart can be even harder. Today, the truth that I am wrestling with is about how beautiful this life is with and in many cases because of the things that I call mistakes. I bet you can probably relate. We are hard on ourselves and yet, if we step back for a moment, we can see that this thing we’ve made is so incredibly beautiful. In fact, if the future could speak, your future self would write you a love letter. Today, I invite you to listen to your future self – give yourself a whole lot of appreciation for everything you are and for exactly where you are. Your path led you here, and none of it was wrong.

A love letter from my future self

The habit of beating ourselves up over past mistakes – which includes the pain of reliving them – it’s a real joysucker, am I right? I’ve been thinking about that lately as my husband and I begin to renovate our upstairs. We moved in a year ago and have been living on only the first floor, as the upstairs was gross and honestly not livable. The current regret is that I didn’t invest in Bitcoin when I learned about it. Affording this renovation would be sooo much easier with that investment cash. 

What was I so afraid of? I’ll tell you what: I was afraid that I would hurt my future self by spending money now. And I’ll tell you something else. If I’d been wise enough to ask her, my future self would have shouted a love letter from the rooftops, “Everything is great over here! I’ve got this life thing covered and you’re going to be FINE! You do you!”

If I’d been wise enough to ask her, my future self would have shouted a love letter from the rooftops, “Everything is great over here! I’ve got this life thing covered and you’re going to be FINE! You do you!”

Ashley Fisher, gomama.love blogger

My dear friend, your future self is every bit as confident and thrilled with her life. Your future self is in love with you and all the mistakes you’ve made and the life you have and will have because of them.

Buy the latte

There’s this new investment company out there that markets to women – it’s called Ellevest. I’m not yet a client of theirs but I saw a photo of theirs on Twitter that I just loved. It stuck with me. Sort of a future-self shoutout, if you will. It was a photo of a travel coffee mug and it said, “Buy the f***in’ latte.”

Their point is that women are told all sorts of things about how to be wise with money that is actually gendered and can be disempowering. Among them, “don’t buy coffee and you will save so much money.” I’m not a financial expert, but I love this idea they presented. We are 100% capable of taking care of ourselves even in areas where we may have been unconsciously taught otherwise. We can be as brave and daring and bold with money or anything else as we want to be. So buy the latte. Future you is going to be just fine, and present you could use that little joy moment. 

We carry our mothers with us

I have strong memories of asking my mom for a $1 burger on our way to or from the big city that had the amenities our small town lacked. When she said yes, it was a big deal. Usually, she wasn’t interested in shelling out what I considered small amounts of cash to feed our ever-ravenous teenage bellies. I was so angry that she wouldn’t pay a dollar when I was so hungry. 

Now, to be clear, I am blessed to have been well fed through my childhood. These are first world complaints I’m sharing. But they have a point:

I want my daughter to grow up believing that everything in the future is going to be ok. She does not need to spend her life afraid of not being able to get by someday if she spends money on herself in the present. How I feel about money, talk about money, and think about money will inevitably filter down to her. She will do one of two things: she will pick some of it up, or she will throw it to the wind because it doesn’t resonate with the truth she was born knowing. That truth is that everything is going to be wonderful in the end. 

What to do?

So now what? I’ve labeled the problem: my worry over the future, as evident by beating myself up over past mistakes. And I’ve labeled a secondary problem: my relationship with money is my mother’s relationship with money. I picked up on my mother’s preference to avoid spending money on small delights, much to my chagrin. So for my daughter, and for myself, and perhaps even for my mother, I must change. 

Change takes time, but I do love the fact that it is possible. For me, this means getting financially savvy (through the wisdom of women such as Suze Orman and Elizabeth Warren), starting to invest, and an allowance for just-because purchases. While this blog post has focused on my trust in the future and my relationship with money, the concept applies to anything. Trust in the future and our relationship with our children, our spouses, our work, our play, our dreams.

Remember the love letter

Today, let’s give ourselves a free pass. This is your permission slip to thank yourself for past mistakes next time you start reliving something and beating yourself up about it. Remember that your future self has written you a love letter for your mistakes. You deserve a little self-kindness, and you deserve the amazing things ahead because of what you learned by those mistakes. You are kind, you are smart, and you are a powerful creator. You are an amazing mom and friend and a light to those blessed by your love. 

I’m curious – what new adventure are you ready to start, now that we’re sure we’re in the right place and we’ve made the right choices? Tell me about it in the comments. I’d love to know what you’re conjuring up. My our loving energy inspire and lift each other up. go mama!

3 questions to make family gatherings 10x better

Hey you! You’re a great mom, you know that? Whatever you’ve done or haven’t done so far today, it’s just the right amount. Give yourself a big hug and some personal encouragement because today and every day, you are giving your all. Speaking of giving your all – it’s hard to do that and catch back up with yourself sometimes, especially when it comes to self care at family gatherings.

Am I right?!! No matter how quirky or dramatic or smooth sailing your family may be, I bet you can relate when I say that wonderful wonderful wonderful as family gatherings are, they often leave me feeling tired and drained by the end of day 2 or 3! Good news is there are things we can do to prevent that fatigue.

There’s this quote – maybe you’ve heard it – that if you don’t plan, you plan to fail. Today I invite you to plan for your own self care during the chaotic hubbub of communal or family gatherings. Especially since these things are supposed to be fun!!

I cracked a family gathering self care strategy

As I write this blog post, I can tell you that I cracked a strategy and I’m walking the talk. I’m in the midst of a family reunion. This trip, I planned for my own care ahead of time and I can report that so far, this plan has made me feel so much more present and happy during these precious days together. While I could not presume that what works for me will work for you, I’ll share any way in case it inspires your own course, whatever that may be.

My family gathering self-care items:

1. I will go to bed at 10:00. I commit to excusing myself from conversation or games so that I will be rested for the next day.

2. I commit to going for a run after my daughter is put to bed.

3. I will set my intentions and energetic boundaries for the day before leaving the bedroom (I’m an empath, so setting energetic boundaries is huge!)

4. I will write a couple of blog posts.

5. I will make space to start and enjoy a new book.

I can’t tell you how much better I felt as I packed for this trip, knowing exactly how I would preserve my energy over the next several days. I want to show up with people as my full self, and I firmly believe that I can only do that if I first attend to my own self-care.

Your turn

You, dear reader, are a light in this world and a great mom. You are worth every bit of self care that you can muster. Remember that today and all days, there is space for your self care.

Are you committed now to making family gatherings more fun for yourself? Here are three questions to help you plan a self care strategy of your own.

1. What do you want to make sure you do for yourself over the course of the gathering? (Important: it can be more than one thing)

2. When are you going to do this activity?

3. Is the time you do this thing negotiable? If yes, what are alternatives that you are also ok with?

***Your turn! I’d love to know – what do you do (or what will you do) for self care while you are at family gatherings? What keeps you grounded and present with those around you?

An intruder made me feel more powerful than I have in years

Remember the last time you had no idea what to do? That thing that in the end made you feel like a baller? Even though you probably haven’t had the exact experience I’m about to share, I’m sure you can relate.

Didn’t see this coming

What have I done? I turn around to look nervously at my upstairs windows before continuing to walk away. It’s 11:30 at night, and one of them is open.

I’ve taken a gamble. Do nothing, and I will have a rotting raccoon corpse somewhere under my second floor floorboards within 30 hours. Open the window, and I will either have two raccoons in my house by morning, or none.

I cross the street to my in-laws house, where my daughter and I have been sleeping for the two nights since we heard the ruckus in our first floor ceiling. My husband is off on a canoe trip. I find myself a single mom for the weekend, unexpectedly camping out at my in-laws house, wondering how the hell to get rid of raccoons on my own before paying an arm and a leg for animal control. My adrenaline is sky high, having been alone with a thirsty, starving raccoon in a dark second floor, nothing but a headlamp to see by and a broom for protection as I open the window.

I pray that the mama raccoon currently pressed against the back windows of my second floor – staring inside with her whole being – I pray she’s smart enough to get her baby and take it away. By now she knows that my home is not safe. Her baby has been locked inside for two days, no food, no water. Why did my husband leave that window open? Who ever heard of raccoons climbing drain pipes?

Can I do this?

Calling the shots on something new can be a great feeling, ya know? To be totally in charge. No possibility of asking someone what they think is the right thing to do. No one to second guess you with a well meaning but patronizing “are you sure?” My husband is gone. Everyone is asleep but the kind neighbor who agreed to sit on her porch to make sure I got out of there ok. It’s all me.

Yeah, I’m going to get this raccoon out of my house.

My gamble paid off. The next morning, the apple piece I left on the window to help mama raccoon get to the right place was gone. That night, no sounds in the floor. No death smells, either, as the days have passed.

Why you’re a baller

I bet you’ve had moments like this. Life shows up in a way you never expected. You aren’t sure how it’s all going to work out until – one step after another – it does. You end up remembering how powerful you are.

A raccoon trapped in my house was one of the more eventful things to have happened in recent weeks. Getting rid of it on my own without the help of my husband or male neighbors (who also weren’t around) made me feel powerful. I would have left it up to them, and I’m so glad it didn’t work out that way. I didn’t realize I was giving away my power by deferring “masculine” activities. I thought I was just allowing things to flow smoothly. Who would’ve thought that an intruder would make me feel so powerful.

What about you? I’d love to hear about an experience where you had to call the shots to solve something you never saw coming. Tell me about how awesome you were. Because you were. Awesome. Leave your story in the comment box! My our energy inspire and cheer each other on. go mama!

This traveling comedy show for moms is a must-see!

I recently went to the “Pump ‘n “Dump Show,” a comedy act performed by two women who create space to laugh together about the hardships and joys of being a mom. If the Pump ‘n Dump comedy show rolls through your town – go! – it’s a must-see! Shayna Ferm and Tracey Tee had us in tears as we laughed at stories from women in their 60s and 70s, of the terrible parenting moments they had in their pursuit of survival. We laughed at the lies we told ourselves about how life would change with kids. We laughed at some hysterical photo bloopers that were supposed to make you shine on social media but totally failed. I laughed so hard I cried.

I have some photo bloopers of my own. When my baby turned one-month old,  I decided to set her up all pretty for a photo shoot. Epic fail! In fact, none of my month-anniversary photos looked that awesome and I eventually gave up.

But back to the show… my favorite part happened at the very end. Filled with laughter and surrounded by the happy energy of all these women having a hard-earned night out, they asked us turn to the women we came with and tell them that they were wonderful moms.

Talk about some serious validation. These thousand moms were hugging each other and giving the praise that we should seriously be getting every day. There was a lot of love in the room for those few moments and I will carry that with me.

You are an Amazing Mom

Dear reader, dear mama, in case no one has told you yet today, I’m going to tell you:

You are an amazing mom. Thank you for showing up every day for your kids. Thank you for loving them. Thank you for all those moments when you felt like you were breaking but kept going. Thank you for all those times you didn’t know what to do and then figured out what to do.

Thank you for your heart, your light. You are a gift to your kids and a gift to the world.

Keep going.
****In the spirit of validating moms, click on one of the share buttons below. Share to facebook or twitter – or wherever you like to hang out – and tell your mom friends how wonderful and amazing and awesome they are. Link them to this blog so that they can share in the love and validation that is sent to the go mama village every week. Because we all deserve some validation.

You’re a mom. Your ever-changin’ life is beautiful. So honor the changes.

We’ve all heard the quote that two things are certain in life: death and taxes. But do you know about the third?

Change. And everyone resists change.

Today I invite you to embrace any resistance to change that you’re feeling. It’s totally normal and you’re not alone. And by the way, you’re also a great mom. Your ever-changin’ life is beautiful.

Today I invite you to embrace any resistance to change that you’re feeling. It’s totally normal and you’re not alone. And by the way, you’re also a great mom. Your ever-changin’ life is beautiful.

Ashley Fisher, gomama.love blogger

Have you ever heard of Change Management? It’s this concept in the business world that (here’s a shocker) people are people, and they bring their full selves to work, emotions and all. And when you spring big changes on them, they resist and go through a process of adjusting to a new normal. If you want a smooth transition, you have to create space for your employees to honor and mourn what’s being lost, even as you welcome what’s new.

This idea is just as important for family life. You don’t have to just grin and bear it when changes happen. You don’t have to get over it or get used to it. Instead, make space for what you’re feeling – find a way to celebrate or honor what you’re leaving behind. It’s a part of self-care and it’s huge.

The change in my life this month

My little girl has started saying “no.” For some reason, I thought that happened closer to 2 years old. And as my ever-independent and stubborn child begins this path in asserting her space verbally, I find myself resisting. Because “no” in my mind has equated to not being the center of her world much longer. How I’ve resisted being that center, missing all that free time and movement I used to have. And yet here I am, wishing it would stay a little longer. I’m going to become the Mom on Mama Mia, watching her daughter get ready for her wedding and wishing she could stop time.

Ok – that’s at least 23 years away, so this is a bit dramatic. But in my mind’s eye, I can feel that it will always be this way. Loving her where she’s at, missing where we were, and looking forward to all that’s ahead for her and our family. Here I am, resisting this change and all the ones to follow.

When my daughter was born, I left behind long hours spent with my husband, often cooking meals and then talking while he lay on the dining room floor, too full to sit in the chair any longer. I left behind the ability to spontaneously leave the house to go for a run or to see a show. And now, I am leaving behind this short year with my daughter as a baby, proudly toting her around and beaming with every compliment directed at her. Enjoying picking out her outfits and the satisfaction of a new superpower: forced sleep by nursing. I’m leaving behind the baby-style conversations we had, her babbling on and on to my encouraging “You’ve got a good point. Tell me more.” How I loved these slices of life!

How I’m honoring this change

My personal “change management” strategy is letter writing. I wrote letters to her while I was pregnant. It’s probably time to write another. I’m not sure how else I might honor the loss of her babyhood. I’d love to hear ideas.

I’m curious, how do you honor transitions as your children grow up? Is there anything you do to celebrate where you’ve been and where you’re going? I’d love to hear. Please post a comment. May our loving energy inspire and lift each other up. go mama!