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Archive for August, 2008

8/29 Maverick Luxury – For Less Than $50!

August 29th, 2008

I am living in the lap of luxury.  Someone is in my house, cleaning out my refrigerator, cleaning out under my kitchen sink – and when she is done with that – she is going to run errands for me.  I feel like a maverick queen.  And the price tag for all of the decadence is a mere $12 an hour.  She will be here for 4 hours – so that means $48 buck buys me sanity, time and the priceless benefit of feeling like someone else is taking care of me for a change.

Now, you may be thinking that you could not find someone like the angel who is in my house as we speak.  I respectfully beg to differ.  My angel is a college student who is putting herself through school.  I am flexible about when she comes to my house (we work around her class schedule) and she is flexible about what tasks she does for me.  She has decided that she is basically my personal assistant and is game to help me with most anything.  Even my dog loves her.

So, I invite you to check out a local college – or even a high school – and see if you can find some help with those tasks that you don’t want to do – and that get in the way of living the maverick life.

Luxury does not have to be expensive.  It just has to feel like luxury:)

~M.

8/27 Happy Birthday, Angel Pie

August 27th, 2008

I cannot believe it’s been six years since you appeared in my life. I have so much to thank you for. You have made me a better person, a less selfish, self-centered person. I have learned to stop and notice the little things – because you always have.

You were such a tiny thing when I held you the first time – and now look at you – running across the street to school with friends without even looking back to see if I am there. Words fail me.

You’ve taught me a good bit about God and Heaven,too. I am so glad that you got to eat boloney sandwiches with God and Jesus while you were there and that Jesus is a big fan of making chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. It must have been fantastic to have him make that for you.

Your self-confidence and fearlessness is astonishing. I never felt as assured of my place in this world as you do. And, if I ever wonder if you will become reckless or self-centered because of it, all I have to do is watch you with your dog and all of your sensitive, thoughful ways become so obvious.

If I ever lose my way or feel uncertain of what it is I was put here for, you and your warm wiggly body that smells of bathtime and sleep set my heart and mind at rest every single night. You are my hearts desire and I can ask for nothing more.

So Happy Birthday my love. I hope today is one of the very best days of your life.

Love,
Mom

8/26 Psychological Damage in the School Lunch Line

August 26th, 2008

My son does not know his lunch number.  This is the six digit number that all students – including brand new kindergartners – must memorize to give to the Lunch Ladies at the check out station.  He does not know his.  Granted he was out sick most of last week so he missed several days of practice.  But his teacher just emailed me that he needed to work on it at home.

Which promptly set off every “Inferior Mom” bell and whistle I could possibly invent in my head.  And gave me immediate visions of my son standing at the checkout counter, unable to give his number, not being allowed to buy his lunch – and enduring everyone staring at him.  Yep, my brain is a very scary place sometimes. 

Will he suffer permanent psychological damage because I did not help him learn it fast enough?  Will he be sitting in his therapist’s office tracing all of his life troubles to the fact that “My mother did not teach me my lunch number as fast as the other moms taught their children”?  Will the Mom Police swoop down on me the next time I show my face at school?

Yes I know this is fear-based, unrealistic thinking.  Doesn’t matter.  My son is out loose in the world and I am not there to shield him and I want everything to be e-a-s-y for him – even though I know it won’t be and it would not serve him even if it were.  Still…..

But, the Maverick Mom will rally.  We will do lunch number drills tonight.  We will say it as we walk to school tomorrow.  We will master the power of the lunch number!

So glad I’m not insecure like “other” moms:)

~M.

Spiritually Out Of Shape

August 25th, 2008

So I completely over-reacted to a situation at my child’s school this morning.  Isn’t it nice to know that Maverick Moms screw up?!  The particulars are unimportant and I could offer a ton of excuses – starting with PMS and ending with seasonal mood disorder, but that bottom line is: I handled it poorly.

After running through all the reasons I was justified in my behavior, I still felt bad.  When that happens, I know I have acted in a way that is completely out of integrity for me – and I know better.  And, if truth be told, I’ve been overacting way more often than I care to think about.  Another red flag that I have some inner work to do.  When I feel bad physically – get tired too easily or my resilience drops, it is a huge indicator that I am out of shape physically.  When my behavior is out of line with my integrity, it is a huge indicator that I am out of shape spiritually.

My life journey has been long and colorful – as you will learn as I continue to write this blog.  Part of that journey has included coming to terms with my own spiritual fitness – or lack there of.  Before anyone jumps to conclusions, I am not talking about a particular religious bent or belief.  I am talking about my spirit and it’s connection with something bigger, great, higher that is benevolent and pulls me toward my better self.  I happen to call that power God.  Other call it goddess, or source or higher power.  At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter “what” I call this entity – it just matters “that” I call it.  Especially when I am in spiritual trouble. 

So, what is my plan?

First, go for a walk. No ipod, no companion, nothing to distract me from noticing what is going on in my thoughts, my hart, my spirit.  This helps me get present with whatever is going on.

Second, connect with someone or someones that I can talk to who will hear me without judgement one way or the other.  It will help me a ton if those I connect with are also in pursuit of leading a more connected, present, spiritual existence.

Third, and oh how I hate this part, clean up the mess I made this morning.  That means I have to apologize in a clean, grown up manner without trying to justify myself or point blame.  I actually teach my son and his friends to apologize using a formula that will stand me in good stead today.

“I am sorry I ___________ (fill in the blank with the specific behavior).  Will you forgive me?” 

I so don’t want to do that.  I would rather roll around in the mud of my justification, indignation and blame.  That feels oh so much better – at least temporarily.  But what I know is, to be the Maverick Mom, the present in the moment, connected, honest and vulnerable mom means that I must own up to my c-r-a-p and clean up my mess. Without that part, I am more or less eating ding-dongs on the treadmill. 

I’ll let you know how it goes.

~M.

God Bless You, Guy Kawasaki

August 22nd, 2008

I was tooling around the internet looking for other Maverick kind of Mom Blogs to connect with and ran across a list at – of all places –  Guy Kawasaki’s blog.

Guy is all about approaching working – and living – in an innovative way.  In fact I think he is the Head Guru of the whole innovation movement.  Which makes him a very nice fit on the Maverick Mom blog because we are all about approaching motherhood in an out o’ the box kind of way.

The most impressive part of Guy’s post on mom blogs wasn’t the list; it was this note that he added (I added the bold type.):

“Note: There is a contingent of readers of my blog who do not like when I write about blogs/blogging/bloggers. I’d guess there’s also a contingent who do not like when I write about non-business, non-tech, non-male subjects. To these readers, I say in advance: “You can never support a mom, much less a mommy blogger, too much, so deal with it.”

God Bless You, Guy Kawasaki.  You are an inspirational Maverick!

~M.

Not Your Mother's Blog

August 21st, 2008

The Maverick Mom

Maverick

n. One that refuses to abide by the dictates of or resists adherence to a group; a dissenter.

adj. Being independent in thought and action or exhibiting such independence.

Well that would be me and I am fairly certain I can’t be the only one! I am starting this blog as a way for other maverick moms to connect, learn and share their maverick ways. My indentity here is simple “M”. My thoughts and opinions may irritate the masses and quite frankly I don’t have time to deal with flaming personal emails, phone calls and, god forbid, visits to my house. You are welcome to adopt your very own Maverick Name while you are here as well.

Now, how do you know you are a Maverick Mom? I’ve been giving that a good bit of thought and this is what I’ve come up with so far ( I would love your additional thoughts!):

You are a Maverick Mom if:

You do not hover over your child at the playground or the swimming pool, certain that the other children are always in the wrong

You also do not abandon your child on the playground or the swimming pool to be supervised by other mothers while you chat away on your cell phone.

You are not obsessed with the genius level of your child.

You participate in your child’s education by reading stories, choosing educational games and helping (helping, I said, not doing) with homework. Unless you have very strong evidence to the contrary, you stand behind your child’s teacher – period.

You pay attention to what your child eats (limiting that fast food), but you do not make everything from scratch or control every morsel he or she eats. Unless, of course, there is special medical reason that requires such vigilance.

You do not find it necessary to go to the grocery store in status symbol togs like a tennis skirt or designer capris with Jimmy Choos. Nor do you go in your house slippers. Maverick Moms are all about self respect.

You are interesting (because you live an interesting life) and interested in others (because you are always anxious to learn about others).

You would rather bake brownies and watch a movie with your kids than go to that “see and be seen” cocktail party. (Sometimes Maverick Moms do attend such gatherings, dressed appropriately and able to carry their end of any conversation. Hostesses are always glad when a Maverick Mom graces her party with an appearance because the party will be interesting, lively and in good taste.)

By the same token, you have a life that is not centered on your children. You may have a career or volunteer work that is meaningful to you. You have friends, you read books.

You love creativity – even if that means covering the kitchen table in glue and glitter to make Christmas ornaments.

You know that perfection is highly overrated.

You know that your job is to give your child as little to talk about in therapy as humanly possible.

Anyone have any other ideas?

And hey – you may be an aspiring Maverick Mom and that is okay, too. We’ll all figure out how to stand apart from the sheep together, okay?