May 03

“Crap, What NOW!?!” 10 Tips To Guide Your Way Through Challenges

Obstacle Paths, Bricks and Rocks

(By Popular Demand and Request I am posting this again as you face any challenges.)

See, the thing about 6-year-olds is they are busy. Very busy.

And very creative.  Though….sometimes that creativity shows up in unexpected places and in different ways.

Like your front walkway:

Obstacles, Bricks and Rocks

It’s an Obstacle Course, Momma!

Then me, just shy of a scream:  “BOYS! !  What’s the deal here!  THIS IS RIGHT IN THE WAY!”

Oh that familiar voice.  My instinctive perfectionism rearing its ugly head again.  Welcome to my need at grasping ANY semblance of control amidst the chaos. Yep, that sort of mentality – Futile at times, I tell you. And futility often trumps.

Then,  “No it’s not Momma, we made an obstacle course!  Isn’t it cool! Do you like it?! It’s so we can have fun!”

And the other twin, “Besides, you can just go over it, or around it or hop it or climb it!”

Of course. Not sure why I thought it was just bricks and rocks RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WALKWAY SMACK DAB in the path of the front door. Smack dab in my way.

Obstacles in My Path

Life is an Obstacle Course, Momma!

Life is kinda like that – especially when we’re not looking.

Does life ever put obstacles in your path?  A roadblock in your way?

If you have a pulse, then you know what I’m talking about.

Those unforeseen, “Crap,what now!” times.

Face it – it happens to all of us.

As moms, I know so often it’s all we can do to just get through the day.  And God-willing, that’s if everything runs as smooth as a baby’s butt.  Meaning… kids are dressed, homework is done, the kids arrived at school in one piece, the electric bill is paid, food is in the house, hubby is happy and you made it to work.  Never mind you forgot to brush your teeth.

What about the times, though, when things to awry. When things just, well, suck. The dishwasher floods the house.  The husband isn’t happy, or let’s face it – the times, when YOU aren’t.

Part of solving the problem begins with some investigative work.  Answer some questions, and Find Your Power.

Here’s some tips to be The Empowered Mom™ when facing challenges:

  1. Reframe an obstacle into an opportunity.
  2. Be open to the lesson – ask yourself : What do I need to be learning right now?
  3. Look beyond the barriers. Ask:  Can it be solved.  This sounds like a ‘duh, hello’ comment.  But really, have you really thought it through? Have you put it on paper?  Or are looking for any solutions or are you just seeing the barriers?
  4. Find a new way. Find your way around it.  Or over it.  A new thought pattern, instead of instinctive habits.
  5. Be resilient.  Face it. We’re all gonna face times that are rocky.  Toughing out the tough times are key – in fact, be TOUGHER than the tough times.
  6. Be creative.  Open yourself up to something other then the tried and true.  How would a solution look, then go back and find some solutions – it may open up solutions you hadn’t considered previously.
  7. Determine Control.  Ask yourself:  Is it within my power to fix?  In other words, do I have any control over it?  For example, if it’s raining on your wedding day, you can’t control that.  If the seam ripped on your wedding day, somebody grab a needle and thread.
  8. Be prepared.  Are there obstacles that you can foresee?  We’re not talking crystal balls here, people.  But there are instances where we learn from previous ‘bricks and rocks.’  If possible, plan ahead.
  9. Learn for the next time. Face it, we all screw up sometimes.  So what.  Move on.   Sometimes you gotta dust yourself off – and sometimes that means dusting off your pride, or ego.
  10. Don’t sweat the small stuff. (And pick your battles!)   As a parent, you learn very quickly you must pick your battles.  And if your 6-year-old child really wants to wear his jeans tucked into to his boots on Cowboy day – trust me, my friend, THAT is not a battle that should even be a blip on your radar.

Now here’s the deal:  Not all problems are just a quick fix – or bricks in the walkway.  We know it’s not all Pollyanna and rainbows and butterflies. Some things are bigger, badder, WAY more complex. Marital issues, divorce, job loss, serious illness, depression.  Many things are tough beyond measure. Reach out to professionals.  But these help bring perspective to the days when there are bricks and rocks in your path.  And even with the more serious issues – many of the same principles are effective for the tough stuff.

And when faced with brick walls, remember the amazing Randy Pausch, from his memoir, The Last Lecture.

His best-selling book brought perspective to many as he bids good-bye to his family before his death.  One of my favorite quotes is,

“The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough.”

When we realize life will present challenges and new opportunities for growth, then we are –in that moment–empowered. Know there are ways to deal with these things, Know you are strong enough: You are THE EMPOWERED MOM.   Find Your Power.


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  1. addiemaddie

    Love this one:
    Be open to the lesson – ask yourself : What do I need to be learning right now?

    Often over the past several years, I have repeated this prayer to myself and to God:
    “Father, if this problem, pain, sickness, or circumstance is needed to fulfill your purpose and glory in my life or in another’s, please don’t take it away.”

    Too often, we pray (or plead!) for God to remove barriers or help us cope with tough obstacles. What if the challenge is part of our path? What if it will make us a better person, teach our children something (gasp!), or shine light on someone else that day.

    Thank you Maria, for helping all of us become better women and mom’s!xoxo

    1. The Empowered Mom

      Isn’t it so true? So often, the lesson is often not in us fixing the problem, but being open to what we need to learn, fix or adapt. And often it’s in the resisting, that much of the growth is residing.
      Well, that and in a wine glass. 😉

  2. Becky Motley

    Maria ~ this is so good! Love that you are doing this for yourself AND so many others! Kudos!


    1. The Empowered Mom

      It IS a shared journey, isn’t it. Hoping this helps others as much as it’s helping and EMPOWERING me! So glad you like it – please empower others by sharing with everyone! Thank you! 🙂

  3. Donna Kay

    You go girl. Showem’ whatcha got!

    1. The Empowered Mom

      Thanks Doll! That’s right BAY-BEE!! Thanks for visiting – sign up for the RSS feed on my website, share, share, share and share me some more! And please go to The Empowered Mom Website page on Facebook and click Like! You rock it! Still love and share your amazing song, “Hotel Earth!”

  1. Your Wine Glass. How It Can Determine Your Path » Maria Lucé's "The Empowered Mom"

    […] “Crap! What NOW!” 10 Tips To Guide Your Way […]

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