Dundee library class helps harried moms
You've probably seen them at the grocery store, the pumpkin patch, the mall, or the park.
Somewhat harried-looking moms, corralling their children, negotiating strollers, trying to open a juice box, blow a nose, and stop their kids from running in a parking lot all at once.
Before you rush to judgment that they're not wearing any makeup or that their kids don't know how to behave, consider the fact that most haven't had a moment to themselves since before we even knew who Barack Obama was.
On Saturday, Oct. 25 the Dundee Township Public Library is welcoming mothers who want to recharge their energy and learn how to balance their lives and the many challenges they face every day.
"When An Aspirin isn't Enough - Self Care for Moms" will be presented at 2 p.m. at West Dundee Public Safety Center II at the corner of Route 72 and Sleepy Hollow Road.
The program will be presented by Carpentersville residents and neighbors Annemarie Husser, a licensed clinical professional counselor with a master's degree in counseling and Michelle Kilbourne, who has an MBA, teaches at Judson College, and runs her own leadership consultation business.
As a family therapist for the village of Schaumburg, Husser noticed a common thread among many of her clients who were mothers - that they didn't take care of themselves and were often last on the priority list after children, husbands, jobs, household responsibilities, and pretty much everything else. Husser said she saw a need to help mothers not only take steps to take care of themselves, but to do it without guilt and acknowledge that it is not only a good thing, but a necessary thing.
"I think throughout the years I've realized that mothers really put themselves last on the list," Husser said. "They're coming in for maybe a problem with their husbands or their children or something and it seems like, in my experience, when they start to do little things for themselves, nurture themselves a little bit, they just feel better and they're able to handle things better.
"I feel like I want to help mothers that way - almost give them permission, like it's OK to take care of yourself. It's not selfish. You really need to do it so you can be the best mother and the best wife. You need to put that self care as a priority."
When Husser shared her thoughts with Kilbourne while they were waiting for their kids at the bus stop, the idea for a workshop for mothers was born.
As she was putting concepts for the workshop together, Husser came across a book that embodied exactly what she had in mind. "The Mother's Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life" by career and work/life balance coach Renee Trudeau focuses on four key areas for balance: physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual.
At the workshop, participants will begin by identifying what they do right now to take care of themselves and why it is important that they do that. That will be followed by a group activity. Four stations will be set up for each key area and participants will be asked to go to the area where they are doing best right now and discuss that. They will then proceed to the area where they need to do a better job in their self-care. They will be asked to write down a goal for themselves, something small that they will do on a regular basis.
At a previous workshop, Husser said the moms came up with some good goals. One wanted to start taking a nightly walk, another was going to start writing down three things that she's grateful for every day, one would start contacting her sisters more, and another wanted to join a softball team.
"I'd like them to come away feeling like it is important that they take care of themselves, and that they shouldn't feel guilty about that," Husser said. "It's almost essential that they do. And then to come away with one little goal for themselves that they're going to start doing on a regular basis and see how that goes."
The Oct. 25 program is free through the library. To register, call the library at (847) 428-3661 or visit www.dundeelibrary.info.
Husser and Kilbourne are also starting a Personal Renewal Group for Mothers which will meet the first Friday of the month beginning Nov. 7 in Carpentersville. The cost is $99 for three months or $179 for six months. Each includes a copy of Trudeau's book, which will be used as a guide for the group. For more information, contact Husser at (708) 287-9303 or email@example.com.
If you have any news about your club, school, church, business, neighbor, or even yourself, contact Kirstin Finneran by cell at (312) 518-4993 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.