Elements of Fitness – A Mother's Memoir

The Healthiest Alcoholic Choices for Weight Loss



1411439749001If you’re  reading this right now, you’re probably on a diet and wondering if there REALLY is a better choice when ordering a drink.

After all, you’re killing it in the gym all week, seeing results and you’re afraid a drink will be a setback.  But come Friday or whatever cheat day you look forward to you begin to look forward to your day off.

And wouldn’t it be nice when you’re with your friends watching football to have a beer?    Should you really restrict yourself completely from having any alcohol? The answer is NO. Alcohol is usually a social activity, that most people enjoy sharing with their friends. Enjoying a glass of alcohol with your friends can still be included in a balanced weight loss program, with the right choices.

Alcoholic beverages CAN spoil your diet more than junk food. One gram of alcohol contains 7 calories which in larger quantities can be more calories compared with other food sources. Nevertheless, if you don’t want to do a lot of damage to your diet, it is best that you only enjoy the following selection of low calorie alcoholic beverages, which can serve as an alternative to strong liquor mixes. The key to all of these alcoholic drinks is to choose one with a low alcohol content and avoid mixing it with sugar laden soda mixers.


Light Beer

Light beer is the beer of choice for dieters because it only has 100 calories which is quite less compared to other kinds of beer. Hence, if you’re planning to hang out with your friends to watch your favorite sport or movie, better grab alight beer instead of regular beer. Make sure to avoid using an oversized beer mug or consuming more than two bottles of light beer to save yourself from the misery of messing up your diet and redoing it all over again.



Wine is not only good for your heart but also for your weight. This delicious drink contains 100 calories or less and drinking a few glasses won’t put your weight loss goal at risk. To reduce the amount of calories and add a little fizz to your wine, you can mix a dash of wine to sparkling water.


Tonic and Vodka

What’s good about tonic and vodka is it can make you feel the punch of alcohol even with just a few drinks. This combination is below 100 calories too. So, opting for this drink will put you on a party mode soon without putting your diet in jeopardy.


Soda & Rum

Rum with soda is a party favorite! It’s delicious, and it has fewer calories too.  However, if you want to create a healthier and weight friendly drink, you can use diet soda instead of regular soda to reduce the sugar and calories.



If you want to enjoy the party without drinking any alcoholic beverages, you can still have some fun without sticking to water all throughout the night. Non-alcoholic beverages such as mocktails are very much available for party goers who want to keep track of their diet. Mocktails are zero-calorie beverage but taste like the real thing!


As with any other choices you make on your “cheat day” don’t overdo it.  If you drink too many of these they will have the same effect as any other sugar filled junk food.  Alcohol converts to sugar if not used, so as always, drink responsibly.  🙂


September 22, 2014 Posted by | Diet and Exercise, Discipline, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, Nursing, P90X, P90X Recipes, P90X3, Phoenix AZ | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stuffed Peppers


It’s a classic recipe that’s very simple to make healthy!   See here for more of your favorite recipes I’ve made healthy (like chicken parmesan, lasagne, and chicken Dijon).



With a couple changes (i.e. replace ground beef, white rice), you can eat clean and have a delicious meal.  Even sneak a few bites to the kids, that is if you want to share.   😉


peppers cooking


Fat Burning Stuffed Peppers

1-1.5 pounds ground turkey

1/2 cup of Uncle Ben’s brown rice (or u can use long grain wild)

6 green bell peppers

2 (8 ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon fresh minced garlic

1 -1/2 cup diced onion

sea salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Avocado and shredded cheddar cheese to top, if desired.


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F .
  2. Saute ground fresh garlic and onions in 1 TBL of olive oil until onions are clear.  Add in ground turkey and cook over medium heat, cook until evenly browned.
  3. Remove and discard the tops, seeds, and membranes of the bell peppers. Arrange peppers in a baking dish with the hollowed sides facing upward. (A LITTLE SECRET:  Slice the bottoms of the peppers if necessary so that they will stand upright.)
  4. Add the cooked rice, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper to the turkey and onions.  Stir.   Spoon an equal amount of the mixture into each hollowed pepper. Mix the remaining tomato sauce and Italian seasoning in a bowl, and pour over the stuffed peppers.
  5. Bake 45 min to 1 hour, basting with sauce every 15 minutes, until the peppers are tender.

peppers IG


April 7, 2014 Posted by | Being a Mom, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Discipline, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Low Fat Recipes, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, P90X Recipes, P90X3, Products That Work, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Good ‘Ole H2O

We all know we’re supposed to drink it, but despite that fact, it is supremely recommended for weight loss!

I love tea and I could drink all different kinds all day long.  Not only that, I could probably survive with just tea.   But that doesn’t mean you – or I – should!

athletesI also work out.  Almost every day… and when you work out regularly you are burning through more of your body’s resources faster than you realize.   Water in the human body carries nutrients to cells, flushes out toxins, sweating and in addition to that, athletes also use it for more sweating, maintaining body temperature, and building new muscle.  We all need water!

The majority of people walk around in a state of constant dehydration – and we overeat when we’re dehydrated.   I always tell clients to keep water next to them, or at least within easy reach all day long.   Because when you have water next to you, you are less likely to reach for sugary drinks, which tends to make you just want to drink more sugary drinks!  Step out of the vicious cycle.

So how much water should you drink?  Well, if you’re trying to lose weight here’s what I recommend and I know it works.  Drink your body weight, divided by 2 in ounces.   So if you weigh 136lbs, divide by 2 = 68 ounces.  That may sound like a lot but if you sip it all day long, it adds up quick and you may even find yourself drinking more.  AND yes I know, especially for us women, you’re thinking “If I drink 68oz of water every day, I will be running to the restroom every 20 minutes!”  Guess what.  You’re right.  But you want to!  That is your body flushing away fat stores, toxins, etc!  It’s a good thing!!   Then, when your body gets used to your new water consumption it won’t have to drain the bladder so often.

Believe me.  I get that not everyone likes plain water.  Especially after spending years of drinking soda.  But you’re here… and you’re still reading thus far, which means you’re probably trying to change your ways and create better habits.  With that in mind, there’s ways to make your water taste good!!  When I first started exchanging water for my sugary addictions years ago, I hated the taste of plain water.  I realized shortly after that when you have good tasting water, it makes ALL the difference in the world.  I started subscribing to a water delivery service and for a while I swore it was the “electrolytes” that were added that made it taste better.  I was wrong.  Better filters than most commercial water companies made all the difference.

Cucumber WaterThen – I started adding cucumber to it.  My favorite!  I hate lemon in my water.  In fact, it drives me crazy that restaurants assume everyone wants lemon in their water.  I can’t stand that.  I know they do it to offset the horrible taste of tap water and to kill bacteria – but ask first.

You can add whatever fruit you like!  In fact, go crazy – add a slice of fruit AND then some herbs like ginger or mint.  Yum.  Strawberries, orange, kiwi, frozen grapes, watermelon, whatever!

Point is:  drink the WATER!

February 20, 2014 Posted by | Beauty, Diet and Exercise, Discipline, Eating Clean, Exercise, Nursing, Nutrition, P90X, P90X Recipes, P90X2, P90X3, Products That Work, Skin Care, Women Today, Women's Health, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The All New 21-Day FIX

21If I could provide you with a 21 day work out program that was just 30 mins daily and a meal plan that is easy to follow, uses a simple portion control system and tells you exactly what to eat (without resulting in you being starving)…and you could lose 10+ lbs in just these 21 days would you be interested?? If so HIT LIKE and comment below saying you want info!

You already know that 70% of your health and fitness is what you eat.  This program is designed to shrink your stomach using portion control and workouts that are easy to follow you won’t even realize how HARD you are actually working!

It’s that easy!!   The 21-Day Fix is comprised of 7 varied workouts, 30 minutes each for three weeks, correctly portioned containers, a meal plan and fitness calendar so you know which workout to do each day… PLUS an entire month’s supply of Shakeology – The Healthiest Meal of the Day is included as well!!!

We have literally made it so easy and very affordable now too!  If you choose to take the Beachbody Challenge with this program you will not only be entered to win cash, vacations and prizes but you will also have the chance to be the next featured Beachbody Success Story!!

We are very excited that Autumn Calabrese has decided to team up with us at Beachbody to design a program that’s easy to stick with for 21 days.  You know the old adage:   ‘Just stick with it for 21 days to make it a habit’… that goes for anything you set your mind to doing!

21_day-fixOptimize your health and fitness to reach your desired results in 21-days instead of 60 or 90-days AND eat good AND clean food!  It’s that simple!  This program comes with containers for each meal of the day so there is no more guessing and calorie counting.

This program will be available in February!  Be the first to know when its available to buy by subscribing to my blog below!  🙂

Contact me for details!  I will be starting a Challenge Group for people who want to do this together!  You can holler at me on Instagram:  FitnessElementsForLife or Facebook/ChristyPourciau

You can even go to my website and hear what everyone else is saying about it on the message boards here!

2014 has big things in store!!  Let’s keep your health a top priority!!


January 30, 2014 Posted by | Beauty, Being a Mom, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Discipline, Eating Clean, Exercise, Low Fat Recipes, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, P90X, P90X Recipes, P90X2, P90X3, Products That Work, Shakeology, Women Today, Women's Health, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Clean Eating – Parmesan Crusted Chicken

You’re not going to believe how easy this is to make and how GOOOOOD it turns out until you make it – and it’s HEALTHY!   The chicken comes out so tender and juicy!

Parmesan Crusted Chicken:

  • 3/4 cup grated and/or shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup Greek plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Mix the first 5 ingredients and then spread mixture over chicken on both sides.  Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes

parmesan crusted chicken

January 13, 2014 Posted by | Being a Mom, Children, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Dinners Kids Devour, Discipline, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, P90X Recipes, P90X2, P90X3, Products That Work, Women's Health, Working Moms | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Programming your Body For Fat Loss

dedicationYes.  Programming. 

Everyone wants to get lean and lose fat in the shortest time possible.  Everyone also, at least at first, seems to believe they must do cardio 3-4 times a week and cut their calories by 300-400 to create the caloric deficit.  Don’t get me wrong.  Now the truth is that if you do nearly everything right and your nutrition is spot on, as well as do cardio both intensely and frequently, of course you can lose fat.    

Keyword there was can.   Is it possible?  Yes.  Is it doable?  Yes.  But definitely not optimal or ideal.  Plus, as we all know, its just not that simple.   Otherwise I would be out of a job and everyone would have the body they’ve always wanted!  Right?  Right.

If you want rapid results, you have to be 100% focused.  100%  committed.  Not just “oh well, I trained yesterday so I’m going to indulge today.”  You must be willing to do the work and you must be willing to do it often.  I tell my clients to eat 1-1.5g of protein per pound of lean body mass.  The reason for the range is because as long as you are eating at least 1g per pound of your LBM then you are eating enough protein.  The range is so that if you find yourself still hungry you can add a little more protein to help satisfy your hunger.

As for carbs, most people should aim for .5g of carbs for every pound of LBM unless you are the type of person who can handle carbs well, then you can go up to .75g.   After that, fat will be the difference in your total caloric intake.  Of that amount, calculate at least 1 gram per pound of your bodyfat for 1 gram of fish oil.  For example, if you are 10% bodyfat, take 10 grams of fish oil every day.

Cardio is necessary but a lot is not needed.  What is needed is weight training.  A 2 on/1 off double split routine (doubles) gives the most dramatic results and no 1 workout session should be longer than 45 minutes.  All that does is create a wonderful recipe for overtraining and injury. 

I also tell my clients to train twice a day.  Once in the morning (15-20 min) and once in the evening (35-40 min) .  As we talked about, this is obvious dedication.  So keep that in mind.  But this is also good because it keeps your body in a high metabolic rate consistently ALL day long.  Yes – I do know that MOST people whether it is due to kids, their occupation, etc. cannot workout twice a day.  To them I say, ok.  Then choose which part of the day, every day, that you can commit to to working out.  Mornings or evenings.   Pick one.  But promise yourself you will do weight training first and THEN cardio. 

All of this can be done.  It is possible.  As soon as you realize you WANT results MORE than anything else.  You will find a way to get it done. 

the perfect timing

So please feel free to contact me.  This is what I do.  I love helping people get in fantastic shape and making positive changes in their life. 

Share this on Facebook, if you think your friends and family would be interested.

October 1, 2013 Posted by | Diet and Exercise, Discipline, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, Insanity, Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The 5 Best Foods To Eat Before Bed

moonWe’ve all been told eating before bed is a huge weight loss no-no.  You’ve probably even heard that it will make you gain weight.  But sometimes we will lay down at night to go to sleep and all of a sudden our stomachs start yelling at us that we didnt quite get enough of calories, etc.

Well, as we all know and probably already live by…. there are foods we can eat, foods we should eat in moderation and foods we should NEVER put in our bodies at any given time.

This is what got me interested in the science of nutrition, not just for weight loss, but how our bodies react and break down foods depending on the time of day we eat them.  That amazed me!   It was like a mystery novel I couldnt’t put down.   I became so eager to understand and know more.  For example, did you know there are only 2 times during the day to eat a banana?  Since bananas are such a high glycemic food, it is only needed at one time of day.   The only time(s) your blood sugar needs a spike is right when you wake up for the day or, if you workout, it is ok to have a small banana right before or right after a difficult workout but I would skip it (if you ate one in the morning).

Now for before bed, where we are lucky to burn 60-80 calories an hour during the night, there are actually late night snacks we can eat that can and will INCREASE your fat loss.  Here’s the key:  choose slow digesting high quality protein and healthy fats.

Slow digesting proteins provide your body with a steady flow of amino acids
throughout the night to help you recover from exercise and maintain your
calorie-burning lean muscle as you lose fat.

Ok, enough of the rant.  Here’s what you came here for:

hunger pangsTop 5 Pre-Bedtime Foods:

  1. Lean Protein – chicken and turkey digest slowly and have a very low insulin release and actually produce a hormone that helps break down stored fat
  2. Cottage Cheese – also slow digesting due to the casein protein naturally found in curded milk and cheese.  And also produces the same hormone in the body that breaks down stored fat.   Just don’t ruin this by adding fruits or raisins (sugar) to it.  Instead, add stevia and/or cinnamon.
  3. Greens – no there’s no protein, however, salads are full of fiber and there are no calories.  Which means you are burning more calories while you sleep in just digestion!  If you must use dressing, just use oil and vinegar, or lemon juice.
  4. Almonds, pecans, walnuts or pistachios – why?  because these nuts are great sources of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants PLUS fiber and healthy fats to control your late night cravings.
  5. Low carb protein shake –  low carb is the important focus here.  A lot of protein shakes are high in carbs and if you have one of those before bed it would actually be worse than having a slice of white bread!  So read your labels carefully.  Also you can add some almond butter for the above healthy fats.

By the way, these pre-bedtime foods are recommended for anyone.  Not just people trying to find their abs or lose weight.   Vegans can do 3-5, vegetarians can do 2-5 and everyone else can do any of the 5, unless you have food allergies, etc.


May 20, 2013 Posted by | Diet and Exercise, Discipline, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, Insanity, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, P90X, P90X Recipes, P90X2, Shakeology, Women's Health | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Autumn: the Symbol of Change

I’m not sure what it is about fall that makes me reflect and evaluate all aspects of my life.   It could be an instilled association from childhood that when summer’s over it’s time to focus on school.  Or maybe, as an adult, it’s more of a last minute chance to find success in something before the year comes to a close.

Whatever reason it may be, I am grateful.  Grateful because it gives me a refreshed focus.  A determination.  And a desire to want a change.

I get a lot of heat from family and friends because I talk so much about eating healthy and living a fit and healthy life, yet on Facebook I only ever seem to be having fun travelling and hanging out with friends.

But for me, September thru May is my time to focus.  Mostly because the children are in school so we absolutely have to be regimented and structured.  If not, our schedule goes awry and then everything falls apart.  I am an all or nothing type of person so I can’t be one foot in and one foot out in regards to anything.  It just doesn’t work for me.

Summer, for me, means kids don’t have to be in bed at a certain time, and we can stay up later without paying the exhausting consequences in the morning.  It means I can sleep in a little more and only be concerned with getting myself to work.

Summers ARE ABOUT travelling, maybe escaping the summer heat to go camping and making s’mores with the kids and enjoy laughs and a drink or two around the campfire with friends.  It could be barbecuing with friends and sitting by the pool.  Here in Phoenix, sitting by the pool is necessary when it’s 115 degrees.  This also means that a blender with a nice, refreshing frozen concoction isn’t too far out of reach!  My friends know that I mix up some delicious margaritas!

For the most part, I understand what people say about my status updates and pictures posted of travels to Vegas for friend’s birthdays, or drinking mai tai’s on the beach and going out to restaurants and work functions.  However, I know my body.  I know what I can and can’t handle.  I also know that if I gain 5-8 pounds that I know what I need to do to lose those 5-8 pounds!  But, albeit maybe as a Coach and a motivator I should probably refrain from posting those indulgences.

Anyways, this explains why I lose a little grip of my fitness level.  I eat right, maintain a low body fat percentage and barely miss a workout from September to May.  And I KNOW… it’s completely backwards!  Most people work hard to get in shape for summer so they can wear a bikini, which I do too, but then I lose the bikini body by the end of June!  It’s like athletes that train religiously for their sport during the off season and during the regular season they are seen living it up like rock stars.

As the seasons change for you what do you see are your areas of opportunity?  Do your goals shift focus too?  Think about where you started at the beginning of 2012 and the direction you’re going now.  The good, the bad, the what, where, and why’s.  Will you have the same goals for 2013 that you had for 2012 or are you going to bring those to life through execution to make way for new and better goals?


P.S.  Whether you’re like me and get off track or not, I can help you.  It’s not just about calories in and calories out that we’ve all been taught for years.  It’s the “right” calories in and “track” your calories out.  Follow me here to learn more.

September 13, 2012 Posted by | About Me, Being a Mom, Cooking, Diet and Exercise, Discipline, Eating Clean, Exercise, Nutrition, Traveling | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

6 Smart Ways to Fight Hunger

Let’s face it, trying to lose fat can be hard at times.  The biggest thing that comes up time and time again is hunger.  In a perfect world, you would find a way to not be hungry and still watch your waistline shrink.   Can that really be done?   Below are 6 tips to help guide your waistline to a new low.

1) Eat more protein
I tell everyone to eat more when they are looking to get leaner.  Most of the time people look at me like I’m nuts.  Really?  Eat more?  Their whole lives they have heard you need to eat less and less, but can we eat more of something and still lose weight?

It turns out that protein has some very cool effects.  First off, protein helps with satiety and keeps you full longer.   I could site a bunch of studies here but try this experiment out on your own instead.   Eat 2 whole chicken breasts and the same amount of calories from Twinkies, then see how soon you are hungry again.

Two 6 oz chicken breasts have about 420 calories.  This may leave some of you doing your own episode of “Man vs Food” just to finish them.  Yet 3 Twinkies have about the same number of calories, and it would be easy to polish them off in no time (not that I know anything about that).


In the end, eat more protein to watch your waistline go down.

2) Drink more water
Not a new one but most people still don’t do it.   Good thing about water is there’s no calories.  Test out drinking more water and I bet you will drop fat without trying harder.


Does water temperature really matter?  If you research this you’ll see very quickly that this topic is pretty split, so if you like cold water, go for it.  If you can’t stand cold water, just go with room temperature water.   Don’t use the temperature of the water as an excuse to avoid it.   Drink more first and then worry about the temperature.

3) Get more essential fats
Essential fats are something many, many people are lacking in today’s world.  Plus they are involved in virtually every process and cell in the body!    Your body NEEDS them (hence the “essential” part).  Hunger is the main way the body signals you to get more nutrients (both macro and micronutrients).
The downside is that the world we live in today has non-essential fats readily accessible.  You can eat all the non-essential trans fats you want, but they will do nothing to increase the essential ones and only screw things up more!
A good source?

One of the best sources of essential fats is kril oil.  Krill or fish oil may also help with body composition too and increase muscle mass.

4) Exercise
Exercise is a good thing!  It changes your mood and I say this all the time:  you will never regret working out after.  So many people only choose to exercise so that they can eat what they want.  That’s not doing anything to help you shrink your waistline!  Don’t exercise to burn off that donut.

Exercise is the main way create a fat burning machine even at rest!  Give your body a donut in that process and you’ve just slowed down all functions in your body.
Most people nowadays spend most of their time seated.  Even when they exercise, it is for a small portion of their day; so we need to maximize that time by prioritizing full body exercises. Not only will this burn a ton of calories, it will work to add more muscle.  More muscle literally pulls fats and carbs out of the blood to be burned.  Your resting metabolic rate is your primarily caloric burn, so you want to have a fast, high horsepower motor.
Another benefit from exercise is related to up-regulation of the glucose transport receptors that allow glucose to enter into a cell.   (HOLD ON – DON’T FALL ASLEEP HERE)!  These receptors are located in fat and muscle tissue.   This protein is expressed only in muscle and fat cells – the major tissues in the body that respond to insulin.   This leads us into point 5…..

5) Eat Low Glycemic Foods to Control Insulin Throughout the Day
I’m sure you have read about this topic many times and scratched your head or fallen asleep.   But our bodies are designed to regulate bodily functions through hormones like GH, testosterone, estrogen, leptin, and neuropeptides.
While these are very important,  there are 2 key questions.
1) Do we have any direct control over them?
2) What are the main effects?
Out of these key questions we find that insulin is a major regulator hormone, and we do maintain some control over it.
Think of insulin as the “fuel selector switch” in the body.
High levels of insulin = storage mode (think of people with type 2 diabetes).
This can be storing carbs in muscle and live tissue as glycogen, or storing more fat around those love handles you hate.
The opposite works to our favor, though, as low levels of insulin = fat burning (enhanced fat metabolism).   Everything that you eat will result in some release of insulin, but we want to keep the overall response as low as possible by sticking with more proteins like meat, fish, egg, lots of non-starchy vegetables, and essential fats.

6) Spike insulin
You’re probably thinking I just made a typo after dicussing how important it is to control insulin.  Nope.  I still want you to keep insulin at a low level during the day overall but the one time to increase insulin temporarily is RIGHT before training since it may help enhance carbohydrate metabolism.
When you are lifting weights, your body is fueled primarily by carbs.  Remember that when insulin is high, it pushes the fuel selector switch towards carbohydrate metabolism which is great right before a strength training session.
Have a protein and carb drink about 30-60 minutes pre-training.  In addition to temporarily increasing insulin, it also helps increase muscle protein synthesis where you are literally adding proteins to muscle tissue so they are bigger and stronger.  Remember, we want to build a huge engine to burn more calories even at rest.

So as you know, hunger can be a vicious enemy and you are now equipped with 6 tips to beat it into submission.    Go practice them and send me feedback and your results with it.

July 9, 2011 Posted by | Diet and Exercise, Discipline, Eating Clean, Eating Low Carb, Exercise, My Low Carb Recipes, Nutrition, P90X Recipes, Shakeology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Discipline and Co-parenting

Disciplining children can be hard enough as it is in a traditional family.  But add divorce, joint custody and getting remarried to the equation and it makes it even more difficult.

The girl’s father was very lazy, nothing bothered him and it took pulling teeth and ultimatums to get him to lift a finger.  Now I’m in a relationship that is quite the opposite:  Frank does things way before I even need to ask.  The problem with this type of personality though is that he is ‘Johnny on the Spot’ when it comes to my girls and the proper discipline.

I’m from the school that no one disciplines your children except their own parents (unless of course they’re staying at someone else’s home and the parents aren’t around). 

disciplineFrank is from the school that anyone can and should take matters into their own hands.  [I don’t mean literally.  Neither one of us has never laid a hand on any of the kids.]

For example, this just happened the other day, Frank and I stayed up way later than we normally do watching movies and then the following morning Frankie woke up and we didn’t hear him cry.  Kaitlyn’s room is right next to his so she went in his room, took him out of his crib and brought the baby into her room to play with the idea that she was helping us out. 

Me, being the lover of all things sleep, loved this.  I’ve allowed her to do this in the past, either by me asking her to go get him or vice versa so I’ve seen her take him out of the crib many times and she’s never had a problem.  Plus, if she had a hard time taking him out and accidentally hurt his legs or something he would not hesitate to cry.  But that scenario has never happened.

So I wake up with Frank walking into our room with the baby and he said “Did you know Kaitlyn takes the baby out of the crib?”  I said yes and thought that would be the end of it.  He then says “I don’t want her taking him out of the crib unless she asks us first and we say its ok”.  To which I replied ok and went back to sleep.

The next day as we’re all sitting around the table having lunch and Kaitlyn tells Frank something funny that happened that morning and Frank asked if she got the baby out of the crib.  Her and I both said yes.  He got pretty upset and said he didn’t want her to do it anymore.  I told him I recalled that he didn’t want her to do it without getting permission first.  He then said no, he doesn’t want her doing it at all.  He explained that he doesn’t feel she’s strong enough and didn’t think it was a good idea.  Then I got upset that he was doing this in front of the children and not allowing me a say in this.  I explained that if the baby was getting hurt he would cry as she was pulling him out of the crib, etc.

The most frustrating aspect of all of this is that he and I (like all parents) are supposed to be a united front.  So we can’t argue about it in front of the children.  But at the same time, pressing issues need to be dealt with immediately so the kids understand the consequences of their actions right away.

The other reason this hit home a little too much is because just a couple weeks ago, the girl’s father told me that the girls tell him that I do ‘whatever Frank says’.  This absolutely boggled my mind, first, because supposedly it came from the girls and second, I do not do as I’m told.  I never have.  So this was a complete shocker.  Now I know that my ex loves to say stuff to get under my skin and he never has a nice thing to say about Frank but the thing that cut to the core of me was wondering if that was really the girl’s perception of me?  Now I know they’re only 7 and 6 but still.  He also told me that the girls tell him that I make Frank his dinner and his drinks.  I told my ex that this is coming from our children and that I make dinner and get drinks for everyone.  I also added that I used to make dinner and drinks for him and I too when we were together.  It was then that he realized what I was saying (or at least pretended to).

So after this heated moment at the dinner table all of these thoughts started running through my mind.  And all I kept wondering was what the girls were thinking.  So since Frank raised his voice I decided to raise mine.  I told him “I did not appreciate him talking to me that way, especially in front of the children and I wanted an apology.”  He started to apologize right then but I said I wasn’t done yet.  I then said “if you have a problem with how I do things around here talk to me about it behind closed doors where we can resolve it between the two of us.”  He told me (in front of the children) that I was right and that he was sorry… and then everyone was silent for the next few minutes.

Now this isn’t, of course, the least or worst of examples.  It was just the most recent.  We’ve always had this problem about discipline.  He thinks I’m not consistent enough and I think he’s too harsh.  We’ve been to plenty of parenting classes due to horrendous allegations by my ex where we learned that you have to tell a child 2000 times each behavior you’re trying to correct. 

Last month, my youngest daughter got all her toys taken away by Frank because he’s had to tell her too many times to pick up her toys after she’s done playing with them.  And he did this when I wasn’t home.  Now I understand that there should have been some form of consequence but I thought taking away all her toys was way over the top.  I also don’t think that he, being the soon-to-be-Stepdad, should be the disciplinarian.  And many counselors and other people in the field we’ve spoken to agree with me on that.

But he disagrees.  He doesn’t believe he should’ve waited til I got home to let me handle it.

Anyways, the point of me sharing this is to try and figure out if I’m alone in this.  I can’t be.  But does every blended family household go through this?  Or anything remotely similar?  Did anyone grow up in a broken home?  What were your experiences?  How would you have handled either scenario differently?

July 8, 2009 Posted by | Being a Mom, Children, Discipline, Divorce, Family | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


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