What Mom might need this Mother’s Day is a little bit of CALM. In my book, 10 Secrets to Living Smart, Savvy and Strong, I give a few clues to bring some CALM to Mom’s world. To make it easy to remember, let’s link these skills to the word, C.A.L.M.

Calm means

Care enough to confront
Accept people grow and change
Learn to forgive, reconcile and release
Move yourself forward

If your life is feeling stressful, don’t start blaming your mate or your kids; look in the mirror. Perhaps the reason you have some negative feelings toward some of those you love is that you have allowed them to look at you as some sort of “Wonder Woman.” The first step in gaining CALM is to “Confront the issues,” beginning with yourself and your contribution to the situation. Next, “accept people grow and change” and that change might first be in you. Third, “Learn to forgive.” Before you talk to anyone, forgive them first. Conversations go better when you are not carrying extra emotional baggage. Finally, “Move yourself forward, Mom.” Make the decision to do things differently the next time.

Let’s take a simple example from a woman featured in 10 Secrets to Living Smart, Savvy and Strong. Think of a game of tennis as you read Candy’s story. Candy squeezed in her weekly tennis game forcing herself to slip away from her home based business office and enroute she prayed, Father, I just feel so “heavy.” 

An inaudible voice seemed to say, “Then roll the ball back.”

Roll the ball back? 

After tennis, Candy dashed from the club to the junior high to pick up Terri, her daughter. She wasn’t greeted with a “Hi ya mom!” but Terri barking commands of needed poster board, and other items for a project due the next morning. By the time they got home from errands, Cliff, her high school son drove up in the driveway. “Hey Mom, did you get my uniform washed?”

When she walked in, her arms laden with groceries, she noticed her college daughter Kelly was watching TV and the kitchen sink was full of dishes and there was no sign of any dinner being prepared.  Candy’s husband came home and kissed her a quick peck and asked, “Did you pick up my dry cleaning today?” Then Cliff carrying an armload of dirty sports gear came in and tossed the clothes right on to the kitchen counter and said with an attitude, “Mom—they aren’t washed! I need them in the morning.” Then Kelly walked in and said, “I’m hungry, what’s for dinner?”

Roll the ball back! the voice screamed inside her. Then she pictured herself out on the tennis court, and with a powerful forearm she whacked the ball back into her partner’s side of the court making her chase the ball. She got the picture. She realized she had been taking on everyone else’s responsibility, owning everyone else’s issues, covering for everyone’s mistakes. So in her mind she lobbed those responsibility balls right back over the net.

“Cliff, you know how to use the washer, I suggest you start the load. Kelly, you can finish dinner since you are so hungry. Terri, Dad would love to drive you to get the poster board; it's right next to the cleaners. I’m going to take a long hot bubble bath. We can all meet up over dinner in an hour. I’ll make dessert."

She gave her husband a kiss as she bounced up the stairs. It felt good to roll the ball back into the court it belonged in.

Mom, if you are looking for CALM, backhand those responsibility balls back over the net to the court they belong in ands enjoy your day off.

Pam and Bill Farrel are relationship specialists, authors of a new book, 10 Questions Kids Ask About Sex (Harvest House) and Pam is the Founder of Seasoned Sisters, a ministry to midlife women (40-65+ www.seasonedsisters.com). Bless mom with a CALM year and give her the practical and humor packed: 10 Secrets of Living Smart, Savvy and Strong. Info at www.Love-Wise.com

Publication date: April 30, 2013