(posted today on my Working Mother magazine’s “Walking Zombie” blog)

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Last year while on vacation I repeatedly told myself a big fat lie- At an amazing adventure camp for both kids and parents, I had the opportunity to learn the flying trapeze, to water ski, tube, and more. While I did indulge some, on many occasions I simply opted out. To be honest, I don’t even know why…it was just easier to say, “No thank you, I’m good,” and encourage my kids to participate.

But the truth is, each time Dave or the kids did something really cool like swing from the trapeze, I thought to myself how amazing it would be to give it a try. Yet time after time I just sat and watched.  Looking back, I now realize that much of my resistance was a combination of fear of the unknown, the inability to get outside my comfort zone and pure laziness. It just took too much effort. Each time, after I passed, I would get this terrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to dive in and have crazy fun, I did! It was just easier to watch everyone else have it.

We want back to Callaway Gardens again this year. I’m quite certain this is now going to be an annual family tradition. I made a mental decision that this time; I was not going to sit it out. I was going to step out of my comfort zone, face my fears and do all the things I refused to do last year. I also had this gut feeling that my daughter Paris, who is ten, was watching every decision I made. As her mother and mentor, if I wasn’t going to do it for myself, I was going to do it for her.

In the course of one week, I raced Dave on a crazy water obstacle course called aqua island and laughed so hard I almost passed out, water skied, tubed, climbed an 80 foot tree that scared the life out of me and zip lined over a beautiful lake, biked for hours on end, studied garden ideas at an edible garden, learned how to do a backflip on a flying trapeze, caught lightening bugs, and sat alone in an old chapel along a wooded path and pondered my life.

Who do you think had more fun? The stuffy woman who chose to sit it out or the adventurous girl who chose to dive in? The only difference between last year and this year was my mindset. Last year I had no intention, I was just there, on vacation with my family. This year I set out with the intention to have a blast and to do everything that scared and got me out of my comfort zone. This by far was one of the best vacations of my life. While I’ve been to France, Spain, Germany, the BVI and more…this little place in the Georgia mountains stole my heart because it called to the girl in me and beckoned me to play. I am so glad I said yes! I still can’t believe the impact it had on my life.

When is the last time you did something daring, adventurous, and crazy fun? What inhibitions are holding you back from letting the girl inside you come out to play? Whether at work, home or while on vacation, I challenge you to set your intention in regards to how you want to be, what you wish to feel and the experiences you desire to have and then set about creating them. Like me, you may just find it changes your life.

Written by Traci Bild, work-life balance expert and Founder of the Get Your Girl Back movement. Follow us on Facebook (Get Your Girl Back movement) for more inspiration and ideas to live a life of adventure, fun and sheer bliss! To download the first chapter of Traci’s forthcoming book, Get Your Girl Back, visit  https://gygb.com/the-book/.

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Sitting on the swing, feeling the wind blow through my hair as I flew into the sky and felt the tossing and turning of butterflies in my tummy was pure bliss- for the first time in years, I was actually swinging. Beside me my eight year old son Noah was laughing and saying “Mommy look! We are swinging at the exact same height!” Perfectly in synch, although for just a moment, we sailed through the air and for a moment…I felt like a young girl again.  Giggling I kicked my legs in an effort to go higher and higher…I couldn’t believe how good it felt to let go and immerse myself in the pure joy of childlike fun.

Young Woman Swinging

How many times have I gone to the park with Paris and Noah, only to sit and watch them play? For years I have gone only to sit and watch or dabble on my cell phone checking in on email, social media and texts. Isn’t that what moms do? We drive, sit, watch and wait…while our children live their lives, play with friends and have incredible life experiences. Yet over the last year something changed. I started to ask myself, “Why do they get to have all the fun?” I found myself jealous as I watched my daughter challenge herself to do a back tuck at gymnastics or Noah center up and position his feet in the perfect position to hit the ball and quickly run to first base. I would think to myself, “Why am I just sitting here?”

The young girl inside of me was literally starting to surface in everything I did. “Can I come out and play?” I felt her voice, her presence and her desire to bring fun, adventure and joy back into my life. So I said yes- literally! I made a conscious decision that I was no longer going to sit around and watch. I was going to get in the game and play. Like my children, I too wanted to have fun. I love being a mom, running a business and being a wife but what I miss is the freedom of plain old fashioned fun!

Since that time I’ve made it a point to play a little bit every day. I no longer care what people around me think because in my heart I know- they want to play too; so I’m taking the lead and doing what I’ve longed to do all these years. When I take Noah to baseball I get out on the field with him before the game and play catch, I run the bases and hit the ball. Before bed I grab a deck of cards, look at my kids with a competitive eye and say, “Who wants to play?” and when stepping on stage to speak to an audience at a conference, all grown up and in my fancy suit I think to myself, “Remember when this was your dream?” No more zoning out as I speak for the 10,000th  time- I’m there, full of passion and joy as I savor in the fact that I once dreamed of this job…and today it’s my freakin’ reality!

I don’t know how to explain the transformation I’ve experienced other than saying, “I feel alive!” I’ve always been a passionate person, full of life but the truth is, like other women- I’ve been a walking zombie! Alive, fully functioning but sort of dead inside- Tired, stressed, anxious and part of a vicious cycle called “Being a grown up”- I was going through the motions.  While I love my kids and wouldn’t trade a moment of my mom experience for the world, I would trade in my laundry and housework for a housekeeper (which I have!), meal planning and cooking for a chef (on my list), and carpooling to school and sporting events for a chauffeured limo driver! While that sounds nice the fact is it’s not realistic- so what I’ve done instead is found a way to make ordinary days extraordinary by putting the power of play into everything I do. The result is I’m laughing more, relaxed, less serious and more in tune to life and the many joys in it.

If you’re reading this blog then odds are you are a mother and wife who also manages a full time, chaotic work schedule. You do everything for everyone but you. I would like to be your voice of reason and my goal is to inspire you to step back, relax, take the pressure off and start to add play into your day. At first it will seem a little odd- if not crazy; but I promise, you will feel more alive than ever before! So the next time your kids are playing, get in the game! Sing at the top of your lungs when hearing your favorite song, skip to get the mall, put the windows down, let the wind blow through your hair and find pictures in the clouds. Life is rich and full of wonder- sadly the woman, bogged down by life is missing it all. Open your eyes, take a deep breath and make the decision to get your girl back once and for all.

 If you’d like to join in on the fun and get my blog post by email, sign up at http://bit.ly/1j2ol3s.  You can also share your own stories and ideas here on my blog or on my Facebook Fan page at Get Your Girl Back movement. I can’t wait to hear from you.

Written by Traci Bild, Author and Founder of the Get Your Girl Back movement


Time for You

Written by Guest Contributor Jennifer Ruyle.

With everything going on in our lives it’s so darn easy to overlook carving out time for ourselves, even just for a few hours. Blah Blah Blah. Not quite ladies.  From the moment I had my twins, now eight years old, I made a pact with my husband. One night during the week I would get my own night, and one night a week he would get his own night. Before you start objecting and saying…”well my husband couldn’t handle dinner or the kids need me to do this or that at bedtime or I worked all day won’t get to tuck in little Johnny”…here’s a thought – it’s ONE night.  No one will starve, no one will combust, no one will hate you.  So here’s how it goes.  Tuesdays are my night starting at 6pm when my husband arrives home, grumpy or not. I either go to a yoga class, grab some friends and get dinner, shop a bookstore or sit in my car listening to old 70s tunes. I return about 9pm – definitely after the kids are in their slumber. In turn, my husband chooses his night to go play softball in his very competitive over 40 league.

The key is this ONE night doesn’t negate a date night – which I do know realistically can’t always happen every week. But, unless there is a recital or major illness, my hubby and I have stuck to our ONE night for the past 8 years.  And I believe we are all happier for it.  It’s easy to make excuses, but if you and your husband can’t make this happen, then it’s going to be a long road ahead.  It’s a win-win for both of you so no one should be complaining. It’s a positive change you can make right now. The house may be a mess when you get home, and dinner may not be gourmet those two nights, but who cares.

Common obstacles:

Kids: “You’re going to yoga again this week…”         

YOU: “Yes, the more fit I am, the longer I will live for you.”

Kids: “Don’t leave Mommy, Daddy makes us eat weird food.”      

YOU:  “Mommy needs playdates, too right?”

Husband:  “So what should we do after dinner…”                      

YOU:  “You’re smart. You’ll figure it out. Have fun.”

Husband:  Sheer look of terror as you grab your keys to go.           

YOU:  Ignore or plant a very long kiss on his face. Then give a sultry goodbye.

And if you or your husband can’t think of anything to do on your ONE night, just ask for ideas by posting a comment to the blog post…I have trillions of ideas of how you can spend 2-3 hours enriching your life, YOUR LIFE, too.

If you’re reading this post through the daily email and want to become an Ambassador for Get Your Girl Back, where I’ll ask for help from you from time to time, email me at Traci@GYGB.com and I’ll share what we are up to (we are starting a free 10 week class for our Ambassadors on January 7th so if you have not signed up yet, now is the time). If you’d like to get the daily blog post by email, sign up at https://gygb.com/category/blog/ and see what we’re working on how it can help you!

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TODAY’S FOCUS IS: MANAGE

3 generations of women

When you were in fourth grade, that special year that research shows girls have the most self-confidence, what did you think you would do when you grew up? Come on; think back, do you remember? My daughter Paris is in fifth grade and her thoughts might spark memories. Here are a few of her possibilities; “I want to be a mom, take over mommies companies Get Your Girl Back and Bild & Company, be a school teacher, or maybe a gymnastics teacher…” anything ring a bell? If not, ask your daughter or niece this very important question, “What do you think you will do when you grow up?”

Two Full Time Jobs

I imagine that the answer, “I will work two full time jobs” never got onto that list and the very thought of your daughter or niece doing that terrifies you. Yet the fact is, that is what most women are doing. They start at the crack of dawn, getting kids ready for school, only to head off to a day job that ends at 4 or 5, then head back home for the most important job of all, parenting and wife- the managing of a beautiful family to include cooking, cleaning, tutoring, carpooling, sporting events, laundry, grocery shopping, and more. Normally that job ends around 9 pm when everyone is safely tucked into bed and the last dishes are put away, loose shoes put in the shoe basket, and back packs set by the door. While you may love your life and wouldn’t trade it for anything, the question to ask is “How do you manage it all without losing track of yourself?”

The Generational Divide

Odds are your grandmother didn’t work and if she did boy was she a trailblazer! In most cases, her full time job was the raising of her family and managing of her home. Her daughter, quite possibly your mother, was raised to be like her mom, to be a homemaker. Yet something happened- people started to get divorced and if your mom is anything like mine, these women were unprepared. With little job training or college behind them, they were forced to enter the workforce, work two to three jobs to survive, and in many cases, even marry- not for love but to put a roof over their children’s heads. Life for many of our mothers was not was they expected.

Then there are the women of my generation, those who watched from the side as our mothers struggled to survive, find work, and make a place for themselves in the world.  We became determined- we would not rely on anyone to take care of us, we would work, and provide for ourselves. So off to college we went! Fast forward to today- Women are unprepared- and rightly so! In the span of three generations, women went from one job to two; yet extra hours were not added to the day, we simply have had to learn how to manage it all and the one thing that regularly falls off the list is YOU.

As women who both work at home and outside the home, putting in sixteen hour days, it’s more important than ever to focus on systems that will help you better manage your life.  This is what Get Your Girl Back is all about. Reading these daily blogs will serve as a guide to help you on this wonderful journey called life! My goal today is to help you understand why at times, you might feel like you are going to go crazy and to know that you are not alone. My mom recently got me a sign that reads, “Some call it chaos, we call it family.” I love this sign and so enjoy the chaos- yet in that chaos is order, fun, adventure, and pure bliss. I want to help you learn how to keep all the good, yummy parts of your life and repair those that are broken and not-so good right now. Odds are there is more good than bad so with a little focus you can reignite your passion and create a life by design, not circumstance.

So ponder today’s message, take it in. Then, commit to learn, grow and implement new ideas into your life and if you have a daughter, teach her what you learn so she understands how to keep her girl, front and center- then there will never be a need to get her back!

Written by Traci Bild, Founder of the Get Your Girl Back movement

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