I take in the oh-so familiar tone, pitch, and volume of the voice of my daughter’s voice on the other end of the phone. I feel my body tense, wondering if the call will resemble the recent ones—the ones during which the angst of my soon-to-be college graduate grappling with all sorts of uncomfortable unknowns and what-ifs often triggers my reactive anxiety, leading me to say the exact “wrong” things in my responses to her.
Check out my piece over on the Huffington Post!
Hands down the best marriage advice I've ever received: Every single day is a choice to stay married. Half of us walk. Half of us stay. Pretty daunting, right?
Roots and wings are what most parents try give to their children while raising them. We try to keep them grounded in a strong value system while giving them the space they need to develop the confidence they need to be able to soar on their own. Sounds relatively simple, right? But every parent knows how not simple this is!
Even though I do my best to ignore the fully stocked back-to-school section when I shop at Target these days, there is no denying it: summer is coming to a close. Later this month my kids will pack up their backpacks and—with both excitement and dread—they’ll head back to school for another year of learning, socializing, creating, and exploring.
As a survivor of an eating disorder, I thought my newly strengthened and enlightened self-care voice was infallible. I was certain that with a strong marriage, a good job, a network of friends, and a healthy lifestyle, I had this self-care thing down. And I did—at least, at a time when I felt that I had control over my life, my decisions, and my relationships, and that I could manage what was on my plate. But at the age of twenty-seven, I could never have predicted how much more I would need to learn about self-care, and how challenging it would be to hold on to my sense of self, the moment I locked eyes with my newborn daughter’s wanting and needing eyes. With goose bumps on my arms and my heart exploding with love for this child, I felt the “commitment for life” concept sink heavily and purposefully into the depths of my being. As I held her tightly in my arms, and took in the sight, smell, and feel of her, I promised her, and myself, that I would always protect her, love her, and care for her—that I would become a “baby whisperer,” able to anticipate and accommodate her every need.
We authors spend countless hours alone, blocking out the rest of the world, head bowed, pen to paper or fingers to keyboard stringing together words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, paragraphs into chapters, and chapters into a book. We battle and embrace feelings of vulnerability, angst, euphoria, fear, and excitement. We are propelled by hope that even just one reader will "get" our message. But we are keenly aware that our chosen words, ideas, and stories may not matter to anyone else.
Ask yourself two simple questions:
What are you 10 favorite ways to take care of yourself?
Can you commit to carving out 10-20 minutes to incorporate one or two of these practices into your everyday routine?
Developing Your Child's Innate Talents: A Book Review
Thank goodness Mary Reckmeyer's new book Strengths Based Parenting—Developing Your Child's Innate Talents offers an alternate approach for parents to raise happy, confident children who become joyful, fulfilled adults. Reckmeyer, Executive Director of Gallup's Donald O. Clifton Child Development Center, gives parents permission to let go of the "all" and urges them to focus on discovering and nurturing their child's innate talents, instead of trying to fix their weaknesses.
My third grade daughter is finally getting excited about the idea of me leading a mini-sedar for the 3rd and 4th graders at my kids' episcopalian school next week.
Taking care of yourself is one of the most important you can give to your child/ren and, of course, yourself. As a mother, taking care of your children is one of your highest priorities, and sometimes, taking care of yourself gets put on the back burner.
Beautiful baby girls start out so sweet and loving, and so ridiculously adorable. But fast forward a decade and suddenly...they're not.
During my daughter's high school years, I could often be found sprawled out on the floor of her bedroom, sometimes until 2 a.m., listening to her formulate introductions, paragraphs and conclusions. While I helped my teen dissect words and sentences, I sometimes worried that I was being intrusive or overbearing. However, when this daughter, now a freshman in college, recently applied for a writing program, I realized the worth of those late nights in challenging her to explore herself through writing.
This time we were completely and totally at odds. Him on one side of the coin, me on the other. There was no meet in the middle, he gives a little/ I give a little. This time is was heads or tails, black or white.