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My Work/Life Teeter-Totter

I came home to a mountain of dishes tonight. Okay, a small hill. I wasn’t shocked, because I left them there, saying, “One good thing about it still being cold is we don’t have to worry about bugs!” The dishes were congregating in and around the sink not because I’m lazy, but because something else was more important the evening before. In this case, it was going to the gym and then, with what little time I had left, relaxing with my husband. So, they sat until the next day until I got home from work because the house and family time was the priority then. This is how my life is: an ever-present tension between things that are important to me. A clean house, a healthy body, connecting with my husband, positive attention to my daughter, bills that are     . . . read more

Your Time, Your Priorities

It’s a very simple truth: how you spend your minutes, hours, days, and weeks is how you spend your life. As I was avoiding writing today, I decided to get lost in the internet, then eat something even though I wasn’t hungry, and finally ask myself, what am I doing? How much time do we lose not really knowing what we are doing? Time spent without intention seems to get away from us rapidly and with little joy or satisfaction. At least it does for me. I caught myself, eventually, and remembered something important: time is a resource with which I can accomplish things that are central to my life priorities. Your life priorities are not things you say to look good. They are how you actually live. If, for example, your health is important, that will be reflected in     . . . read more

Want Better Communication? Stop Pushing Buttons

I’m around little kids a lot these days. It’s amazing how early and thoroughly they learn to push our buttons. They know our weaknesses, and they aren’t afraid to use them. A very convincing cry, some irritating whining, or even a guilt trip. Man, they are good. I try to remember the motto posted in my daughter’s classroom at daycare: They’re two. Whatcha going to do? I give kids credit, they really don’t have a lot of power. They have to use what they can. They are resourceful, really. While it’s skilled for kids to at least try to push buttons to get what they want, the same is not true of adults. As adults, if we purposefully say something to another person just to get our way or get them to feel something negative, then that is unskilled communication.     . . . read more

The Hidden Dangers of People-Pleasing

I know how this is going to sound. But I’m going to say it anyway. Be careful of being nice. The problem is that we do “nice” in ways that are actually detrimental. The misconceptions about how to be nice are the key issues. One of the main problems is that a lot of kind people believe it’s essential to please everyone. Now most of us are aware that being a people-pleaser is hard on the person doing the pleasing. There is the exhausting work of always saying yes, trying to read minds, and always doing what the other person wants. It’s sometimes hard to get nice people to change just based on this, “it’s not good for you” argument. So I go for two other cold, hard truths about people-pleasing. 1. When you spend energy pleasing everyone, you inevitably     . . . read more

5 Tips to Get You Through the Inevitable New Mom Identity Crisis

This week I’m over at What to Expect talking about pregnancy, motherhood, and identity. Find out about the surprising moment of panic that led me to discover how to overcome the new mom identity crisis… (click here to link to the post). It was great to be featured on What to Expect and to add my story to the Word of Mom blog. I believe it’s important to have real stories of pregnancy and parenting. The reality is more messy than the cute pics of babies and families on Facebook suggest. Chaos, craziness, and general mayhem is as much a part of child-rearing as adorableness and laughs. I think it’s good to be more authentic and this promotes being more reasonable in our expectations of ourselves and our children. What do you think? Did you have a new mom (or     . . . read more