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Showing posts with the label Parents

How Dana Hanna Built the Life She Wanted to Live

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Dana Hanna and Duffy Hanna "Making a bold move is the only way to advance toward the grandest vision this universe has for you." - Oprah Winfrey Last year I was fortunate to make the acquaintance of several women who inspired me. This year, I will be profiling them. One of these impressive women is Dana Hanna whom I at a networking event last spring. I was on speaking a panel at the invitation of Newlin Archinal. (Spoiler alert. I'll be profiling her too!) After the event, Dana introduced herself. We bonded over having common friends, being the mom of three kids, and an affection for the occasional raunchy joke. At the time, we didn’t realize that we had even more in common--and not just our affection for Grey Goose vodka. It turns out that she’s “one of those Hannas”—of the Howard Hanna Real Estate family. Coincidentally, her family hired me and my husband to model in the “ Home Happens Here ” advertising campaign.  I have since to come to learn that Dana i

How to Raise Your Baby Without Losing Your Mind

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Mom with Baby during his first year I'm on a fair number of Facebook groups targeted at moms. I'm sure that isn't surprising since helping  moms succeed is my passion and why I continue to blog. Recently, a mom who has a six month old and a three year old shared that she was overwhelmed by everything  and frustrated by her husband. As a mom of multiple children who has worked full time the entire time and someone who thinks about this issue, writes about this issue and coaches moms I have a lot to saxeay about this. I shared them on the page, but decided to share qkZiimy thoughts here as well. They appear below.

Reading on the Run: Topics of Interest to Working Moms

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Being a working mom is hard work. I’ve devoted this blog to discussing the topic and there are lots of other commentators speaking about this topic. Recently, there have been some articles that discuss the challenges of dealing with the pressures of working full-time and raising a family. Interestingly, writers have had divergent thoughts about on the topic. Several months ago Sheryl Sandberg asked working women to "lean in" to success and commit to having it all. Lately some women have written about why they don't believe in leaning in, others are lobbying for flexible work and still others are trying to teach women how to stress less at work.   From my perspective, women are just starting to understand what true choice is about. Working moms should have choices between whether to stay-at-home and whether to work. However, the discussion of working is complex. As a full-time working mom I can tell you that this journey is filled with landmines--compromise and guil

Reading on the Run: Topics of Interest to Working Women (Being a Working Mom Can be Overwhelming)

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Being a working mom is hard work. I’ve devoted this blog to discussing the topic and there are lots of other commentators speaking about this topic. Recently, Katrina Alcorn , a working mom, came out with a book that discusses her personal struggle with trying to balance working and mothering. The struggle became too much and she had a breakdown in her car.   Corporate America Should Support Parents   Although Alcorn's journey may be somewhat extreme, it punctuates the struggle that all working moms face. It also illustrates that America has a long way to go before corporate culture reflects the reality of our culture. Many households have two working parents. Accordingly, the options at work should reflect the responsibilities that many parents, especially women, have at home.   Like my working mom sisters, I have cried because I have felt as if I couldn't manage working and mothering, especially when I first returned to work from maternity leave . I have also fe

Mommy Mondays: Crime Fighting Mom Inspires Me!

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A lot of people say that working moms are super women. We take those comments in stride and keep it moving. Secretly, I sometimes look at what I’ve accomplished in a given week and take great pride. It is rare, but sometimes I feel like I rock! T here are other times when I feel as if I am drowning in toys, struggling to keep my house clean and barely treading water at work. I also sometimes feel deeply conflicted about working and mothering, especially when I leave the house and my daughter is in tears. When those weeks are combined with lazy days, when I choose to sleep until 7:00 AM instead of waking to blog or run, I feel downright slovenly! Anyway, I digress. This Mommy Monday isn’t about whining. It is about celebrating! I recently read about a mom who is not only a psychotherapist and marathoner, she is also a B-A-D-A-S-S! She chased down a thief who was trying to steal her husband’s bike from their home.  She saw the crime going down and instantly

Mommy Mondays: Take it One Day at a Time

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I’ve seen reruns of a 70’s sitcom called, “ One Day at a Time ”.   It was about a single woman and her kids.   That’s not my story, but I get the premise.   You don’t know what life may bring. So you need to savor each moment.   The theme song went something like, “This is it. This is life. The one you get. So go and have a ball!”   I try to remember that.   But in the midst of all of the chaos called my life it’s hard.   Today, we launched a new childcare option.   With anything new there is trepidation.   However, in Chaton’s World everything is magnified.   The person we selected came highly recommended. However, today when we had a bit of technological difficulties things went awry.   My imagination ran wild. I became self-critical. And I got scared, really scared. I was so scared that I called nobody.   Instead, I just drove home carefully.      It was the most stressful thirty minutes of my life.   When I arrived, the toddler was in the courtyard. She was fine.   Inde

Mommy Mondays: An Embarassing "Private" Moment

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Moms who blog know that there are no truly private moments, much to the angst of our spouses and partners. They may wish for privacy , but "privacy" is like the holy grail. Mommy bloggers have heard about it, but they've never seen it. Today I have no secrets. As I type this post I smell the faint smell of poop coming from my foot... This evening we had an incident.  The toddler has been under the weather for several days. She has been cranky and has had a low grade fever . As her over-protective mother I have been concerned and I have been treating her symptoms with hugs, acetaminophen , and breast milk .  Historically, Andre and I have disagreed about my over-zealous pursuit of medical advice.  Accordingly, I have been exercising great restraint. I deserve a friggin' medal!  Normally, this illness would have driven me to seek "express care". By the grace of God , the toddler has been improving.  However, God failed to clearly communicate th

Mommy Mondays: Parenting Is Hard and Mistakes Happen

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Baby Mess: The results of our daughter spilling paint on the floor I think that anybody who has had the privilege of being a mother for longer than 2 seconds develops a great sense of compassion. Before becoming a mom I viewed mothers I saw with a harsh lens. I judged those in the store whose kids cried and begged for candy. I used to look down my nose at the mothers who took their kids out of the house with mismatched clothes.  And I definitely would have judged harshly the mom who was jogging in Seattle and lost control of her stroller and her baby was saved by a garbage man . I have been blessed that I have not had any accidents this extreme. I used to believe that was because of my great parenting skills . Now I realize that it has been the grace of God .

Perfect Mommy Moments...

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There are these moments in the morning that are just perfect. I usually wake up first. For awhile, I am the only person in the house who's awake. I usually wake up and spend a few moments orienting myself to the day. Once I am fully awake, I turn over and hug and kiss Andre.  Usually, even though he's still asleep , he responds with a smile. Even in his dream state, he knows what he likes... Then, I go downstairs and peek on the toddler. I do this even though we have a video monitor and usually are organized enough to have it fully charged on and right next to me all night.  I walk into her room very quietly and just look at her for a few moments. She is a good sleeper. She generally sleeps for twelve hours straight. So often when I leave for work she's still asleep.  Seeing her in her crib, safe and curled in a ball makes my heart sing! I know that God has blessed us to have the opportunity to love one another for at least one more day. At that moment, before I

Mommy Mondays: I want to be a better mom...

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On this day after Mothers' Day I am reflecting on my job performance over the past 19 months. I'm doing an OK job, but I still want to be a better mom... I want to be the kind of mom who is able to get out of the house early and run errands with her baby. Instead, I am me and my baby sleeps in and I can’t manage to leave the house before 11 when I have to get us both ready.   At the Post Office this morning I saw a mom with two toddlers . It was 9:00 AM. This mom was out of the house and her hair was combed. Her kids were dressed and relatively well behaved. She had even trained the older one to handle the money. Maybe one day I will be more like her!   I want to be the kind of mom that does the right thing and feels the right way about it. Sometimes I go through the motions, but I’m not really feeling it.   One day when my daughter threw up in my hair I thought it was gross not cute. I didn’t like smelling like sour milk and I was upset that I had to leave the house

Happy Mothers' Day: To Women Who Wear the Most Glorious Crown

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This is the third Mothers' Day that has been more special to me. Three years ago I was pregnant . Last year, I had a new baby. This year, I have a toddler. And being a mother has caused me to view this day differently. As a daughter, I valued Mothers' Day. However, as a mother, Mothers' Day touches my soul. And it makes me reflect on my blessings. My life changed substantially when I become a mother on September 25, 2010 .Given all of the media attention on motherhood ,  I almost regret saying that. With all of the attention by US Weekly on "baby bumps", motherhood has almost become a cliche.  Still, like apple pie, it remains absolutely American. Also, while it may be trivialized by the media, I am a witness that motherhood is profound and it changes your life. It has made me more generous, compassionate, and focused. It has made me realize that as a mother, I have a responsibility to leave this world better than when I found it. Surprisingly, Ann R

Friday Tip: “Free” Date Night in Pittsburgh (A Treat for Parents)

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I know that at the beginning of the new year, and in this economy, a lot of us are committed to saving money. Does that mean that we have to sacrifice our good times? NO! Blue restaurant in Allison Park is offering up free sushi as part of their Friday happy hour every week. You get unlimited access to the sushi bar from 5:30-7:00 PM on Fridays when you buy a drink. They generally offer a variety of sushi each week. Happy hour runs from 5-7 and also includes other affordable appetizers and drink specials--$5 martinis and wines. For my swinging single followers, a date from 5-7 probably seems really early. However, for parents, especially those of us with toddlers who turn into pumpkins (or screaming little gremlins, at 8:30PM a date from 5:00PM-7:00PM is just right! I have actually never been to Blue and they’re not paying me for this shout out. I’m just trying to help y’all have affordable fun. Also, I LOVE sushi and would eat it in LARGE quantities everyday if I could afford

The New Mommy Strut!

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Forgive me if I walk by, don’t speak, and appear rude. I am just a new mommy trying to find my groove They actually gave me this baby , thinking I knew what to do Shame on them! They know they didn’t teach motherhood in school! Nervously, I brought her home, caring for her despite my despair Some days I’m on cloud nine, other days I am gasping for air It’s not that I am ungrateful or want to send the baby back However, I want to be the best, and I worry there are essentials I lack Some women, other women, seem dance through motherhood with ease Somehow despite my prestigious degrees, I am not one of these I am one of the confused, the disorganized, the screw ups I barely make it out of the house each day with clothes on and make-up I am one of the paranoid, the worried, the downtrodden Success for me is when I don’t prepare dinner with tomatoes that are rotten I have good instincts, but at times I have not known what to do And frequently, my days ar