How to Manipulate Your Children || On Thursdays I post from the vault. This post is from October 2008.

On Thursdays I post from the vault. This post is from October 2008.

We have one working tv in our house, and it’s in the middle of the living room. So when the kids get to watch tv, I have to listen to it. They usually get a half hour after naps, and they usually choose Little Bill or Backyardigans. I was just so not in the mood today. So I reached into my bag of psychological trips and offered Jafta the “forced choice”. It’s when you give your child the illusion they are choosing something, when in fact the options lead to one outcome. I wanted the outcome to be High School Musical. 🙂

So when Jafta woke up from his nap, I asked if he wanted to watch Oprah or High School Musical.

Guess what he chose? I got a break from preschool cartoons, and he was just happy he didn’t have to watch Oprah!

 

 

 

Wednesday’s Child: Shane and Asher

Every Wednesday I feature a child recently highlighted by a local Wednesday’s Child newscast to share the stories of children from around the country who are waiting for a family. My hope is that this can broaden exposure for the children highlighted, but also serve as a reminder that these children represent thousands of children currently in the foster-care system. Perhaps their stories will inspire you to consider opening your home to a child needing a family. For more information and to learn about other waiting children, visit AdoptUsKids.

 

                             

HAIR UPKEEP STRUGGLES, MORNING & EVENING RITUALS, AND FACIAL TONING DEVICES | SELFIE, EPISODE 57

Kristen gets her hair done and ponders why she struggles with upkeep, Sarah tries a facial toning deice, and we talk daily rituals – the things we do (or try to do) to start our day well, and the processes that help us unwind.

In this episode we talked about:

 

Taggerific || On Thursdays I post from the vault. This post is from October 2008.

On Thursdays I post from the vault. This post is from October 2008.

1. I brush my teeth and floss a lot. Some might call it obssessive.

2. I hate fish. I hate seeing them, I hate smelling them, I hate eating them. People are always offering me a bite of their entree and saying “try this, it’s not fishy”. And I always think it’s disgusting.

3. I start to go a little crazy when I haven’t been out of the US a few times a year. I don’t know why. Oh wait, yes I do. My dad is the same way.

4. I am the least athletic person ever. Ever. My head is a flying ball magnet.

5. I like to read Us Magazine more than I’d like to admit.

6. I was on Mickey Mouse Club when I was 12.

7. I know all the lyrics to Young MC’s Bust a Move, Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Baby Got Back, and Rob Base’s It Take Two. Yo.

I am tagging Ali, AndreaAnneBonnieDiane, and Andrew & Chad.

From skate gear to formal wear: how my teen boys clean up with style

This post is sponsored by Mirum in partnership with AXE and Walmart.

I love the social skills my boys learn in cotillion. But formal interactions and dancing with girls, as well as getting dressed up in formal-wear, can be intimidating for a tween. And shifting gears from dropping in on the half-pipe to learning the fox-trot can make any kid anxious. How do I help my boys go from skate-mode to gentleman-mode with style? Axe makes it easy with products and scents that make them feel confident.

Wednesday’s Child: Zoey

Every Wednesday I feature a child recently highlighted by a local Wednesday’s Child newscast to share the stories of children from around the country who are waiting for a family. My hope is that this can broaden exposure for the children highlighted, but also serve as a reminder that these children represent thousands of children currently in the foster-care system. Perhaps their stories will inspire you to consider opening your home to a child needing a family. For more information and to learn about other waiting children, visit AdoptUsKids.

Life Lately

Visiting a friend at @chocchildrens today and these hams somehow found a way to get on the air.

When you really want to make sure your kid is clear on your “do not use the hotspot” policy on their phone. #assholeparent

When your happy place is the same … Lea Michele and Darren Chris at @segerstromarts

Sunset skate @jaftahowerton

Ron Swanson in the house. #parksandrec

Wednesday is not here for your shenanigans.

 

                                                                                   Make sure to vote Leslie Knope!

#getoutthevote @officialamypoehler @amypoehlersmartgirls  #parksandrec

MAKING SPACE FOR YOUR OWN THOUGHTS: AN INTERVIEW WITH LISA LEONARD | SELFIE, EPISODE 56

Lisa Leonard talks with us about how she tries to make space every day to listen to her own thoughts, the psychological pull of “scrolling” and how she sets intentions around it, and how she is learning to identify her own needs and speak them out loud. Lisa has done some deep work into her own emotional triggers and shares that as well. We learned a lot from her!

In this episode we also talked about:

 

Finding my footing after divorce

 This post is in collaboration with TIAA to empower women experiencing divorce, encouraging them to take control of their financial future.

Over the past three months I went through the process of sitting for my licensing exams to be a marriage and family therapist.

You may be thinking . . . wasn’t she already licensed? Yes, I was. I was in private practice for over a decade, before I had kids, and before I started a blog.

I loved being in private practice. I liked my colleagues, I liked that the job was challenging and cerebral, and I loved that I could set my own hours and work part-time for a decent wage. One of the things that drew me to this career was that I thought it would be very compatible with motherhood. I thought I could see a part-time caseload during my husband’s off days, while staying home with the kids.

This worked out well when Jafta was a baby.  And then baby #2 came. She slept about 2 hours at a time. She nursed 24-7. I was a mess physically and emotionally. I was tired all the time. I was plagued with post-partum anxiety that made me even more of a catastrophizer than I already am (which is a lot.) I was a ball of nerves all the time. I no longer felt like getting dressed and going to work was a nice reprieve. Now, it felt like a complete and total charade. I was a stressed sleep-walker in a professional pantsuit. Underneath my blazer, I had a bulky maternity bra and leaky boobs. I struggled to stay awake as my clients talked about their life. I showed up to class with spit-up stains on my shirt. I felt like a sham.

In addition to feeling more frazzled in session, I really struggled to keep up with returning phone calls and setting appointments during the week.  Once I had my third child, I could barely find the time to call back the referrals I got. The few long-standing clients I saw after her arrival were hard for me. I felt like my brain was in short-circuit mode. I just couldn’t get my head into a space where I could really be present with clients. I am an introvert, and motherhood was draining any energy I had that I could previously devote to my job. By the time child number four arrived, I decided I needed to close up shop. At least for a while. I cleaned out my office and decided to devote more time to blogging. I made a decent income from the blog, but my husband was really the breadwinner. My income from blogging was a supplement to his steady paycheck that supported our family.

And then I made a mistake that I would later come to regret: I didn’t renew my license.

It wasn’t intentional. I always planned to keep my license and thought it was a job that I could go back to someday. But life was happening all around me, and one year, we moved and I forgot to update my address with my licensing board, and I missed the mail-in renewal. I didn’t realize this until two years later, and by that point, my license had been canceled. All because I wasn’t staying diligent. I was busy being a mom, and I was abdicating the career stuff to my husband.

Fast-forward to a few years later, I found myself in the position of getting a divorce. The regret of letting my license lapse was now even more painful, because I needed to find a way to support myself beyond the supplemental income of my blog. I needed to become a breadwinner in my own right, and going back into practice, especially now that my kids are older and require less emotional energy, would have been a perfect transition. But I didn’t have the option.

I called the board and they informed me I would have to sit for my exams again. MFT exams are notoriously difficult, with very low pass rates, but I was grateful that at least my two years of grad school and three years of internships did not need to be repeated. So I set out and started studying. It was time for me to take control of my financial future.  (TIAA offers some wonderful resources here.)

Taking these exams again was a humbling experience but it was also empowering. It was humbling because I had been a supervisor and a professor. I had taught some of the subjects on the exam. But at the same time, while I was out of practice, certain laws had changed and a new diagnostic manual had been published with a lot of changes – so I was truly behind. I failed my first practice test. I had my work cut out for me.

But it was also empowering because I knew that I was working toward a career option, one that I was grateful to have. While I always wanted to be a mom, I am so glad that I also recognized that nothing is ever certain, and had the sense to study for a career in my early adulthood instead of assuming I would just stay home and let my husband support me. Even though that was my reality for a few years, I’m glad I had a backup.

In September I took the first of the two exams and passed, and then last week I took the second and passed. It has been a huge relief. I’m not sure I will go right back into private practice but I am so glad that I have it as an option.

I had the chance to take part in a conversation led by TIAA about rebuilding after a divorce. It’s a topic I feel passionately about, because I know how much finances can be a strain in that process . . . especially for women. In this video, I talk about the process of finding my financial footing after divorce.

Whether or not you are going through a divorce, I would encourage every woman to make sure she has a clear picture of her financial portfolio and plans for the future. TIAA has some amazing resources to help with that endeavor on their website – check it out to learn more about how you can take control of your financial future.