Years ago when I was living in Tulsa I got an unexpected knock on my door. It was my good friend Cindy. She knew I was going through a really difficult time and so she bought me a slice of a large chocolate chip cookie and asked if I wanted to go for a walk on my favorite bike/run/walk trail along the Arkansas River.
What a simple gesture and yet close to 30 years later I am still touched by the impact of her thoughtfulness. Maybe at the time it seemed like no big deal to her, but it was a big deal to me. A really big deal. And a really big lesson.
To this day her gesture challenges me to search for ways I can give someone a little grace, show a little kindness, and spread a little love. And lest I am tempted to think my kindness is insignificant I remind myself of the power of a cookie and a walk.
I know there are always people needing kindness and a little hope. And so I’m looking for someone I can dispense a little kindness to. How about you? Who do you know who needs a little grace?
Every once in a while Doug and I will catch ourselves wAsTiNg a lot of time rehashing an upsetting incident, discussing something negative, or spending way too much time on something that we shouldn’t. Do you ever do that? Recently, we have done something helpful to avoid these ongoing situations. We “make a pact” with one another to no longer waste another minute on that specific topic. When we catch ourselves in a conversation that makes us feel sour, one of us may say, “Okay…for the rest of the month we need to work on not bringing up_______.” From then on we hold each other accountable by giving “the look” or a quick reminder when conversations head the wrong direction.
Is there something that you are doing, saying or thinking about that you need to nip in the bud? By regurgitating the same negative conversations you are adding unnecessary depression to your day AND to those around you. Doug and I always have to remember…the kids are aLwAys watching and listening!! Whatever we talk a lot about, they will believe!
What conversations can you remove from your life by mAkiNg a pAcT to stop? Don’t forget, with the help of someone else, you can achieve this goal much easier and catch old habits before they creep back in your life!
It’s been ages since I posted and this year has been filled with twists, turns and unexpected trials and triumphs. With my son moving up to 1st grade and my daughter going into her last year of nursery school, I found myself at a crossroad with no idea of the next direction I would go. Being a stay at home mom for seven years was a gift that I am lucky to have had. I started my role as “Mommy,” “Mama,” and “MOM” after teaching 1st grade for eight years and loved my new identity. Time has flown by and I’ve come to the realization that I’ve been home almost as long as I was in the classroom and can’t imagine jumping back into a teaching career when I’ve been out of practice for so long. So…where does that leave me? I’m no longer a first grade teacher, an identity I cherished and was proud of, but I’m also not a mommy of babies and toddlers anymore which is what I came to love even more than my previous role. I felt like I was slowly becoming NOBODY.
Bigger kids means bigger financial needs and the strain of a single income was becoming apparent. The obvious solution would be going back to teaching. However, there are no words to describe the anxiety I felt when even thinking about returning to teaching. Being out of the classroom for so long makes it that much harder to imagine going back. If I had taken a maternity leave and gone back right away my kids wouldn’t know any different and neither would I. Problem is I know how much I love bringing them to school and picking them up. I love “Mommy and Abby days” when she doesn’t have school. I couldn’t imagine giving it up.
Conflicted with finding an answer that would be best for our family I had one of those MEANT TO BE experiences that has changed the path from uncertainty to determination. I have always believed that certain people come into our lives for a reason. There is no doubt in my mind that Tracy was one of those people. My husband went to high school with Tracy and we have been facebook friends for a while. She lives in Georgia and was a marine biologist, but is now a division leader with lia sophia. For those of you who are not familiar with lia sophia it is a direct sales company that offers gorgeous jewelry at affordable prices (Think Tupperware party, but with jewelry)! One day Tracy sent me a message asking me if I would be willing to host a facebook virtual jewelry party so she could show her team that it is possible to connect with friends from out of state and build your business through technology. I thought about it and mentioned it to my husband and he said to me, “Maybe you should talk to Tracy about selling lia sophia, she was a marine biologist and is now really successful doing this and is home with her kids.” That was it…I talked to Tracy once and signed up! That was two months ago and boy has my world CHANGED for the BETTER! Through friends and family who volunteered to host parties I have been able to get my business started and already recruited a customer to join my “team”! I am on my way to promoting to Unit Leader and am still in awe that this practically fell into my lap. Tracy has guided me EVERY step of the way and has been my biggest cheerleader. It is AMAZING to work for a company that encourages women to be their own boss, set goals and attain them, and live their dream. My dream has always been to be home with my kids. My fondest memories are of my mom being home with me and my sister. I completely understand that this is not an option for many and that there are many women who even if staying home was an option would choose to continue with their career. The choice we each make does not DEFINE the type of mother you are. It does not make one of us better than the other. It is simply the path that each mother takes on the road to raising their children to be the best they can be!
In the past two months I have gained a new level of confidence and am proud of the work I have done to build my business. Dressing up my “Mommy” clothes with all of my new jewelry has added an element of fun to my days. I LOVE being my own boss, making my own hours, and helping our family out with finances. People do come into our lives for a reason…Tracy came into mine to be the light on this exciting new journey that I am on.
Visit my business Website!
~Robyn (Jersey Girl)
Filed under Dream Big, Finances, Good Life, Hard Reality, Inspire, Life, Marriage, New Jersey Robyn, Relationships, Self Image, SelfImprovement, You
I am hard on my kids. Too hard, a lot of times, which always makes me regret it once I stop and think about how I’m treating them. Instead of choosing my battles, I decide to take on every battle! That is what SUPERMOM is all about, right? Keeping a tight leash on your kids and setting the bar super high? After some ReFleCtioN this week, maybe I should start looking for a new role model…
As Christians, we know how miserably we fail at numerous tasks and actions throughout our day, yet when we glance up at God we are reassured that He forgives and loves us no matter how much we are being a disappointment. It is so comforting to know that when I make mistakes, at least someone still has my back…because HE knows we are human and are far from pErfeCt.
Yet WHY do I hold my kids to a different standard? When they don’t do what I ask, or spill a cup FULL of pop on the floor, I repeatedly get on to them and ask why they didn’t listen or be more careful!! Not only that, but I bring it up AGAIN when their Dad comes home and maybe even AGAIN before they go to sleep, in hopes that I am getting my point across!
When I make the same exact mistakes (just in adult form!), does God TrEaT me like that? Never. I always feel Him looking at me in a calm way, his eyes telling me that I need to pick myself up and go on. I know I let Him down but I also know that once I acknowledge my weaknesses to Him, He moves on and doesn’t keep throwing it in my face. I really appreciate that about Him.
So why is it okay for me to fail God but not okay for others to fail me? As cHalleNgiNg as it will be, I am going to try to be as understanding and calm with my children as He is to me. Sure, I’ll still get on to them and discipline when needed, but then I need to let it go and hope they make a better decision next time. We know that kids won’t always do the right thing, but thankfully God doesn’t give up on us adults either! With every year I get under my belt, I can see I’m going to need all the help and forgiveness I can get!
For 35 years I’ve cried at the end of each and every summer. In my teenage years my parents would drive away from Chadwick Beach, New Jersey as I cried with sand still sticking to my toes. This year, my 36th summer was far from any scene Norman Rockwell would have wanted to capture! My kids seemed to take up sibling arguing as their summer hobby, my parent’s beach house at the Jersey Shore sat completely gutted and unusable thanks to last October’s hurricane, my son broke his arm, and as the lyrics of It’s a Small World say it best, our trip to Disney seemed to bring out “A world of tears” in my daughter! TaNTrUmS, ScReAmInG, and BrEaKdOwNs were everyday occurrences for my kids (and sometimes Mommy). On our Disney vacation, the low-point was my daughter Abby while decked out head to toe in her Belle costume screaming at the top of her 4-year-old lungs, “You’re a mean Mommy!” Why you might ask? All because I wouldn’t let her walk on a ledge that she wanted to use as a balance beam! MeAn MoMmY!!! Where was this kid when her MeAn MoMmY was packing 3 princess dresses complete with tiaras and light up shoes, a Tinker Bell costume with light up wings and shoes that jingle, and countless other Disney “necessities”?!!!
This is just so you can get an image of the Belle ensemble!
Then the high-point. If you’ve ever been to Disney World’s Hollywood Studios you know you can’t top the experience of ridding the Aerosmith Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. I LOVE roller coasters and this one is simply the best. You ride in the dark and go 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds while Aerosmith’s LoVe In An EleVaToR and WaLK THiS WaY blast in your ears! Since my kids were way too little to go on this ride and we had no one to watch the kids while my husband and I went on the ride. I did the only thing that made sense. I WENT ON THE RIDE ALL BY MYSELF. I walked up the single riders line and was on the ride within 5 minutes. As like each time I’ve gone on the Rock ‘n’ Coaster before, my heart was pounding with anticipation as the limousine coaster pulled back and took off into darkness. Turning upside down and sideways with Aerosmith screaming in my ears was exactly what I needed to recharge and refuel. I walked off that ride like a little kid on Christmas morning. OK, so the ride only lasts 1 minute and 22 seconds, but it was 1 minute and 22 seconds ALL TO MYSELF! There was no fighting over who was going to sit next to Mommy, no crying when “World of tears Abby” was too short to go on the ride when Nicholas made the cut, it was just me and around these parts that is a ReAlLy rare thing! I think there may have been a little skip in my step when I met my husband and kids waiting for me and when the next little crisis broke out…this Mommy was ready to take it on!
I realize that I can’t jump on a roller coaster every time I need to get some perspective, but this entire experience made me realize that it is the smallest and silliest things that can turn your day or summer in my case around. If you feel like you are overwhelmed with something whether it be your kids, family, work, etc. take a break and do something that makes you happy. Get your nails done, go shopping, grab coffee with a girlfriend. It might be just what you need!
*Or you can click on this YouTube video I found that someone made of the Aerosmith Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. It pretty much details my entire ride except they had a different music selection…still great though!
Experience the Rock ‘n’ Coaster!
Great to be back!
~Robyn (Jersey Girl)
It just occurred to me that this week we are celebrating three of my favorite professions…NuRsEs, TeAcHeRs, and MotHeRs! Having been a first grade teacher for the 8 years prior to having my children I know how teaching can sometimes seem like a thankless job. There are MaNy parents who go out of their way to let you know that they appreciate the difference you are making in their child’s life. BUT…for every parent that thanks you there are 5 that say nothing and 5 that do nothing but complain about what you are NoT doing for their child! I saved every card and thank you that was ever given to me by a parent or student and now being a parent myself know how important it is to simply say…ThAnK YoU!
Next up…Nurses! I have to say up until my late 20’s I had little experience with nurses. I never broke a bone or needed surgery and had no reason to visit a hospital. I guess I saved up my need for nurses for the grueling 2+ year struggle with infertility and then my 2 time bought with postpartum depression. There is No WaY I would have made it through both of these experiences without the support of the nurses who took care of me during these times. When going through my 3 IVF cycles, it was truly the nurses, not the doctors who knew my story. I saw the doctors every morning on a rotating basis, but it was my nurses Mary and Pat who were my true cheerleaders. They cried with me through the disappointments and were on the phone with me when I found out I was expecting my miracle baby. It takes a SpEcIaL kind of person to be nurse and share in the highs and lows that come with the fragile life we are given. To all of you…ThAnK YoU for all you do!
Finally…a huge thank you to all of the MoThErS, AuNts, and GrAnDmAs! For years I dreamed of having a baby and being a stay-at-home mom. I am not sure what exactly I thought I was getting into, but I can remember saying a few times in the very beginning, “Where are the cute baby bunnies and little yellow duckies?!!!” Baby gifts and baby cards always have cute little animals on them with cheerful little expressions…there have been MaNy a day that our house looks like a bull ran through a china shop and I have yet to see those cute animal faces! That being said, I believe that being a mother is the hardest JoB in the world. Every single decision you make directly affects those you hold so dear. I wish all of you a VeRy HaPpY MoThErS DaY!
~Robyn (Jersey Girl)