Category Archives: People

Mommies…Can’t we just support each other?

I have to admit I am a total junkie for the Your E Cards that have been popping up all over Facebook and Pinterest, but this one really pushes my buttons.  When my son was born my husband and I made the decision together that I would leave my job and stay home to raise our kids.  I understand that this choice is not something that is possible for every family and that there are many women who may not want to leave their career.  However, I am finding there is still a disrespect for the stay-at-home mom with the “What do you do all day” AtTiTuDe and in turn the working moms seem to face the, “Oh you’re so lucky you get a break at work” NoNsEnSe!

Keep in mind…I’m not an expert.  I am basically going off of my own experience and that of my sister who is a working mom of a 3 1/2 year old.  In this day and age we are all just trying to get through the day whether we work or not.  When are we all going to WaKe Up and realize that stay-at-home, working, part-time, full-time, married, divorced…WhAtEvEr…we are in this together.  Instead of putting others down or making them feel inferior maybe we should take a minute and think of what their day might be like.  I think a better rule of thumb would be…

Don’t Judge Until You’ve

Walked A Mile In Their Shoes

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Filed under Getting Real, Hard Reality, Life, Parenthood, People, Relationships

Tough Issues–Cowards Vs. Heroes

Taken from Successful Farmer magazine: 

“The very human desire to run away from confrontation is so natural and common that we have to wonder how so many farm partnerships [or relationships in general] manage to survive and succeed in spite of it.

When trying to gather the courage to face a tough issue, it’s worth remembering that cowards die a thousand deaths, while heroes die but once. We know from experience that avoiding a battle doesn’t end a war – it just makes it that much tougher to fight, let alone win.

Fear can paralyze. It can keep a soldier from fighting for survival. It also can prevent people who love each other from coNfRoNting dangerous issues and solving them while that’s still possible. Armies learned centuries ago that even though fear can’t be eliminated, training and experience can instill habits that sidestep paralysis and enable action.

It can be the same in families. The straightforward commitment to face and rEsoLve day-to-day disagreements and misunderstanding, particularly the smaller, easier ones, develops the habit of reacting appropriately to issues as they arise.

It’s not so complicated. Sweat the small stuff first, day after day. It won’t make the big stuff any smaller, but it will make it that much easier to muster the courage for the scary face-to-face discussions that are so critical.”

I can relate to this article, can’t you? If I have a conflict with a friend, family member or coworker, it is much easier if I can work through the problem as soon as it comes up.  It is never easy, but it is worth it. Suppressing issues that arise only turn small problems into big ones. Do yourself a favor and Be a HeRo by resolving disagreements as they come.

~Lara

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Teachable Moment

This past weekend I spent the unofficial beginning of summer at the Jersey Shore with my family at my parent’s beach house.  Each morning my son rode his bike while my daughter pushed her baby doll in a stroller next to him as I pushed our beach cart full of “NeCeSsItiEs” up the block and a half to the beach.  I couldn’t help thinking how much easier this seemed compared to the past few summers when I had to manage the beach cart and the kids in a wagon behind me.  The morning of Memorial Day as my son and I were making our way up to the beach I hit a bump with the beach cart and the cart and all of its contents landed on the street.  Four chairs, my beach bag, and enough sand toys for a small army scattered all over the street.  My first instinct was to get my son Nicholas to stop riding his bike so that he would be safe while I picked everything back up, and then I began to collect all of our beach gear.  As Nicholas and I started picking up the sand toys I noticed two young boys who were about high school age had watched the entire incident and just LooKeD at me and kept on walking.  I stopped what I was doing and pointed them out to my son.  I explained to him that someday he is going to be a “big boy” like they were and that he might see a Mommy who is having trouble like I was.  I told him that I hoped that when he grows up he would…  At that point Nicholas stopped me and finished the thought for me.  He looked at me and said, “Mommy, I would help the Mommy pick everything up.”

Nicholas Memorial Day 2012

There are so many times as parents we get caught up in the busyness of the day-to-day routine that we forget to look for the moments that may have an ImPaCt on our children’s futures.  I thought this teachable moment was going to show Nicholas what to do when he gets older, but what it also did was remind me that although I am SO hard on myself, I must be doing something right for my son to already know a lesson that those boys may have missed somewhere along the way.

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Filed under Kid Stuff, Parenthood, People, RANDO•RAMA, Relationships, Uncategorized

Know Your Role

I remember when Doug and I were dating and we had to carry a heavy piece of furniture out to his truck.  After we got done I told him “goOd WoRk” and he replied with “kNow YoUr RoLe”!  It made me stop and think for a second…we all play a special role in every task and relationship that we experience.

As the years passed I realized that our roles cHaNgE depending on the situation.  For example, when he takes the initiative to call and schedule something for our family, it is my role to be quiet and not ask twenty questions to insure that he did it correctly.  His role is to take care of the matter and it is my role to trust him.  (And I know if I perform my role correctly, I will avoid potential arguments!)

Another example is in friendships.  Every relationship is diFFeRent which means your role changes depending on the person you are communicating with.  I LOVE to talk, BUT my role with some people is to be the sounding board.  I am happy to play a different role because I know it is needed to keep that friendship strong.

Maybe you’ve never given your “role” much thought.  Just remember that even though you have sTroNg qualities, sometimes you aren’t suppose to use them in every role you play.  Next time ask yourself, “What is needed the most here?  A cheerleader, follower, educator, volunteer, cleaner, etc.?” and take pRiDe in playing the role that is NEEDED most!

~Lara

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Thank A Teacher

I couldn’t let the week go by without sending out a great BIG ThAnK YoU to all of our readers who are teachers!  As our country celebrates National Teacher Appreciation Week I want to remind you all that whether you are teaching first graders (as I did for 8 years!), Sunday school, high school, music, art, coaching little league, teaching your granddaughter to sew, or your children how to plant a garden…YoU ArE making a difference in the life of a child!

A truly special teacher is very wise, and sees tomorrow in every child’s eyes.  ~Author Unknown

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Filed under Holiday, People, RANDO•RAMA, Relationships, Uncategorized

Hooray For Customer Service!

In this day and age you never know what to expect when you have to call a store or company for information.  Automated systems, press the number to reach x, y, and z, endless directories leading to nowhere, give me your mother’s maiden name and the first initial of the best man at your wedding…and that is all BeFoRe speaking to a real live person!  You can easily spend the 10 minutes you set aside in your day to take care of what seemed like a simple task just trying to get through to talk to an actual human being.

Last summer I bought an AdoRaBle pair of Lindsay-Phillips SwitchFlops (flip-flops that have removable straps that can be changed to match any outfit) that wore out in the toe on one shoe.  Since I had invested in the SwitchFlops and a variety of straps to coordinate with different outfits I was upset that the shoes only lasted half a season.  I went onto the website and looked up the phone number for customer service.  I left a message explaining the situation with my shoe and was pleased to receive a call back within a day.  Not only was the woman who I spoke with friendly and helpful, but since the pair of SwitchFlops that I purchased last season was no longer available she let me pick out TwO pairs in place of the pair that I had!  How’s that for customer service?!!!

In this fast paced, high-tech world we live in, it is nice to be reminded that there are still smaller companies out there that DO take the time to put their customer’s satisfaction first.

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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{Your Favorite Name}

Do you know what the all-time FaVoRiTe name is that people like to hear?  If you said, “Their own” you are right.  There is just something about a person’s name.  Remember someone’s name and you will have their instant friendship.  Forget or mispronounce a name and you will have committed a grave offense.

Remembering names in not an easy task.  It takes WoRk.  And because of that we like to justify it by saying, “I’m not good with names.”  The fact of the matter is that there are very few people who are naturally good at remembering names.   So, unless you are one of those people with a knack for remembering you are going to have to work on this if you want to be good at it.

If you read books on PeOpLe skills you see this principle of remembering names appear over and over.  It is that important.  If you want to improve your people skills start practicing remembering names.  How?   The same way you would prepare for a test:  to study.  When you meet someone, try to associate their name with something that you can easily remember.  {For example, you meet a Karen at Pre-school and you associate her with your mom, whose name is Karen}.  Then as soon as you can, write their name down along with where you met them and the thing you associate their name with.   As you read their name over and over, you will be better at remembering.

It may take a little extra time on your part, but the ReWaRd will be well worth it!

:)

Robynn~

Want to learn more about people skills?  Check out Dale Carnegie’s book, “How To Win Friends and Influence People”

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Filed under People, Relationships

If You Say It, Mean It

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day about how society overuses certain phrases and responses.  For example, when someone asks “How are you doing?” don’t you normally reply with “I’m good”?  Whether or not you truly are GoOd, out of habit, your response is always the same.

Another habitual phrase is “We should get together sometime”.  How often do you say that but never follow through?  Do you really mEaN it or are you just saying it to be nice?  Maybe you have good intentions but life gets in the way before remembering to schedule a specific date.

On the flipside, have you ever tried to follow-up with people who wanted to ‘get together sometime’ and it was almost like they fOrGot they ever suggested it?!  That was a little awkward, wasn’t it? The situation may have even made you question your relationship with that person.

We have all made pRoMiSes that we can’t keep but how often do we consider how it makes the other person feel?   Next time your routine conversation comes into play, stop and ask yourself if the words you speak are siNceRe.  By doing so, following through with your commitments will comfort the other person that you value the relationship.

(*I am writing this post because I need this reminder, not because I am trying to hint around that you have broken a promise with me :) No worries!  And if I haven’t been prompt on following up with you, please forgive me!)

~Lara

(Up for an additional challenge?  Take your relationship one step further and read my other post If You Feel It, Say It.)

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Filed under Friends, Marriage, People, Relationships

{When To Tell The Truth}

Does your mouth ever get you in trouble?  Are you puzzled as to why some of your relationships are on the rocks or non-existent?  Are you one to “speak your mind”?

If so, you may justify your actions by saying, “I was only telling the truth.”  Telling the truth is good, but telling it all the time without discretion is not.  I once heard someone say, “Always tell the truth, but don’t always be telling it.”  It takes wisdom and self-control to know when to keep your mouth shut.  I can attest that it is not always easy, but the wise King Solomon states over and over in the book of Proverbs how it is the fool who is always talking, but the wise man who can overlook an insult.

Do you use your words to destroy or build?  Encourage or discourage?  If you have relationships that need mended check your words.  Do you need to give more grace?  After all, you do reap what you sow.   And speaking for myself I sure can use grace.

So, keep speaking the truth, but learn when it’s time to keep that truth to yourself.  You will be doing you and all your relationships a favor.

:)

Robynn~

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Filed under Family, Friends, Marriage, Parenthood, People, Relationships

This Isn’t Working

How many times have you thought up a wonderful idea in your head but, when it came down to execution, it was much more difficult than you planned?  Did you continue to force it to work or did you step back and realize ‘this isn’t working’?

SOURCE

I can think of nUmeRouS times I’ve tried to force a square peg into a round hole.   This past Christmas Robynn and I were trying to shoot a video for our blog.  The plan was to highlight all of our favorite Christmas crafts and cookies while we had a group of friends (and their kids) over.  Two minutes into the video we realized how crazy we were thinking we could record ourselves with a handful of toddlers in the room.  Come on, we are Mom’s!  Why didn’t we realize this earlier?!

There is a fine line between not giving up on a goal and reCogNiziNg when things need adjusted.  Many times we don’t realize this until we are in the moment but thankfully our gut does a pretty good job telling us when changes are needed!

What areas in your life are your forcing?  Are you planning a special event for your family and it is stressing everyone out?  Are you obsessing over perfection and it is upsetting everyone around you?

Many times there is a simple solution right there in front of you.  Perhaps it is something like..reschedulerethink…or… LET GO.

~Lara

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Filed under Getting Real, Life, People, Relationships