Author: Holly Robinson

“I suck” aka the gremlins of self-talk

I’m not sure how many times I’ve said that to myself in the midst of a colossal failure, or even a small misstep. “I’m an idiot” “I suck” “I’m terrible at this” “I can’t do anything right” – Pick one, I’ve said it to myself. I acknowledge this and I’m working on being more consciously aware of my own self-talk. But when I sat next to my 9 year old as he said it, it struck a chord in me so deep that I felt like I’d been punched in the stomach. I know I’m not the poster child for positive self-talk but I thought those demons were mine and mine alone to struggle with. I didn’t consider that my children may have the same torture. Now, many of you who actually know my son would say, “are you kidding me, that kid doesn’t have a low self esteem problem!” Right, he doesn’t have a self-esteem problem, maybe he does have a false confidence and bravado problem from time-to-time. But, this…this is different. We have voices (aka demons or gremlins) in our heads that only we can hear. Sometimes, the arrow on the meter with those voices can be very self-deprecating. It can be the person staring into a mirror thinking “OMG, I’m fat and pale and disgusting” or the kid at bat in a little league game thinking “you’ve...

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135 Days

I will be 40 in 135 days. I can’t say that I ever really put much thought or concern into age. I don’t care too much about birthdays. I had a tragedy on my 23rd birthday and each year when my birthday comes around, I’m a little indifferent, annoyed and angsty. But this is seeming a little different all of a sudden. It’s 40. 40 is the “new 30”, or the “new 20”, right? You should be “40 and fabulous”, right? All of this not caring about my age has changes a little now that I’m staring down 40. I don’t think 40 is old at all and I don’t have this “OMG I’M TURNING 40!” drama, I just think it’s a number that is worth some notice. The only reason I even think about it or even acknowledge the age now other than prior years is this: I’m in the most awful shape of my life. I don’t feel good. I don’t feel comfortable. I don’t feel fabulous. And I want to. I belief in self-love and being kind to yourself but, honestly, I see a ton of work ahead for me to feel 40 and fabulous. I appreciate and am grateful for my health and the opportunity to be able to improve. But I need to be honest with myself as to where I’m starting from. Right now, I’m...

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Quality Family Time – Mystery Rides and Game Nights

As parents, I feel like we are constantly inundated with media letting us know how we can be better parents, what we’re doing wrong, and how we can make our children healthier and happier. I also feel that these blog posts and articles about how to be the perfect parent just make it more stressful than ever – and more likely to make us all feel like failures. My main focus in the sea of parenting “dos and don’ts” right now is just trying to make the limited time I have with my boys more “quality time.” Hmmm, trying to get more family time seems to be a theme from prior posts. The biggest hurdle is finding time – to be honest, it’s finding time when we’re not exhausted. I work full-time. My commute is usually 1 hour 15 min (give or take). I am away from home from 7 am to 6:30 pm Monday to Friday. At the moment, my wife works 8 hours shifts on weekends and 2 (sometimes 3) weekdays. The weekends are usually 5 am-1 pm shifts, so she’s up at 3:30 am. Even if she’s home at 1:30 or 2 pm on weekend days, she’s not exactly ready to go on any major excursions. I am on the city Board of Education plus the committees/obligations that spin out of that commitment. The boys have baseball or...

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Single-Tasking in 2016 – My 5 Step Plan

I don’t know if I really do New Year’s resolutions. I think I make a series of small promises to myself for living a healthier life, but I don’t really ever make a true PLAN. I realize that making a plan is really the first step in committing to something, so I guess I’ve never really taken any resolutions all that seriously. Until now. I need a change. I need a big change. Yes, I need to eat heathier, work out more, take care of myself better, yadda yadda yadda. But what I really need more than anything is focus. If there’s anything I can do for myself in 2016 is to reclaim my calm and focus. As a mom who works full time, like millions of other moms, I feel like my life is always in chaos. When someone asks how I am, my response is usually “crazy” or “chaotic”. Why? Why is everything so chaotic? Our day to day existence is very much “survival mode”. We handle crises only as they come up, juggle my 11+ hour day (that’s before Board of Ed, volunteer board work and other external obligations) with my wife’s retail schedule (that includes both weekend days), Cub Scouts, baseball, skiing/snowboarding, childcare, snow days, kids’ schoolwork, friends, family, work obligations, schedule changes, kids’ friend obligations, illnesses, car issues, appliances breaking down, etc. Then, throw...

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Holiday Stress is Real

I feel like there’s a collective *harumph* going into December this year. Many of those around me, including me, seem to have a feeling of foreboding about the holidays and are grumbling about how 2015 was a crappy year. Any gratitude and thankfulness revolves around being happy that 2015 is almost over. I know for my wife and I, we’ve had a lot going on and feel a little stressed and strung out. I feel like between work, family, obligations, money, home, kids, etc., that we are just churning and attempting to run through tar to get to the next commitment. I acknowledge that our problems are “first world problems” and would be scoffed at by others. But I don’t think that means we can push aside our stress and fail to recognize the chaos for what it imposes on us. Our problems may not be huge to some people, but they are personal and important to us. There’s also that stress of making everything PERFECT. It has to be full of amazing memories for the children, with no hint of a crack in the magic of Christmas. Food must be amazing and guests must be entertained and accommodated. And there’s the constant reminder of the family members, friends, loved ones that are not around to share the holidays with us. And, then there’s the current mood and constant...

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