4 Steps To A Harmonious Divorce

4 Steps To A Harmonious Divorce

This is my 4-step process for having a harmonious divorce. This is not magic, nor is it possible in all cases. It will require hard work, but if both parties are willing, this process can be collaborative, rather than combative.

Step 1 - Find a good coach or therapist

I once met a man who had been separated for about 2 years. He and his ex-wife had no children and one day she up and left him with no warning and no explanation. Two years later, when I asked why he thought she’d left, he said, "My best guess is that she had a psychotic break." I was dumbfounded. He hadn’t taken the two years after his separation to figure out what might have been missing in his marriage, to examine what it was he hadn’t seen. He'd simply decided that she had had a psychotic break.

Divorce is fertile ground for self-realization and growth, and while it may seem like you don’t have it in you to deal with your personal growth simultaneous to dealing with the actual divorce, believe me when I tell you, now is the time.

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How To Be An Effective Co-Parent in Divorce

How To Be An Effective Co-Parent in Divorce

Let’s face it, co-parenting in divorce can be a bitch. I mean, you divorced this person, right? Which means that you likely had a really hard time communicating, sharing values, not scratching each other’s eyes out with a can opener at every disagreement…

And now?

You’ve finally found your escape and your freedom—or you’ve been left holding the bag and you’re pissed as hell—and now you’re supposed to spend the rest of your ever-loving life collaborating with this person?

Yes.

If you are lucky enough to be divorcing someone who is as dedicated as you are to your children, and who isn’t dangerous or mentally ill, then yes, you most certainly are.

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Resolution Reflections

Resolution Reflections

Last night my mom called, and while on speaker phone talking to my son, she said, "Emmett, what New Year's Resolutions are you making this year?" 

I piped in with, "Statistic show that New Year's Resolutions don't work, mom. The average resolution lasts 23 days, and then goes to shit, and then we return to our old habits."

"But, it's still a good exercise for one to reflect and create and plan," she replied.

I scoffed, because obviously I know better (after all, this is a huge part of my business, right?? Helping people create healthy habits, that have long-lasting impact), but then I woke up this morning and realized that she was, as usual, 100% correct.

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8 Things I've learned in my three weeks off of Facebook

8 Things I've learned in my three weeks off of Facebook

About three weeks ago, I made the radical decision to step away from Facebook. When I tell you that this decision was radical, I ain’t lyin’. I’m a girl who was constantly connected. I’ve amassed a pretty hefty and awesome social network; I have used Facebook as my place to vent all of my frustrations, to bare my soul to anyone who’d listen/read, and my openness and vulnerability has garnered me a loyal following of friends, colleagues and clients.

I also have an incredible social network of connected social activists, thanks to some business Facebook groups I’m in. Facebook has been my source of news (I don’t have cable), learning, deepening conversations about social activism, race relations, and so much more. Those who say that Facebook is a wasteland of baby memes and cat videos should spend a minute on my feed. It’s intense.

And so, after the election, it may come as no surprise that my feed was a nonstop flittering scroll of outrage and fear. 

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The "How To Not Fuck Up Your Kids" Holiday Gift Guide for Moms

The "How To Not Fuck Up Your Kids" Holiday Gift Guide for Moms

Dear Mom, Dad, Ex-Husband, My Darling Child, and anyone else who wants to know what I really want for Christmas (Mamas, feel free to customize here _____________),

So you want to know what I want for Christmas, huh? 

Gosh, that's so sweet. I'm seriously tickled you've asked.

Do you REALLY want to know what I want for Christmas?

OK!

I want, in  no particular order:

  • All dirty socks and underwear in the fucking laundry basket. Please. 

  • All pee in the toilet. All of it. Not on the seat, not on the floor (I mean, really??); in. the. toilet. Is this really something I need to waste space on my holiday wish list for? Apparently so, because I now want this more than I want a fucking pedicure.

....plus a list of actual awesome gifts we want.

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How to Get Your Husband to Actually Fucking Help in the House Once and For All

How to Get Your Husband to Actually Fucking Help in the House Once and For All

A common complaint among working moms is that their husbands don’t carry their weight in the house and with the kids. 

The good news/bad news is that scientific research has validated our feelings.

In an op-ed in the LA Times from Mother’s Day 2015, Amanda Marcotte, citing a study done by the Council on Contemporary Families, writes:

“The council collected a number of studies that, taken together, squelch the idea that modern marriage is a wonderland of equality. Among the findings: Married mothers do more than three times as much cooking, cleaning and laundry than married fathers. Men have more than an hour more leisure time a day than women. Men and women both — no doubt trying to feel good about their relationships — overestimate how much housework men actually do.”
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How To Make Your Mornings With Your Children Not Suck Holy Hell

How To Make Your Mornings With Your Children Not Suck Holy Hell

I was working with a client this week who is going back to work after a year-long maternity leave (oh, Canada!), and, of course, her biggest concern was how the hell she was going to get herself and her two small children up and out the door by 7:15am without losing her ever-loving shit—every single morning.

This particular client works really well with well-laid-out strategies, so she was looking for a clear-cut action plan she could implement that would have her mornings run like a well-oiled machine.

What we came up with applies across the board for many moms, working or not.

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The Long Game

The Long Game

Yesterday was a shit-show with my kid. Epic fucking shit-show.

My son is in the throes of pre-teen hormonal craziness; let’s start there. Let’s add that I am totally perimenopausal and my patience is at an all-time low. It’s like a permanent state of PMS up in this jayjay, and the combo is, well, let’s just say my son and I are in a hormone-infused horn-locking dance that would put bighorn sheep to shame.

It’s not cute.

Yesterday we had a weird amount of time to kill after school before going to a doctor’s appointment. We opted to come home for 15 minutes, have a snack, and then turn around and go back out, rather than try to kill 30 minutes in the no-man’s land of the doctor’s office (and with a kid like mine, you don’t want to try to kill 30 minutes somewhere that doesn’t have a climbing structure, a trampoline, or wifi).

So we go home, snuggle with the puppies, and I offer to make my son his absolute favorite snack. Which involves cooking.

While I make the snack, he disappears, and within minutes I hear the TV on.

Um, no.

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5 No-B.S. Tips for Giving Up Control

5 No-B.S. Tips for Giving Up Control

There’s nothing like being in relationship with other humans to get you to give up your controlling behavior. Other people don’t always do what we want, so controlling them is pretty futile. Duh.

But for many of us, letting go of controlling behavior is, in a word, terrifying.

I don’t use the word “terrifying” hyperbolically. For those of us who grew up in chaotic environments, the slightest deviation from our carefully mapped out plans can send us into a state of deep panic. And when we feel ourselves dipping into panic or terror, we desperately escalate our attempts at control, often clawing at the people around us…and usually sending them running for the hills.

But why do we do this?

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Setting Boundaries With Your Kids

Setting Boundaries With Your Kids

There is a common misconception that boundaries are all about the other person.

Not taking responsibility for setting our own boundaries, and then blaming other people for crossing them is kind of like building a house out in the forest and expecting the deer and bears to build the fence around your property for you. It’s kind of insane.

Believe me, I’d know. I did it for years.

Admittedly, there are two types of people in the world: those who have a healthy respect for other people’s space and limitations, and those who see other people’s boundaries as goals.

Our kids are usually the latter, and it’s with them that we have to work extra hard on setting (and maintaining) healthy boundaries.

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5 Reasons Bad Moms is Bad for Moms

5 Reasons Bad Moms is Bad for Moms

When I first saw the trailer for Bad Moms I was so excited for this movie to come out. Like so many failed relationships, I pinned my hopes and dreams to it. We were finally going to be understood; someone was finally going to tell the truth about what it’s really like to be a mom in today’s world. As a coach and educator for moms, I could not have been more excited.

And when I finally saw the movie last night, I could not have been more let down.

Don’t get me wrong: I LOL-ed. I cheered, and fist-pumped. I agree with the message that moms need to give up their search for perfection and “having it all.” I believe that we and our kids are over-scheduled, overworked and overwhelmed. I agree that we’re all trying to be and do too much and that it’s killing us—as a culture and as individuals.

But this movie missed the mark on so many levels, because in the end, this movie isn’t really about us...

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Troubled Times, Our Process and Our Kids

Troubled Times, Our Process and Our Kids

If you're anything like me, you have been in agony over the events that have unfolded this week. Perhaps, like me, you were enraged. Perhaps you held your babies tighter. Perhaps you shut it all out and lived on as if nothing had changed. Perhaps you kept wailing, as I did, "What can I do???"

However you chose to process, however big or small or confusing (or all of the above) your feelings have been, I want you to know that it's ok.

None of us knows how to process what we've been facing this week, so if you feel lost and confused and scared, you're not alone.

And if you don't know how to talk to your kids about it, if you're stuck between wanting them to be informed and empowered, but not scared out of their minds, this too is common this week...

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That Time My Saboteurs Won, and Fucked Me Out of a Successful Acting Career

That Time My Saboteurs Won, and Fucked Me Out of a Successful Acting Career

I am sitting on the subway, slowly slipping lower and lower in the cold, hard, plastic seat, the skin of my thighs stretching, pinching. I’m trying to make myself small. I’m trying to escape.

From every angle my own face is staring back at me, upside-down, from folded-over pages of The New York Times. I’m on the same page as the crossword, above the fold. As each passenger gets on, they unfold, re-fold, re-adjust their paper, and another me stares back.

In this one week my picture has appeared in almost every newspaper and magazine across the country, from People Magazine to The New York Times. I am on the brink of the kind of success most actors dream about...

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I Took Away the Xbox and Now He's Listening

I Took Away the Xbox and Now He's Listening

When my son was a baby, he'd wake up and cry in his crib, and I'd always go in. 3 or 4 times a night, until he was 11 months old. I had to go in. His wails were like something out of "The Exorcist." I was sure the walls were bleeding and the floor boards were popping up. Clearly there was something really wrong this time.

Needless to say, there wasn't. (You know this story as well as I do.)

Eventually we hired a specialist who talked us through letting him cry it out. I protested, but when we talked through what happened each night, she asked me some very pointed questions:

"How badly does he scream?

"So badly I'm sure he's dying!!"

"How long does he scream?"

"Until I come in."

"And if you don't go in?"

"He screams louder!!!"

"Until when?"

"Until I go in..."

"Exactly."

Fuck.

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We Have To Do Better

We Have To Do Better

If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you know that I never bring the news or politics into my business. 

If we’re friends on Facebook, you know me to be very vocal and unafraid of giving a damn what anyone thinks. You know my political affiliation, my stance on a lot of issues, and mostly you know that I am not afraid to speak my mind, fully self-expressed, whether it be outrage, sadness or pride. 

I am a fully self-expressed woman, and that’s what I teach other women—to own their own power, to find and use their words and voices in ways that matter and in ways that model to their children—sons and daughters alike—what a fully self-expressed, self-possessed, confident woman actually is.

Which makes it slightly ironic that in my business I have fallen short of doing that myself. 

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The Mind and Body Are One System

The Mind and Body Are One System

I was reading an article this morning about the Gut-Brain Connection in kids with ADHD, and this sentence stopped me in my tracks:

“...95% of the body’s serotonin can be found in the gut, which is why it’s often referred to as the “second brain” or “gut brain.””

Serotonin is “popularly thought to be a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness.” (Wiki). In fact, SSRIs, the most common type of antidepressant, are a chemical booster of serotonin. I’m a pretty educated woman around this stuff, but until this morning, I thought serotonin was in your brain.

Nope.

95% of it is found in your gut. Ergo, if you have an unhealthy gut, it could affect how happy you are.

Click below to read more about depression and anxiety and how what you put into your body might be affecting your moods, as well as my own story on how I manage my own depression and anxiety...

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5 Reasons You Need to Work On Yourself to Become a Better Mom

5 Reasons You Need to Work On Yourself to Become a Better Mom

I'll say it till I'm blue in the face, but if you want to the best mom you can possibly be, you really do need to work on yourself first.

Here are five reasons I think this is vitally important:

  1. Children’s success and happiness in life is most strongly correlated to their emotional intelligence. In a study published in 2011, children were followed for 50 years, from childhood well into adulthood, and it was scientifically proven that their success and happiness in adulthood was directly related to their levels of emotional intelligence. Sure, they could have learned that in adulthood, but how much cooler would it be if your kids learned that from you? Working on yourself in specific and strategic ways—increasing empathy and objectivity, becoming better able to notice and name your emotions so they don't take over in tough times—boosts emotional intelligence. If you do this work here and now, your kids are raised with it. If you don't, they're raised in the shitstorm of your past. You have a very real choice before you...
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How To Talk to Your Kids So They'll Listen

How To Talk to Your Kids So They'll Listen

There is a popular saying that states: “The meaning of any piece of communication is the response you get.”

What this means is that you are actually responsible for being sure that your communication lands the way you intended it to, and if it doesn’t, you are also responsible for adjusting your communication to be sure that it does.

Including with your kids.

Here’s how things usually go:

Mom, calling from the other room, or peeking around the doorway: "Come to dinner," "Please get ready for bed," "Get your shoes on,” “Brush your teeth.”

10 minutes later mom comes back in to find kid still on iPad/Xbox/Legos/book…

Mom loses shit.

Here’s where the communication breakdown occurs:

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How I Got My Kid to Clean The Toilets

How I Got My Kid to Clean The Toilets

I was in a bad mood. Capital F Foul. It was Sunday, late afternoon, and it had been a long weekend. That morning we'd gotten up early to go to a pumpkin festival at a farm over an hour away. I'd had to leave the farm early to drive an hour back to a work meeting, then 45 minutes home from that to meet my son in a parking lot at Michael's where he was with friends buying crafts for their Historical Pumpkin class project (please don't ask) and by the time we got home I was D.O.N.E.

But the house was an absolute mess. Dishes piled up in the sink, dog hair sprinkled throughout the house, laundry piled up, and dirty, filthy toilets (why can't boys pee IN the goddam toilet?). So there was work to be done before I could feel remotely good about relaxing.

Exasperated by what I was facing when I was already exhausted, I told my son to clean up his Legos in the playroom while I started on the dishes.

"Mommy will you help me?" he whined. (He is a class-A whiner.)

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