A ridiculous event took place last night. As you may know, I have biological kids that dance. As high school kids, they sacrifice a majority of their fee time to study their art. However, between the training, performing are the moms. This is the third time my kid has been bullied by an adult at the studio. How on earth is that fair? As with many situations, I am left amazed at the behavior of the adults. Choices, how you interact, when you call for a meeting, the format of the meeting it all has unintended consequences. Stop, breath and THINK before you act.
Finding balance is often difficult. I see it in the workaholics, the parents of kids involved in competitive sports, and the enmeshed moms that have no identity beyond their kids. Balance, something we all strive to achieve, financial balance between retirement goals and lifestyle. Balance between being too strict and too soft. There is balance challenges everywhere I look. Interestingly, I find myself in a different kind of balance challenge. The internal pull between mom, executive, wife and self. How do you achieve this balance. It is like a perfectly positioned rock teetering on the edge of a cliff. Too much time away working, family suffers, too many kids activities and no one gets to where they need to be. Balance, is it ever achieved?
Do you have a passion? Something that burns inside of you, that you can not picture your world without? For me it is helping others, building community and sharing perspective. Two of my kids have an extreme passion for dance. My 13 year old lobbied hard for to change high schools to a performing art high school. After lots of discussion and auditions, the decision has been made she is moving high schools.
My 16 year old, who also loves dance, has a passion for space. She has said she wanted to be an Astro space engineer since she was little. She is still on that path and is beyond amazing at scheduling her intensive dance training and school to ensure fantastic grades and test scores. How does she do it? PASSION!
I have other kids in my life by choice that do not have passion. The day starts and ends without that spark of drive for something. Is it taught? Is it genetic? What causes the internal drive to motivate kids? I have NEVER had to tell a kid to do homework, to study for a test, or to do their reading. My two have always had that internal drive. It is there in their heart to push to exceed expectations.
Thought for today? Can passion be taught?
My daughter is spending spring break with her biological father in another state. I will not bore you with the 7 years of co-parenting with an out of state former spouse. The focus today is on the need to be your own advocate. Where is your voice?
My 16 year old daughter used to have asthma. She now only has problems if she is ill. Over two weeks ago she developed a chest cold and we knew where it was heading. A quick run to urgent care and she was told it was a horrid virus hitting kids in the area and not to worry as it could take some time to get over. A week later she left her home state to see her dad. Where was her voice during the urgent care appointment? This happens every year…. well she is only 16 and the doctor knows best right?
Today her dad took her to a clinic in a major retail store as she was still sick and now her ears hurt. You guessed it, an ear infection. However, after listening to her chest the provider recommended a visit with a traditional doctor for a chest X-ray. Where was her voice? Did she tell the provider that this is common for her once a year? Did she advocate her asthma action plan?
Off she goes to the family physician. This provider proceeded to give her three nebulizer treatments. You see it correctly, 3!!! Then the provider sends her to the local ER explaining that she needs to be seen right away. Again, where is her voice? Did she advocate for herself and explain her action plan?
Next to the ER at the doctor’s recommendation, where the ER staff finds it funny that she is at the ER when she is oxygenating just fine and is not wheezy. The ER physician provides her with a steroid dose pack, an antibiotic and rescue inhaler. Beautiful! Did she use her voice? Was she able to share her action plan? No. The provider explained it was the common solution for illness induced asthma.
Three provider offices, three appointments and she is in the same place she would have been had she been able to advocate for herself. Did I fail her by not teaching her the confidence to self advocate? Did her father fail her by not supporting her and suggesting she share her action plan? Did the providers fail her by not asking if this had happened before and what was her action plan?
Moral of the story? Self advocacy is a skill our society as a whole needs to gain. Our medical system is broken, we must take control of our own care. We must work to break the social assumption that it is wrong to question a provider.
Some of the greatest blessings come by chance. Had a last minute discussion with our neighbor tonight, what a lovely person. Take a minute to notice the opportunities are in front of you that are meant to be.
As a corporate executive I spend many hours working, traveling, attending meetings you know the drill. What I have found to be most difficult as a remarried executive is the difficulty with transition. I have witnessed kids having a hard time with transition between biological parents, but what is eye-opening is my own person experience with transition. The count down starts the day before, ok I am heading home tomorrow. Then the daily check in call to see what new drama has been discovered. With a family of eight and two former spouses, things are always crazy. In any event back to the transition. The anxiety sets in. How do I act when I get home? What domestic tasks have to be completed? How many hours until my next trip? My brain spins until the idea of going home to the blended family no longer seems appealing.
A friend told me once that we should only refer to the kids as kids, not step or his or hers. Ok that sounds great, but in my world the new family members are out to destroy my new marriage as well as create extreme moments of pain. So shall I say that some of the kid as are not happy for me to return from work. They seem to enjoy the trips to fun places, the materialistic needs, all as an entitlement. So you can see where the transition becomes one of great turmoil.
This has made me wonder how do some do it so well and why do others have such a hard time? Transition at work, personal transition, medical transition none of it is easy. Maybe that is the point?
Tonight’s thought is centered on social norms and stereotypes. I bought a dishwasher for my condo. I picked it up myself to save on deliver fees as well as installed it myself. I watched several YouTube videos on how to do the installation, and boom it is in and works. Saved over $200 by taking this risk. I post about my new bad a$$ dishwasher and two folks immediately ask if I really did it myself. If I were male, would they ask such a question? It was easy with YouTube. Will females ever be seen as being able to do anything a guy can do? I want to yell “stop sounding surprised, I am college educated and clearly know how to use YouTube. Doesn’t it look cool?”
When we make comments, what unintended message are we sending? Think about it folks. Words are powerful. What message are we sending our kids?