A Conference, Powerful Words & Silencing Your Inner Critic

Going to conferences always brings out my deeply hidden insecurities. On any typical day I am a fairly confident person. I work hard. I try to be nice to people. Life is generally good. But in the weeks leading up to any conference I’m a little shaky. I start obsessing about clothing (which I never do). I worry about meaningless stuff. My head gets the best of me.

Leading up to Mom 2.0 my mental firestorm always goes on overload. There are a few reasons why. To start with I really respect the people who attend. I read their words and listen to their podcasts and marvel at their Instagram feeds. I just sink into thinking, I’m unworthy. Oh course I’m worthy. We all are. But that doesn’t stop my inner critic from spewing belittling thoughts late at night.

The second and equally plaguing problem heading into Mom 2.0 is I really care about promoting my book. It took 20 years to learn enough to write it, and it’s my book baby. I want to tell everyone about it. But that’s the problem. It’s really hard to tell people about your book. It’s awkward. I’m awkward.

Lastly, there is always a time when it feels like everyone else has someone to go to the _______ (fill in the blank big event) and I don’t. Sure, I could ask to join someone. But that sometimes feels like offering to feed the bears. It could go really well or you could get mauled.

Still, excitedly, I drove to the conference, held this year in the lovely Langham Pasadena (thanks for the pens). The conference didn’t disappoint. I called my husband a few times, and he would say I was giddy. I met incredibly nice and interesting people. I presented on a panel with women I didn’t know, and it all worked perfectly. I went in determined to push myself out of my comfort zone, and I did. But the problem with leaving the comfort zone is that it’s uncomfortable there.

So when I went home and started thinking about all I said and did. I became mortified. I obsessed just like I did before the conference but this time I had actual experiences to harp on. Like the time I horrendously whipped out my book to give to a person I admire. Ugh, sorry. Or the time I tried to tell someone their Dove hair looked great but my compliment came off all wrong. Sorry, again. I could go on and on. I somehow was turning a great experience into middle school.

Before I sunk too deep into my breakdown, I flipped through my little notebook and remembered my two biggest takeaways from the conference. I replayed Brené Brown’s inspiring words: Talk to yourself like you talk to someone you love. I would never talk to someone the way my mind was talking to me. The other advice that really hit home was from Katherine Wintsch. In her Slay Like A Mother presentation she told us to stay in the present, “right here, right now.” And just like Brené Brown she told us to acknowledge the voice and then direct it to a friend.

If my friend told me all the crap I was telling myself, here’s what I would say:
You are being ridiculous. Even if you embarrassed yourself, who cares.
If you feel so badly asking for someone to help you out then offer to help someone else.
Give yourself a break.

All of the sudden I became the friend I needed. I started to return to my conference high shedding that awful critic. I incorporated what I just learned. And that’s what conferences are all about. It’s growth in ways you didn’t even know you needed.

Being a working mother these days is often about finding your inner voice and silencing the real or imagined chatter. I am so thankful to be able to have these learning experiences. Professionally, I prioritized my work and found the direction I needed. Personally, I picked up a new tool to fight my worst inner voice and a way to be a better me. Thank you Mom 2.0 for all of this.

On a side note: What makes me feel better about asking for help is also giving it. Here is what I have to share. If you are interested, message me on Facebook @thefamilycoach or send me an email here.

  • 1-page book review request sheet
  • Sample successful pitch letters
  • My book proposal for a nonfiction book
  • Ask me to do a book review for your book baby

 

Promiscuous Neighbors and Occasional Formula Feeding for 05/05/2018

Promiscuous Neighbors and Occasional Formula Feeding for 05/05/2018
Dear Family Coach

Dear Family Coach: My next-door neighbor is a single mom who works long hours. Her 13- and 15-year-old daughters are often alone. They are good kids. But I see random boys coming and going a lot, and I’m worried the girls are making bad choices. I’d like to tell the mom she needs to work less so she doesn’t leave them alone as much. How can I say this gently? — Concerned Neighbor

Dear Neighbor: I have to assume this mom is working long hours because she has no other choice. She might not be getting child support from the children’s father. She may have medical bills or extensive debt that must be paid. It doesn’t really matter. The point is that Mom is working her tail off and raising two girls on her own.

Updated: Sat May 05, 2018


Promiscuous Neighbors and Occasional Formula Feeding for 05/05/2018

Sexy Songs and a Son's Diary for 04/28/2018

Sexy Songs and a Son’s Diary for 04/28/2018
Dear Family Coach

Dear Family Coach: My 8-year-old kid loves Katy Perry songs, which are seemingly all about sex. However, we’ve been innocently singing along in the car and having a blast. Well, that is until recently, when I heard her singing about a menage a trois in public. My husband and I were mortified. Do I have to put an end to this, and if so, how? — Katy Fan’s Mom

Dear Mom: On a scale of inappropriate, your daughter belting out potentially racy lyrics rates about a four on a 10-point scale. Sure, it would likely make some older folks uncomfortable to hear your little lady squealing sexual innuendos and sex talk. But that’s more about them than your daughter. She doesn’t know what she is saying.

Updated: Sat Apr 28, 2018


Sexy Songs and a Son’s Diary for 04/28/2018

A Sunday Sleepover and Conflicting Stories for 04/21/2018

A Sunday Sleepover and Conflicting Stories for 04/21/2018
Dear Family Coach

Dear Family Coach: My 14-year-old daughter was invited to a birthday pool party at a local resort. It’s being held on a Sunday night. The girls are expected to sleep over and miss school on Monday. I told my daughter she could attend the party but I would be picking her up at 10:30 p.m. Of course, she threw a fit. Am I being unreasonable? — Party Pooper

Dear Pooper: First things first, who throws a sleepover party for ninth-graders on a school night? Sleepovers are some of my best childhood memories — up all night, all the chatter with the lights off, the late-night snacks, the secrets. It’s a special time. And I don’t necessarily disagree with kids missing school here and there for fun events. Life is short. But missing school to attend a birthday party doesn’t quite meet the bar.

Updated: Sat Apr 21, 2018


A Sunday Sleepover and Conflicting Stories for 04/21/2018

Fearing ADHD Meds and a Hair Catastrophe for 04/14/2018

Fearing ADHD Meds and a Hair Catastrophe for 04/14/2018
Dear Family Coach

Dear Family Coach: My daughter has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She showed the signs for several years. However, recently, she has had much more trouble in school, and even with her friends. Her doctor recommended she try medication to help control some of her behavior, but we are really against it. There are side effects, and we don’t want her to be dependent on drugs for the rest of her life. What do you think about it? — Concerned Parents

Dear Concerned: What if your daughter didn’t have ADHD but instead was born with a congenital heart condition that required her to be on medication for the rest of her life? Would you consider withholding the drugs? I highly doubt it. Yet when it comes to mental health conditions, people often consider medical management a non-necessity. While there are other treatments, studies show that medication, especially when combined with other therapies, is highly effective in treating ADHD.

Updated: Sat Apr 14, 2018


Fearing ADHD Meds and a Hair Catastrophe for 04/14/2018