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As many of you know, we have started our Friday 15 Google Hangouts and the learning curve has been steep to say the least. It has been a frustrating experience but one that is necessary for the future of MomCom and keeping our readers, members and attendees engaged between our conferences.
We are committed to introducing you to amazing women on a weekly basis. After much research, I think we have something that will help everyone out and make it easier for you to join us on Fridays.
Here it goes!
1) If you don’t already have one, Sign up for a Gmail account
2) Once signed into your new gmail account, click on +(Your Name) in the top left hand corner of the gmail toolbar.
3) Set up your Google+ profile
4) Look on the left hand sidebar and click on the dots
5) Once you click on the dots you will see more options that you can drag over to your sidebar.
6) Drag over the following: “Hangout” and “Find People”.
7) Click on “Find People” and enter MomCom in the search field. Once you find MomCom, <THIS IS IMPORTANT>, ADD the MomCom® Life PAGE TO YOUR CIRCLES. Any circle is fine but, you might want to name it “Mom Resources” or “Entrepreneur Resources” or “Speakers” or “Inspirational Women”
8) The people/organizations you add to your circles must also add you back and add you to their circles in order for you to Hangout with them. So, MomCom will also add you to our circles once we see you’ve added us.
9) When you see a Friday 15 Hangout that you want to attend, go ahead and indicate that you’re going to join us by saying yes to the Are you going? question. That way, we can add you to our immediate (10 person) Hangout group once we go live. Hanging out will be on a first come, first serve basis but don’t worry, you can still watch the event live and ask questions on our Google+ page if you don’t make it into the actual Hangout. You can also watch all of our Hangouts later on our YouTube Channel or on our blog.
Make sure you have Google Hangout notifications turned on. This will ensure that you receive our invitation to hangou! VERY IMPORTANT! Here is where you can see your settings: https://www.google.com/settings/plus when you are logged into your Google+ account.
We will invite you to the hangout 15 minutes ahead of time. Please join at this time to make sure we are ready to go at the appointed time.
You may need to install a Google Hangout plugin depending on your browser. Do this immediately so you don’t have to worry about it when the Hangout is starting. You will only need to do this one time.
You can see who has added you to their circles by clicking on “Added You” in the Find People section. Drag those who have added you into one of your circles as well for further engagement.
After all of this, you will be able to receive invitations to MomCom Friday 15 Hangouts and you’ll be able to see our events, decide to join us in the actual hangout or, just watch them on our Google+ page, on our web site or on our YouTube channel.
All of our hangouts will be broadcast and saved for later viewing, so if you don’t join one, you can still see it later.
I hope this helps you. We’re excited to be added to your circles and really psyched to continue our Friday 15 Google+ Hangouts. For more about the Hangouts, see our Get Featured or Hangout page.
Now that you know how to do it, don’t forget to join us every Friday from 1:30 to 1:45 p.m. to meet some amazing women from across the world. Feel free to start signing up today! And, as always, thank you for your patience!
Want to know more? Need more help? Here is a link to a list of videos to help you join future hangouts.
By Barb Steinberg, LMSW
At a time when going shopping for girls’ clothes is a jaw-dropping experience (There is no way she is going out of the house wearing that, you find yourself thinking), listening to the radio during carpool becomes a teachable moment and when you realize that the shows she is watching in no way resemble the now-seemingly innocuous programs you grew up with (Cosby Show, anyone?), parenting a tween/teen daughter is no easy task.
As harrowing as these experiences may seem, my work with tween/teen girls and their families over the past twenty years has shown me that there is always room for celebration. In one area, in particular, we have had some remarkable gains. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the teen pregnancy rate in this country between 1990 and 2008 has declined for teens in all age groups. In fact, it has plummeted 40% and is now at a historic low.
Experts have several theories on what is happening, but I’d like to think that it’s because we are doing a better job at engaging our girls in meaningful conversation around relationships, intimacy and sex. You might be surprised to learn that teens themselves say that parents most influence their decisions about sex. So if you think peers, popular culture, teachers and educators hold the most sway, you are wrong. Don’t let the eye rolling, the sighs and the silence confuse you: overwhelmingly, teens say they would welcome more conversations with their parents about sex and avoiding teen pregnancy. They need us to initiate those conversations.
This Wednesday, May 1st is the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, an annual effort by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy to focus the attention of teens on the importance of avoiding too-early pregnancy and parenthood. Although we have made many gains in getting the message across to our girls about the benefits of delaying sexual activity, 40% of our kids will have sex before talking to their parents about condom use, birth control and STDs. With that in mind, I want to encourage you to become an askable adult.
What, exactly, is an askable adult? An askable adult is someone who girls (and boys) feel comfortable talking to about any and all subjects. Children know an askable adult will listen thoughtfully, won’t rush to judgement and will respect their privacy. What should you keep in mind if you want your girls (and boys) to feel comfortable approaching you with questions and concerns about relationships, sex and intimacy?
Be available. As you might expect, it’s unlikely that your child will ask you about the birds and the bees as you are rushing from one activity to the next. Make sure you spend unscheduled time together so that you have the time and space to discuss a subject that — let’s be honest — both adults and kids can find difficult to talk about. That means taking your eyes off the texts/emails and suggesting a parent-daughter walk, a few minutes outside after dinner to throw the Frisbee or a “date” to get a cherry limeade.
Be honest. This doesn’t mean that as a parent you have to bare your soul about your sex life, but it does mean that you have the permission to acknowledge your discomfort around the issue and why she might feel the same. It also means you don’t have to know all the answers. In some cases, you can find the answers together; in doing so, you can show her the places she can find accurate information about sex online.
Have a discussion with your partner: perhaps he or she will be the “go-to” parent about sex. Identify two adults in her life and have a conversation with those individuals about whether they would be comfortable answering her questions, so that if you aren’t available or if your daughter feels uncomfortable approaching you, she has someone who has her best interest in mind.
Be her sounding board. Part of being a parent is raising our daughters to be independent and free thinkers. Many girls never start a conversation about dating with their parents, so be ready to bring up the subject. Chances are that in between the demands of school, friends, extracurricular activities and other demands on her time, she hasn’t sat down and thought long and hard about questions like:
How will I know if I’m in love?
When will I know when I’m ready to have sex?
How do I tell my girl or boyfriend that I don’t want to have sex without losing him/her or hurting his/her feelings?
What exactly will I say when we are in the “heat of the moment” and I don’t want to have sex?
Do you know how she would answer these questions? If not, spend some time this month (and continue the conversation) asking her these kinds of questions, and see her grow as she answers them. If at first she bristles at answering these questions, try asking what her friends would do. Remember, it’s not just “the talk” anymore — the more chances you have to engage her, the more she can incorporate all the thoughts and feelings she has swimming around in that head of hers into solid values.
The prospect of your daughter having sex can be a scary one, but with you listening to her, asking her self-reflective questions and gently advising her, she will be equipped with the inner strength to speak up for herself and do what’s right for her heart and her body.
Barb Steinberg, LMSW is a teen life coach and workshop facilitator who transforms the lives of adolescent girls and the adults who care about them. In addition, she produced a unique, all-girl documentary-style educational DVD, The Wisdom of Girls: Teens, Sex & Truth, which encourages girls and the adults in their lives to engage in meaningful dialogue about pressures to have sex, the many reasons why girls choose to have sex when they are not ready to, the emotional and physical consequences of that choice, why girls are not practicing safe sex and how to protect their bodies, minds and hearts.
The best part of MomCom is that we get to meet women whom we may have never met. Rosalind Wyatt is one of these women. You’re going to love her story. Anyone who compares life at home to an SNL skit is okay with us.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Well, I grew up in Houston, Texas as the daughter of a minister and a schoolteacher. I am the youngest kid in the family by a wide margin so I was basically alone at home with my parents from the age of about 3 years. When you’re the only kid at home you learn to entertain yourself. I went to college at Prairie View A&M University and majored in electrical engineering. I have finally accepted the fact that I’m a nerd. I love all things tech and I love to ponder deep philosophical questions.
I am a wife of 22 years and the mother of a teen and a tween. My children are a constant source of humor and sometimes all you can do is laugh. Also, I’m extremely active in my church.
What was the oddest job you ever took?
The job wasn’t as odd as it was something I never dreamed that I would do. I was a long-term substitute teacher for a first grade class. Small children are brutally honest and if you think that you have it all together they soon let you know that you don’t. In the end, I learned to always come to the table prepared. Don’t rely on winging it.
Was there a time when you took a risk and failed? How about a time when you succeeded? Was there a difference?
An experience of taking a risk and failing was when I attempted to open a coworking space with a former business partner and it was not successful because the space we were leasing went into foreclosure and the owner disappeared. The property was in a super hot real estate market area so it was going to sell really quickly. There were some other major difficulties with the property but at the time we leased it, it seemed ideal.
One time that I took a risk and succeeded was when I finished my MBA and decided to pursue working at our local NPR affiliate station in Houston early in my marriage. I had always loved NPR and dreamed of working there as a news reporter. I had no experience in broadcasting whatsoever, but one day I called the News Director and asked if I could be an intern. She took a chance and hired me as an unpaid intern. She was a great teacher and I was an eager student. I remained an intern for about 4 months and then she put me on the payroll. I actually got to realize my dream of being a news reporter for an NPR station. A couple of my stories got circulated nationally.
In both instances I learned a whole lot especially in the unsuccessful experience. Sometimes stuff happens that is beyond your control but you have to slog through it. Sometimes success is really just a right turn versus a left turn and you would have had no way of knowing it.
What personal accomplishment has given you the greatest satisfaction?
Completing my Ph.D. in marketing in 5 years while taking care of a small child and giving birth to another child along the way.
How has being a mother shaped where you are today?
I think I’m much more nurturing to my students as a result of being a mother. I’m also much more balanced as a businessperson. There are only so many hours that you can put in at the office and still be available to your children. I’ve learned to guard my time so that I can go to my kids’ games and performances, as a rule, not as an exception. Also being a mom has helped me to sharpen my comedy skills. Sometimes our life at home is like an SNL skit.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
Being able to defy Newtonian Physics in that I could be in two places at one time. According to an article in Science some researchers in quantum mechanics are working on it. So who knows? I might just be in luck.
Want to hear more from Rosalind? She’ll be a featured guest on our Friday 15 Google Hangout on July 19, 2013. See our Google+ events page for more details on this and other events.
Attunement (noun): being or bringing into harmony; a feeling of being “at one” with another being.
Think about the strongest relationships in your life. The person you call when you really need someone who gets it. How do you know they “get it?” What is special about those relationships? How does that relationship make you feel? Chances are, that person doesn’t spend a lot of time trying to fix anything. Or arguing. Or convincing you that it “really isn’t that big of a deal.” That person just listens. Says “Oh, you must be really hurting.” Provides a safe space for you to fully experience your feelings, and allows for those feelings to just be experienced and held. Attunement validates our inner world, providing a solid foundation for the development of a positive identity and sense of self.
Attunement supports attachment.
Imagine your child is upset because you are out of his favorite lunch. “I want macaroni and cheese!” he wails. You don’t have macaroni and cheese and there’s not much you can do about it. It’s easy to respond with “We’re out, I’m sorry. What would you like instead?” But as you’ve noticed, this may lead to your child kicking and screaming on the ground, in despair over the missing blue box. How about responding with “I know- I know you want macaroni and cheese. It’s so disappointing.” Or remember a time when your child came running in the front door with muddy shoes, carrying a bunch of weeds plucked from your hasn’t-been-mowed-in-several-months front yard. It’s natural to respond with “HEY! Your muddy shoes!! Don’t come one step further! Look at the mess you are making!” But what if you said “Oh Johnny! You picked those just for me! Thank you! That was so thoughtful! And oh my!! Your shoes are so muddy! Let’s head back outside with those muddy shoes!”
Attunement. To join our child on their inner journey. Your child isn’t thinking about your freshly mopped floors. He just picked you a beautiful plant from your yard and wants to share it with you. This doesn’t mean we gracefully accept muddy footprints all over our freshly mopped tile. It simply means that before tending to your dirty tile, you take a moment to join in with your child’s wonderment and excitement. To tell our child “I get it! You’re so excited and I understand. Your feelings are worth it and they are more important than my tile.” And then maybe you can both fill a bucket with water and have some fun with the suds.
Sometimes our children have big feelings. Big feelings that are a little scary- scary for your child and scary for you when you hear your child express them. When we meet our children’s feelings with contradiction, they feel misunderstood and invalidated. Instead, we should mirror our children’s feelings and join in their journey and validate their feelings. By hearing you reflect back what she has expressed, your child feels heard and understood. She can then begin to process and work through those feelings, and your relationship strengthens because she is learning that you “get it.”
Attunement Decreases Difficult Behaviors
Attunement also means taking a close look at our children’s “misbehaviors.” Is your toddler tantrumming because she is hungry, tired, or overwhelmed? Is your preschooler whining because she misses feeling connected to you? Is your teenager being sassy because she’s having a fight with her BFF and is overwhelmed with feelings about losing her friendship? Attunement doesn’t mean we tolerate negative behaviors; attunement means that first we consider the source of the behavior and then tend to that pain.
Attunement Lays the Foundation for Attachment
Why bother? Why is attunement important? Think about how a newborn baby develops a healthy attachment with her caregiver. Baby sleeps. Baby cries. Caregiver tends to cry and fixes problem. Baby is consoled. Baby is happy and enjoys quiet, playful time with caregiver. Repeat. Again and again. This cycle of attunement- where the caregiver recognizes, understands, and then consoles- is the very foundation of attachment. Our older kids certainly have more complex needs than infants, and attunement can be much more difficult. However, true attunement with our older children will encourage the same healthy foundation of secure attachment.
[infopane color=”8″ icon=”0001.png”]Robyn Gobbel, LCSW, is a therapist in private practice in Austin, TX and the founder of the Central Texas Attachment and Trauma Center. Robyn specializes in helping children who have been adopted or experienced a ‘hard moment.’ She especially loves working with children and families to bring connection and harmony back into their lives. Follow Robyn on Twitter.[/infopane]
Three years ago today, I told my husband to meet me at the Travis County Clerk’s office to sign some papers before going camping with friends . And now we have been officially married for six years. Think I can’t add? Guess again.
In Texas, if heterosexual people (I have to say this because unfortunately in Texas we are not all treated equally, but don’t get me started…) who have been living together want to solidify their relationship and get married, they also have the option to pick the date they want to put on the certificate. Just make it up! Out of thin air!
So, what does an early forties couple with a two year old do? We back date it to the same date the year Delilah was born. And voila! We were married April 16, 2007, about eight months before Delilah was born. CONVENIENT. Delilah all of a sudden becomes a preemie and we got pregnant on our honeymoon. Perfect!
There is a lot more to the story, but because I have major work deadlines, I’ll just give you the top level highlights in outline form. Ready?
- Homer, my husband, insists he did not know we were going to the County Clerk’s office to get married. What? Why else would we be going there as a family? To register the car?
- He was not happy with me at all about getting married but he did it anyway.
- This was not a ceremony or a celebration. We were in camping clothes and there wasn’t a lot of smiling going on. He even asked the clerk, “Does this mean that if we sign this we’ll have to go through a divorce if we don’t want to be together anymore? ” My husband, the romantic.
- I was resentful of him for us having moved out of my house and into his, and really, for just about anything he did during the first two years of Delilah’s life and I let him know it.
- At the outset, I wanted to get married because I was worried about all of our separate accounts. He’s a firefighter, we owned (and still own) separate houses, paid our own bills and didn’t “merge” like a typical couple with a child. What would happen to Delilah and I if something happened to him?
- Our bundle of joy was a surprise to us in many ways and we weren’t prepared to commit until we had her. And even after she was born, it took a rogue trip to the County Clerk’s office to fully commit.
So I admit, right now this isn’t looking too good. We sound like a marriage made in disaster right? But wait, there’s more!
- Even though Homer says I “tricked” him into marriage, I still knew he was on board at the county clerk’s office. When Delilah started crying and the clerk looked at her with concern, Homer said, “Don’t worry. She always cries at weddings.” I love his understated humor.
- During my pregnancy in 2007, before the resentment settled in after Delilah was born, Homer proved to be a loving, caring and helpful partner. He helped make being pregnant one of the best times in my life. (I know, yes, I stick by that. I had a great pregnancy. Don’t hate.) He also proved this to me in 2005 when he stuck by me when I miscarried and almost died. My past with him secured my future with him.
- We both were ambivalent about marriage because we had each done it before. I thought it really didn’t matter to me. But on April 16th, three years ago, something inside me changed. I became much more accepting of him as a man and as a father. I reached into myself and brought out the part of me who I knew and who he remembered and I changed. Then, so did he. I was in love again.
- Homer is the most patient man on the planet. No, he’s not perfect and I know that I am definitely not either. But I can’t count on one hand things that bothers me about him. Really. I can’t. Or maybe, I just choose not to because nothing is more important than the way he loves and respects me.
- Life is not necessarily easier now. It is made more difficult by our crazy schedules, my business siphoning from our bank accounts and from our time together as a couple, with the messy house, and an only child who needs our time and attention. Yet, life is wonderful with Homer. With my husband.
- I wouldn’t trade my life with him for anything.
My point of this post is to honor Homer as my husband and as Delilah’s wonderful father. But it’s also to let you know that nothing is ever perfect and nothing is ever as it looks on the outside. We all have our stories. They are worth telling, no matter how messy they might be.
Happy Anniversary Homero. I love you more now than I ever have.
[infopane color=”3″ icon=”0032.png”]Trish Morrison, MBA is the founder and CEO of MomCom® Life, an organization dedicated to creating community and fostering entrepreneurship for moms. Trish is addicted to women’s stories and believes we can change the world through telling ours. She lives in Austin, Texas with her hot firefighter husband Homero and her brilliant daughter Delilah. Trish is a proud feminist who can be found online at momcomlife.com or on Twitter @atxtrish and @momcomaustin. MomUP!®[/infopane]