Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness

Dear Readers,

When I got pregnant, I realized I was going to need help. I asked people who have children what their advice was (carefully, because I didn’t want so much advice that I would be overwhelmed by it!

The thing I heard most often was, “take time for yourself” and “sleep when the baby sleeps” – I have been following that one pretty well, but today I hit a wall. I had been unable to sleep for over 24 hours and my husband was out of town for the day, so while we had been trading off and tag teaming care.. he was not able to help last night or the night before so today when he got home, I made up my mind, I was going to hand him our little girl and go do something alone and just for me. But when he got home, I started to feel ashamed that I needed help. Jeremy asked me, are you okay, I didn’t answer and instead started to think about the next cycle of feeding, for her, for me.. and then all of sudden it hit me. I would tell anyone else if they needed help to simply ask.. so why oh why couldn’t I take my own advice? I called a friend and asked if she was free, she was and so I handed the baby to my husband, took a shower and then went to hang out with my friend for some blissful time away. It was just a few hours, but such a tonic for me. Or as another friend once said about me, “yoga for my brain”… and it was.

It begged the question.. why was it so hard to ask my husband (who is a wonderful and supportive man) for help? he was offering it, and I still had trouble accepting it. I guess I didn’t want to admit the hard and ugly truth. That this is hard. She isn’t even teething or potty training or in her terrible twos.. but the constant NEED is hard to fill. I don’t hear people talk about that very often so I am doing it now. I want to say this because it’s hard to admit it, it’s way easier to focus on how much I love her and how cute she is and take pictures of the good. There isn’t really a picture of a 2am feeding when she just won’t go to sleep, because who wants to focus on that.. but it’s reality and I think it’s good to talk about both sides. It’s not only okay to ask for help, it’s essential.

Thinking back on on other times I needed help, when I started acting, I hate to admit it.. but I needed help with that too, so I took lessons. Singing? you guessed it, I looked around and found a great vocal coach who I trust and who got me ready for my audition for “The Voice”. It doesn’t stop there. When I started walking I got accountability partners, we also worked weekly on goals and did check ins with each other (also known as HELP). When I decided I wanted to give a Ted Talk, what did I do? I asked for help, I went to Toastmasters and started opening myself up to any and all opportunities to do public speaking.. I needed and asked for HELP.

Before I asked for help in any of those situations, I remember the feeling of not wanting to ask for help and doing everything for myself! (I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR!) turns out that it’s essential to ask for help in order to be a good mom too. I am sharing this in hopes that it helps another highly independent woman take a break and ask for help or space when she needs it.

I know that I will be building in breaks for myself as we move forward in this marathon of parenting.

What do you need help with today? How will that make your life easier?

Think about it…



Dear Readers,

I usually get ideas for my blog when talking to friends or seeing something online that I am passionate about. A few weeks ago I posted about “my womb, my business” and today when talking with a REALLY good friend (you know who you are) I realized all over again how their fertility is really not my business unless someone volunteers information or asks for my advice. We talked about the fact that even though we are close and share a lot.. this is a topic we don’t discuss and I would not ask about it.. as I realize it’s NONE OF MY BUSINESS.

I am astounded at the amount of strangers who inquire into things that are NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS. Including the woman who came up to me two days ago and asked me what we pay in rent! I think, as women, we tend to think, “I have to be nice” or “I don’t want to be rude” to this perfect stranger.. so we answer them or we smile politely and demur quietly. NO MORE. NO is in fact, a complete sentence, you can say it with your body language and you can also change the subject or ignore the question.

Even worse though and much harder to deal with is the family member or friend who asks you a question that to a stranger, it’s one minute and over .. but with a family member it’s stickier because you don’t want to “offend” or “upset” them by being withholding.. but truly.. it’s NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS either. I am not saying be rude, but think about what you want to say, and how much you want to share (IF ANYTHING) and remember your boundaries are the most important thing. IF your answer is, “I prefer not to discuss it” stick with that and don’t waver. For you reading this, if you are tempted to ask one of those seemingly harmless questions, please think twice and ask instead, “How are you?” or talk about something going on with you, I promise you, the person you are talking to would far rather talk about something you WANT to share, rather than something they DON’T want to talk about. Trust me, if they want to share with you, they will.

For instance, though I am intimate friends with someone and see her happily married, it’s NONE OF MY BUSINESS if they are trying to have kids, want to have kids or even if they hate kids and don’t want them at all.

Also, if two of my friends are together and happy, it’s NONE OF MY BUSINESS to ask so, when are you two getting married? (no matter how long they have been dating)

Also, if you see a friend with a baby, and you are curious if they are working towards another.. (say it with me) It’s NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. You don’t know what someone is going through or has gone through. Your “innocent” question might just put them into a very awkward position of not answering you or searching for words to say when what they want to do is cry.

I think too often, women in particular, myself in specific, feel pressure to answer the question that is asked.. no matter how much it’s NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS. A few months ago, I saw a woman handle this beautifully, someone asked me about how I was feeling, (7 months and visibly pregnant) I said, “you know, tired and achy” and the person then turned to someone I was sitting next to (who I did not know) and said “So how about you and ____, when are you two going to get going on babies, kind of laughing as she said it.. (which suggests to me she was uncomfortable asking in the first place) This woman took a deep breath and said quietly, “That’s none of your business” and got up and walked away.

I don’t know her situation, but I know that she has a firm grip on her boundaries and at the end of the day, It’s NONE OF MY BUSINESS what her situation is. I salute her and and other women like her and I aim to be more like them.

As you might imagine, I am getting tons of questions as a new mom, and some i am choosing to answer or address, but I know MY boundaries and I encourage you to examine your own so you aren’t caught unawares when and if someone tries to encroach on yours.




Support is everything!!!


Dear Readers.

I have been a mother for about two weeks. It is becoming very clear to me what is needed at this time of transition. Support- however you define it and it varies from person to person, but support is crucial.

Support.. whether that is someone taking care of your dog so you can be at the hospital learning to take care of your new baby and working on healing yourself.

Support, is your friend thinking she “might” be sick and staying away till she KNOWS she is not, though she wants to see you, she knows it’s better for your baby and you to not take the chance.

Support, is your mom coming to see you and do things with you (forcing you to get OUT OF THE HOUSE and let your husband take care of the baby).. but doing what she does best and that is to be HERE so you and your husband can get out of the house and have a night off from parenting.

Support, in the form of people bringing you food, or sending you things they SWORE by when they first became mommies because they are in a position to KNOW what you might have missed when figuring out what YOU needed in the rush to get things ready for the baby’s arrival.

Support, in the form of people getting flu shots (I HATE needles) because they want to respect your boundaries and wishes concerning your new life.

Support, in the form of someone sending  a text message or leaving a voicemail to say, “how’s it going?” “Can I do something?” “What can I do” and making offers like, “I can do your laundry if you want to nap while I am visiting”

Support, is your aunt sending you her homemade cookies and telling you about her own daughter and her struggles with new motherhood, because while it’s beautiful and wonderful, it’s also tiring and difficult, but I am learning this is a marathon not a sprint, so I am approaching it the same way.

If I was training for a marathon, I would take it one day at a time, I am pretty far from that at the moment, but the metaphor still applies.  For instance, right now I am focusing on taking care of me, then taking care of her, in that order. I have to take care of myself and be sure I am healing and resting so I can be in the best shape possible to take care of her. That’s my job right now, taking care of me, to take care of her. It’s that simple and that difficult.

In your life, there is someone who needs support. If you are anything like me, I love to support people, so isn’t it ironic that when I need it.. it’s the hardest thing to ask for and the easiest gift people can give.

Think About It… .


I reject your shame.

Dear Readers, image

It still blows my mind that this beautiful miracle came from my body. I know that is how it works.. but it still moves me and I am awed and inspired by this incredible miracle and responsibility that has been bestowed upon me and my husband.

Well, I have been a mother for exactly 10 days and already there are plenty of people, websites and books that suggest I am doing it “wrong”..So what do I say to that?

So far, nothing out loud.. sometimes I smile and politely say nothing. In the case of the websites I close the window and say.. well, that was crap, I have definitely noticed that there is a direct correlation between a belief that something is wrong, or not the “right way” and there are JUST as many sources to tell you why it’s right and vice versa.

I would let that get me down except I have a stronger voice inside of me saying, “I reject your shame and I am her mother so I am choosing to pick her up when I think she needs to be picked up and feeding her when I see fit. Am I sure that’s right? Of course not, but I need to choose and be responsible for my own choices as her mom.

In a way, it’s kind of a throwback to the days when I was directing my first show and realizing how many people had opinions (shocking) about what the scene needed, or who should play what role or where that prop needed to go. But at the end of the day, It was MY vision that mattered.  Unquestionably, the stakes are much higher on this. I am truly blessed that I have a wonderful partner helping me and loving our daughter and doing all we can do to be GREAT parents. There is no doubt that we will do this very well together.

I think the pull to be “perfect” is what curses most people because if you are anything like me (and I am finding in my conversations with others most of you are) that we all want to be that perfect mom who feeds their child organic food (or only breast feeding) no formula.. or not having a c section cause it’s not the “natural way” to bring a child into the world.. or opting to have the epidural.. or dresses their baby in the perfect outfit to be featured on Instagram and uses cloth diapers.. etc.. or whatever your vision is of “perfect” might be.. but truthfully, the only thing you can do is what you can do.. and that is go with your newly installed “mother instinct” and trust that you are doing what’s right for your child RIGHT now. While on the subject, don’t compare yourself to anyone either.. what is right for you for your child is going to vary greatly from mother to mother. I am learning that.. one minute at a time.

Important to note, as new parents, we KNOW that we will make mistakes but aiming at the good and the careful feeding and nurturing of our child being our goal, I don’t think we can go wrong, and of course, continuing to listen to OUR inner voice that tells us what to do.

Think twice before giving some advice to a new mom or dad and offer to hold the baby or let them take a nap or a shower or offer to make them some food.. think about what you can do to help,  and be sure to say.. “you are doing a great job” because I promise you, they are questioning every thing they are doing and just need your love and support in these early days.

Think about it….

Bienvenue Vivienne!!!!


Introducing, Vivienne Dawn Haston! She arrived at 7:54 a.m.
on 9/27/2016. She was a planned c-section as soon as we realized she was approximately 11 pounds in the sonogram and in consultation with our doctor, it was determined this was the safest course of treatment. It turns out she was born 11 pounds 8 ounces and 21 1/2 inches!

She is beautiful and I can’t believe how much I love her already, the smell of her and the look of her – the little lips, the teeny tiny hands and feet and the sounds she makes. My husband and I are so grateful to have her. (I need to take a minute right here and now.. and Thank GOD for him!!!! ) It’s not until now that I realized having a partner like him really makes me feel far more sure-footed as we take these faltering steps into our new roles as parents. We are navigating the new waters and tag-teaming the care for our daughter. Our daughter, so weird and wonderful to say.

As I am typing this, she is laying on my chest, and I breathe her in and smell her, she makes a slight noise that can only be interpreted as contentment and I smile- happy with my lot in life. I know there are sleepless nights, teething, and struggles in our future but for now, I am learning and living “truly in the moment”

I am excited and exhausted, and there is lots more to say, but for now, I am overjoyed and excited our daughter has arrived!

Stay tuned for more!

The baby is not here yet, but soon…!

Dear Readers,

Well, she is ALMOST here.. 39 weeks and 6 days…in the making!!!  WOW! We get to meet our daughter soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo soon.. but definitely not soon enough for this mama! I feel like a kid on Christmas morning.. I can’t wait to open this “present”! I want to capture all the feelings before I am so tired I barely know my own name… or am in pain or any of the things I am told are coming my way.

In part, I did that by giving this speech on Tuesday night- I wanted to talk about the evolution of going from “never ever ever ever ever do I want to be a parent” to where I am now, 39 weeks pregnant and DYING to meet my child!!  (here is that speech)


I feel a little like I JUST told all of you I was pregnant, and now it’s hard to move without thinking about how pregnant I really am, there is no denying, every time I get up, it’s like “oh hey that was not super comfortable”.. as I promised when I started this blog.. *4 years ago, to be honest) I am trying to be real with you.. I woke up 5 times, and had a VERY hard time getting up out of bed.

Today has been the hardest day thus far but honestly, if this is as bad as it gets the final week, I think I can handle it and be grateful for the other many days that have come before that were not like this. The itching of my entire body has been the MOST difficult symptom.. and when you consider all the other things that can be at play with pregnancy and complications, I feel very blessed. Thank you God! I also recommend that if you have any back problems, make sure you see your chiropractor because I definitely credit him with keeping me aligned and OUT of pain during the last 39 weeks!

If you are pregnant, you may want to take this piece of advice.. Control the flow of information and don’t be afraid to say, You know I think I want to find out on my own.. I didn’t let anyone tell me horror stories of their labor or delivery, .. they would start and I would hold up my hand and say, “Let’s compare notes when I have something to share”.. Say November? They would smile usually and change the topic .. all about the boundaries people.. Speaking of those boundaries.. here are some of the more common questions I get and for your amusement I will answer them.. (some of these may or may not be things I have thought but not actually said out loud.. I will let you be the judge!

“Are you ready”?

.. gosh that is a good one.. I don’t think you ever really get ready for something as big as this.. Yes we have a nursery, diapers, clothes.. and some baby thing…but don’t really feel ready…. some of my favourite speakers and writers talk about doing things BEFORE you are ready and that was true of my first paid speaking engagement so I guess it will be true of this as well.

“Are you tired of being pregnant?”

Well, yes and no. I waited so long to be pregnant that I am doing my best to “live in the moment” and enjoy every bit of everything that is happening. I am not saying “GET THIS BABY OUT OF ME”.. but it helps that I know an end date is not far away. Am I ready to meet my daughter? YOU BET! ^^^^ SEE ABOVE!

“Are you just miserable?” 

No. Overall I am (as my mom put it) “the happiest pregnant lady ever” — I am happy but it changes.. I won’t lie.. It can be uncomfortable at times, but it’s like anything else. You get used to the condition you are in and adapt.. or you are miserable and will complain to anyone who will listen — (anywhere in the middle is where one might fall) from what I am hearing from other ladies I know in this state.

“How do you feel?”

This one is hard because I know people are coming from a well-meaning place but this one seems to rankle me the most..No one seems satisfied with any answer I give. My mom’s favourite is, “with every nerve ending”…  If am not tired, they say oh really, that is odd, “My sister, aunt, cousin… etc didn’t experience that”.. anyway..

In truth, the way I feel varies from minute to minute — kind of the way I felt BEFORE I was pregnant..🙂 So I have some photos from the pregnancy, so highlights if you will as I take some time to reflect on the last 9 months, the thing I have been so grateful for is the love I feel and have been shown which has helped me to truly “live in the moment” and allow for things to “happen to me”.

So many people have said to Jeremy and I, you are going to be great parents and have been NOTHING but encouraging about the process for us, which helps us to feel as ready as we are going to, though wisdom does suggest “we have no idea what is on the way”… That is okay, we have each other, we love this baby and we don’t even know what she looks like yet, and we will as we always say to each other “Figure it out”.. we ALWAYS do.

Think about it…..!minimaccollage39weeks

It’s my womb, please don’t ask…


Dear Readers,

I know, that seems an odd headline for a woman who has been sharing her fertility with you lo these many months now– but I read this the other day and I can’t shake the notion that everyone needs to read it. I wish to God, I had written it, but i did not.. here is the article..

Here is the excerpt that really got me..

“Another woman: 40, one child. People say to her, “Only one? You never wanted any more?”

“I’m happy with my one,” she says calmly, a rehearsed response she’s given more times than she can count. Quite believable. No one would ever suspect that alone, she cries…

Cries because her one pregnancy was a miracle. Cries because her son still asks for a brother or sister. Cries because she always wanted at least three. Cries because her second pregnancy had to be terminated to save her life. Cries because her doctor says it would be “high-risk.” Cries because she’s struggling to care for the one she has. Cries because sometimes one feels like two. Cries because her husband won’t even entertain the thought of another. Cries because her husband died and she hasn’t found love again. Cries because her family thinks one is enough. Cries because she’s deep into her career and can’t step away. Cries because she feels selfish. Cries because she still hasn’t lost the weight from her from her first pregnancy. Cries because her postpartum depression was so intense. Cries because she can’t imagine going through that again. Cries because she has body issues and pregnancy only exacerbates it. Cries because she still battles bulimia. Cries because she had to have a hysterectomy. Cries because she wants another baby, but can’t have it.

These women are everywhere. They are our neighbors, our friends, our sisters, our co-workers, our cousins. They have no use for our advice or opinions. Their wombs are their own. Let’s respect that.”

I can’t tell you how many times that I heard the question, “when are you and Jeremy going to have kids?” after we were married and deflecting it with a smile and a ‘not sure’, or a shrug.. but really it came down to.. we weren’t ready to start trying yet.

I am older so it’s a factor to be considered.. in fact when we were engaged, smart man that he is, we even discussed that we might have to adopt and that was on the table too. My age turned out to be a bigger factor than I thought when I miscarried last year in March. I wish I could say that because I am days away from delivering our little girl that the pain of losing that first child isn’t still with me.. but I can’t. I am sad every time I think of what might have been and mourn the loss of that child. It’s extremely painful that it happened but in going through it, I have knowledge that I wish I didn’t.. and as a result I would never ask a question that made someone else feel pressured to reveal their own status (whatever it may be)

I am overjoyed that we have a child coming and fully aware that there are many women who would love to be in my shoes so I try to be sensitive to that before asking someone a careless question like, “no kids yet? or “only one?” “wow, five? how do you manage that?”

That is all to say that really at the end of the day, it’s no one’s business UNLESS We (the women in question) make it your business. As women, we worry far too much about being rude or hurting someone’s feelings at the expense of our own.. so much so, that I HESITATED to share this post…

If I CHOOSE to share with you that I am having a child (which by the way has tons of forms too) adopting, fostering, step-mothering, the list goes on) that is my business I choose to share.. It’s not your place to ask no matter how much you might think it will help. Trust me, if a woman wants to share, she will share and that is your opportunity to listen and offer hugs or a shoulder.


Progress Not Perfection!

Dear Rprogressnotperfectioneaders,

Today, I started thinking about what I was going to post about and I was originally going to call this post “Choices” but that seemed really nebulous given the specificity I was going to talk about.

So I set myself 4 major goals for this month (and last month) and the month before.

  1. Walk steps or exercise at least three times a week.
  2. Work on my French every day (tous les jours)
  3. Do less drive thru and generally avoid the junk food.
  4. Give myself grace for the fact that being pregnant means it takes me longer to do things.

So in three months I have gained ground on these goals but by no means am I doing them all every day…. and it reminds me that “progress not perfection” is the goal.

What does that look like, you ask? Well, this morning, I got up and got coffee but instead of getting a donut I had a banana. (less junk)

When I had my break, instead of doing Facebook, I did my French homework.

When asked to do something I would normally be able to do “no sweat” pre-pregnancy, I said no this time because it’s a little hard for me to move around easily right now.

This morning when I came in to work, I said hello to my team and then walked  down and then up 5 flights of stairs. Yep, I am bragging but it’s also important to note that each one of these things I did, I THOUGHT about it, before I did it. It required intentional thought.

This all boils down to choices. I got here early enough to be able to do those things. If I had been late, I would have been rushing to “get here” and not had the “time” to THINK about my choices before I made them.

My mom told me a few months back when I was struggling to not eat Taco Bell all the time to look at WHY I wanted it.. was it satisfying? was it tasty? or was it just THERE. In looking at it, I had to admit it was mostly there and convenient.

By no means do I have this wired, but days like this when I feel like a genuine amazeballs person (because I accomplished some goals) help me understand why those things are important to me.

How about you? What “perfection” do you need to let go of and maybe focus on the “progress” — One more thing.. before I go.. if you only make a little progress.. that is STILL further than you were before.. don’t bemoan the result, keep moving forward!





31 days of kindness, what have you taught me?

Dear Readers,

Today is the end of the 31 days of kindness but not really.

There was one task set for each day to remind us to be kind. I think we are in general pretty kind people but some of my favourite exercises were the simplest.

“Be kind to yourself”

“Write a thank you note”

“Tip 100%”

No, you can’t do it all the time, but you can “smile at strangers” or “say hi to someone you don’t know” or “pay for someone behind you in the drive thru” ..

In this upcoming season of motherhood, I am patently aware my entire life is about to change (every single person who sees my expanding belly tells me this) and that is scaring the you know what out of me. I have a lot of help, thank God, my community of friends and family of choice is standing by to help and the offers are continuing to be stated for babysitting “if you want me to watch her so you can shower” I will do it. I find my temper shorter these days (with sincere apologies to jeremy, since he is taking the brunt of it) and the normality of it doesn’t change that I regret it. Yes, it’s normal to be irritable but that doesn’t mean it’s okay or acceptable for me to not be “kind” to my spouse or anyone else who is in my path.

So long story short, I am going to do my best to be kind, even when I don’t feel like it (which is pretty often these days)  I am going to do my level best to embrace the fact that I am pregnant and we will have a little bundle of joy very soon. For now, I am going to embrace any last minute date nights we can squeeze in before we are no longer two but in fact, three.

Time is pretty fleeting and we only get the one life.. so I am doing my best to live in the present moment and really take in all that is around me.

What about you?

Think About It….


Fan the flames of someone else’s passion!


RUmiDear Readers, Today, I had a chance to be someone’s sunshine and I did not take it. I was the rain. I regret it but it was too late to take it back. I tried to ameliorate things but it was too late. My goal is to always fan the flames of someone’s passion, not be the rain shower that says.. “you can’t”.. there are way too many people who delight in that.. so I try HARD to not be one of them, but I stumble and wanting to be honest, I am telling you about it.

I could tell that the light of enthusiasm was dimmed because I decided that “the rules” were more important than the “game”.. I regret this because you truly never get the chance to make a second impression so now this person likely feels slighted or conversely, I am far more obsessed what did or did not go on in this particular interaction.

Last night, I watched my husband win first place in Toastmasters Tall Tales contest and I am so proud of him, and yes I am bragging on him, because I love him but what I love more about him is not that he won, but that he was happier about the reaction his speech caused (moving people) than winning. I strive to be like him in that sense because I struggle with my constant need for recognition. It’s not enough that I did this super great thing. oh, no, I need to get applause and acknowledgment…. Human, yes.. but a flaw nonetheless.. Think about how much more power we have if we simply do amazing things for the pure joy and don’t care about the accolades?  I am reminded of a story of two men in a hospital bed, one near the window who described beautiful scenes of a park with trees and birds and a wonderful panorama of the busy activity outside. The second man delighted in all these descriptions and was heartened by them and looked forward to it every day. Then one day the man in the bed next to the window died and when he did the other man was moved to the bed near the window and as he slowly, painfully raised himself up to see the wonderful sights depicted, he found that the window faced a blank wall. The nurse told him, the man who died was blind. That really makes you think doesn’t it. The first man gave life to strong imagination and likely prolonged his own life as well as his neighbor’s with his vivid imagery.

So will you be the one to paint a pretty picture for someone or will you say, “oh, yeah, there a wall out there.. nothing to see here”

Think About It-