Providing Professional Doula Services to Families in Greenwich, Westchester and NYC

Musings

The proverbial rug...

We all intentionally as well as unintentionally sweep life’s challenges from time to time under the proverbial rug…

The small ones probably don’t matter much, but the big ones, the ones that have been swept there because of the pain, anguish, sorrow, anger, rage, etc. that they cause us, really do matter.

You see, they creep out when we least expect them to. They manifest themselves in other ways and they have tremendous impact on our relationships.

It’s almost a form of self-sabotage. Now, I have no psychology degree or anything of the sort, so this rant is exclusively self-assessed, my own thoughts and opinions, for whatever their worth…

I, over the past 45 years, have swept some shit under my rug. Ugly shit. Ugly feelings. Ugly thoughts.

I didn’t share them in depth with anyone, I just lifted the edge of my rug each time I began to think about them or feel them, got out my broom and gently swept them under there.

My goal? To keep them safe from me and me safe from them.

It’s weird… I don’t think I can fix these things and I’m not sure I would if I had the opportunity to, but they hurt me.

They make me feel sad.

They make me angry.

They make me want to do things and say things that aren’t true to the woman I pride...Read more

Running is a part of my life; it’s a part of me.

 

Running is my balance.  It’s how I start my day. It gives me a great launching pad to tackle whatever lies ahead in the hours to come.

It started in 2003. That’s when I really started to run. I had dabbled in it before, but it never stuck.  I had a close friend who was battling cancer at the time, and I needed a release and was also looking to do something to show support for her and her family. So, I set out on a mission, to run the NYC Marathon that year. I set a goal to raise funds for her family and hit the pavement to train. If you’re thinking I was crazy to take on the challenge, to prepare within less than a year to run the NYC Marathon – a race many train years for – I wouldn’t argue with you. Looking back it does seem crazy, but I was determined to do it.    

Training for the race wasn’t hard. Time consuming, yes, but as a natural born plotter and planner that was a great challenge! Another piece to fit into the jigsaw puzzle that is life. Bring it on! “I shall fit you in here and here and here …” I marked my calendar out, set my plan for runs, workouts...Read more

My legacy…. Is it too soon for me to be thinking about this? 

I find my mind wandering in this direction often. 

Legacy: Something handed down or received from an ancestor or predecessor

It has nothing to do with jewels or property or money, which is ordinarily associated with the word legacy. 

My question is always the same. For me, it’s simple. 

What will people say about me when I’m gone? I’ll tell you what I think, I think it starts with, what do people say about me when I leave the room??? The funny thing is that I am not someone who generally cares what people think of me but I am concerned about what impression I will have left when I depart. 

Just writing this feels purposeful. It documents that this matters to me and that I am deliberate in my behavior knowing that my...Read more

Just for fun....

I went to the doctor for my yearly physical. 

The nurse started with certain basics.

"How much do you weigh?" she asked. "135", I said. The nurse put me on the scale. It turns out my weight is 180.

The nurse said, "your height?" "5 foot 4," I said. The nurse checked and saw that I only measure 5' 2".

She then took my blood pressure and saw that it was very high. "Of course it's high!," I screamed, "when I came in here, I was tall and slender and now I'm short and fat!".

She put me on prozac. What a bitch!

(author unknown)

Happy Silly Sunday, ladies!Read more

The M.A.K. Weekend

My friend Cheryl and I raised our kids together. Her second daughter and my first daughter were born within days of each other. Living in a lake community, our mornings were about coffee talk, laundry and housework, followed by packing a lunch and heading to the beach. That is where we spent our afternoons. With our beach chairs in the water, picking sand out of the chip bag and taking turns keeping the kids from drowning. 

We always had a great time when we were together but day to day parenting of toddlers certainly took it's toll on this couple of cool, smart, funny, hip ladies. 

While our husbands were out conquering the world, we were teaching toddlers life lessons like how to share, preventing "shark attacks" (my endearing language for when children bite each other) and catching chewed up food that each other's children were choking on. 

One day while sitting in my back yard while the kids played, we were trying to have a deep and connecting conversation. 

This is how it went… ...Read more

Journal Entry, 2008

Dear Diary, (Client names have been changed)

When we were hired by Joe and Jill it was because Joe needed support during Jill’s birth. We had NO idea just how much support he actually needed.

Jill was great.

She managed through her contractions beautifully while Joe paced back and forth around the hospital room. He let out moans and whimpers as Jill prepared herself to focus for each labor pain. He cried, he prayed, he kissed the cross around his neck and he begged me to make her pain go away.

I applied counter pressure to Jill's lower back as Joe wept into my shoulder. As the tightening of her uterus subsided, Jill consoled Joe and attempted to reassure him that she was ok.

This did not ease Joe’s anxiety at all. “Oh G-d, this is too much. My wife is the strongest woman in the world, this is torture, she shouldn’t have to endure this, make it stop!” These are just some of the things Joe called out as he cried, sniffled, paced and blew his nose (against my shoulder).

As dramatic as this was, this man loved his wife tremendously!

After many hours and complete exhaustion, Jill opted for an epidural and some rest. The anesthesiologist arrived and the epidural was put in place.

Jill was comfortable within moments and quickly drifted off to sleep. Joe unfolded the “daddy” chair in the room and I told him...Read more

SATURDAY MORNING TOP 10

This week my Daughter, Tyler Patterson shared with you one of her most magical childhood memories in a blog post. It got me thinking…. We should make the weekends more fun, less serious!

So, look forward to the new Saturday Morning Top 10! Expect top 10 lists of everything from toys to kids recipes to ways to pamper yourself and more!

With Tyler’s inspiration, we are gonna kick off our first list with…

The Top 10 Ways To Create Magical Memories For Your Children

10. Make green eggs and ham! Just add a drop or two of green food coloring to the eggs, Grab the Dr. Seuss book and gather round the Sunday morning breakfast table!

9. Make your own butter for the Thanksgiving meal. Get everyone in the house (and a friend or two, that makes it even more fun) Fill a jar half way with heavy cream and put the lid on TIGHT. Simply SHAKE! Shake that jar up and down, sing songs, count to 10, tell a story, keep it fun. Pass the jar as your arms get tired. Before you know it, you’ll have a jar of butter! Pour off the buttermilk and enjoy!  Want variety? Add some fresh herbs to the cream before shaking ☺

8. Match a snack to a story and bring it to your childs classroom. For us it was always the story of Johnny Appleseed and a basket full of beautiful red apples! My kids were soooo excited to have their mom come to school to read and their friends...Read more

Sorry about the title but I was furious!

It was 20 years ago. We were a 25 year old couple with long hair, tattoos and a 4 month old baby. We lived in California and we were flying home to New York for Jerry’s brother’s wedding. The airline tickets were compliments of Jerry’s mother because we didn’t have two nickels to rub together and since it was cheaper to fly redeye, we boarded the plane with our baby at 11pm.

Now, if you don’t know, Jerry Patterson and I have been together since we were 17 years old. We were married on Aug. 6th 1989, 3 years prior to boarding that flight. We settled in, organized our “baby stuff” and prepared for take off.

About 20 minutes into the flight, Jerry got up and made his way to the bathroom. While I was sitting alone with my baby, the flight attendant approached and said with a sympathetic smile, “at least you have your boyfriend to help you” I said nothing… I was crushed. I was a respectable, committed, dedicated woman on an airplane with a man and a baby and because of our “alternative” appearance she assumed that we had a baby out of wedlock. Now I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with having a baby out of wedlock, I’m just saying that EVERY signal pointed to the fact that we were a married couple with a child! Including our wedding bands! The “sympathy” in her voice, screamed, “I AM JUDGING YOU!” and I fought the urge to yell back, “BITCH, GET ME A DRINK”.

I have been “flying...Read more

Don’t do it! It’s a bad idea and you’ll fail every time!

DON’T JUDGE YOUR INSIDES AGAINST OTHER PEOPLE’S OUTSIDES!

How dare you be so unfair to your self?

You look at another woman in the grocery store. She has a list, a box of coupons (neatly organized) and a calculator. She came with a strategy complete with the week’s menu. Immediately you take your own inventory! Look at your self! Why can’t you be more like her? She’s so organized! You’re a hot mess! You don’t even know what you’ve thrown in the wagon! You’re sure you’ve forgotten half of what you needed. You take ownership of the word failure.

You show up for story time with your toddler and your infant and there she is… Wonder Woman. The mom with 2 girls, the same age as yours. Full face of make-up, great hair, kids in matching outfits, pigtails with matching ribbons she even looks SKINNY in her hot pink matching velour tracksuit and Coach sneakers. First you’re pissed! Fuck her… Who does she think she is?! And then it happens, you start taking your own inventory. I should get up earlier, I should make time for make-up, maybe I should stop letting my toddler pick out her own clothes, I have to lose weight, I look like shit…. UGH! The mental self assault goes on half the morning!

Theses scenarios can be debilitating to us, especially when we are in transition and absolutely when we are struggling with a transition. What we don’t have any way to know is that mom #1...Read more

“Randy does not accept constructive criticism”

“Randy does not accept constructive criticism” That is what it said in the comment section of my report card throughout my early education. Now, that may have been true but who was checking the integrity of the authority that was providing the criticism? How was it being spoken to elementary me? Was I being praised for my accomplishment, gently reminded of a possible improvement and encouraged to be my best? Or was I told to go back to my seat and stay in the lines next time?!?!

This is how foundations are built! Messages we are given accompanied by the emotions that follow. Send me back to my seat when I think praise is in order and I will stop looking for your praise. Recognize my accomplishments and I will learn to trust your critique.

So instead, I built a thick shell around myself. A sort of “You can’t tell me what to do” attitude. I know it stems from an emotional immaturity but that piece of me is often unstoppable. It is ingrained in me in a way that emotionally keeps me safe and is completely destructive at the same time. Now don’t get me wrong, doing things MY way hasn’t been all bad. Not being capable of working for someone else (who would be telling me what to do, what time to do it etc…) has led me to owning my own business. I call that a win. But… the rebellious attitude that comes with these feelings still gets me in trouble now and then. It is challenging for me to work...Read more

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