Here’s my latest for Huffington Post – Parents! (Don’t) Call Me Mommy!
When last summer’s hit song “Call Me Maybe” (Carly Rae Jepsen) came out, I would break into my own freelance version and start singing “Call Me Mommy” every time we heard it on the radio. I could improv the lines to talk about doing laundry, driving carpool, helping with homework, making dinner, driving more carpool… and always end with, “So, Call Me Mommy!” I even had the vision for the music video where the kids are in the back of my SUV popping up and dancing like the baseball players from Harvard in the van, or the U.S. Olympic swim team on the airplane in their respective music videos! We all got a good laugh out of it and competed to create the best lines!
What isn’t as funny is when my husband calls me mommy. This has got to stop! It’s like fingernails on a chalkboard. It’s not just me. I hear many of my friends’ husbands calling them mommy, too. It’s not new. I recall my dad referring to my mother as “mom.” In fact, if I remember correctly, I think my first husband used to call me “mom” too. What’s up with this?
To be clear, I’m not talking about when a dad tells the kids, “Go ask Mom.” That’s fine. It’s not as if he should say, “Go ask my wife.” That would sound awkward. But, for example, let’s say a husband can’t find his car keys, and yells, “Mom, where are my keys?” or when the family is talking about where to go to dinner, and Dad says, “Mom, where do you want to go?” (when his mother lives in a retirement community in Phoenix and there is no way she would be able to make it to dinner in Baltimore that night!). Weird!
I tell my husband, “I’m not your mom! I’m your wife, your lover, your best friend, your confidante, your room-mate, your soul-mate, your partner in crime… but I am not your mom! I may be the mother of your children, but I am not your mother. Even if sometimes I feel as if I am acting like your mom, or sometimes if you feel as if I am acting like your mom, we all know that I am really not your mom!”
When I pointed this out to several husbands recently, they excused their behavior by saying, “It’s only a pet name… like sweetheart or honey… it’s just a loving nickname.” Perhaps, but do you know the feeling that “Mom” elicits? Most moms hear “Mom, Mommy, Mom, Ma, Mama, Momma, Mom…!!!” thousands of times a day. Mom, do this; Mom, do that; Mom, I need this; Mom, drive me here; Mom, what’s for dinner; Mom, the dog had an accident on the rug again; Mom, I need to start my science fair project (and it’s due tomorrow!); Mom, Mom, Mom! “Mom” means wiping runny noses, making yet another PB&J, giving butterfly kisses to skinned knees, washing smelly football pants, buying more pimple medication and on and on! “Sweetheart” or “Honey” (or whatever other nickname you want to fill in there) means va, va voom and dot dot dot!
When your lover walks into your house, the last thing any woman wants to hear come out of his mouth is “Hi, Mom, how was your day?!” “Mom” does not equal romance and sex! Picture this… candles, wine, canoodling, and sweet nothings being whispered in your ear, and then you hear, “Oh Mom… you are so hot… I love you so much!” ck! OK, this has NEVER happened to me, but you get the picture!
Husbands, trust me, leave “Mom” for the kids to use. Find your own special name for that wonderful woman in your life. After all, you married your wife, not your mother!
By the way, somebody needs to steal my idea and make a spoof on Carly Rae’s song and name it “Call Me Mommy!” I bet it would be an instant YouTube sensation!
SEXY! – Here’s my latest post for eHarmony! … Why Decisiveness is Sexy!
“Decisiveness is a characteristic of high-performing men and women. Almost any decision is better than no decision at all.” ~ Brian Tracy
One of my favorite things to do is go for a walk with a friend and have a great talk at the same time. Some friends meet for coffee, or for a glass of wine. I do that too, but what I really enjoy is a good walk in the great outdoors and the opportunity to catch up with an old friend (or a new one!) while also getting some exercise.
I was walking with one friend this summer and we started talking about the guy she is dating. They have been together for about 18 months. They are both divorced so they get the routine around dating and marriage. I asked if things were getting serious — after all, they have been dating exclusively for 18 months.
Her slight hesitation answered my question. I asked her what it was that wasn’t quite right, and she blurted out in total frustration, “He can’t make a decision to save his life and it’s driving me crazy!”
I totally understood what she meant. I have often said, “Decisiveness is SEXY!”
There is a fine line between wanting to have things your way all the time, and being overly accommodating to someone else and never having an opinion. My friend said that every time she and her boyfriend plan to go out to dinner, she has to choose the place. He defers to her every time. The first few times, it was probably sweet and nice, but at some point, she wants him to have an opinion and make a decision too. She said every time they order a bottle of wine, he defers to her to make the choice. She doesn’t mind picking the wine, but says it would be nice if he confidently made that decision every now and then. When they make plans to go away for the weekend, it is she who ultimately decides on where they are going to stay. That’s fine. She doesn’t mind making the plans – just not every single time!
Now, some people might say they would love to have someone who cared enough about their opinion to ask it and defer to them. Some people argue that they are controlled by others who make every decision for them from where they will eat, to what they will wear, to where they will go.
Obviously there are extremes on both sides. I argue that even the most confident, decisive, and independent person doesn’t always want the “burden” of having to make every choice in a relationship. People want a partnership. Partnerships require input from different people. Sometimes one partner takes the lead; other times the other partner takes the lead. At the end of the day, both contribute to the decision-making. That’s what makes it a partnership and not a dictatorship!
Trust me! Decisiveness is sexy. I may be a confident, self-assured, independent woman, but I still love it when I hear my husband very confidently make a decision. This may be as simple as ordering a bottle of wine at dinner, or something more complicated like deciding on an itinerary for the next big vacation. There is something sexy about the confidence that comes from seeing him know what he wants, understand what I want, and decide on something that matches both. There is something sexy about seeing him anticipate my needs and already be working towards them, while also meeting his own. There is something sexy about not having to watch the painful process of someone waffling back and forth, deciding, no cancelling, thinking, opting no, cancelling, mulling, fearing, hesitating, thinking some more … you get the picture!
Clearly it’s a balance between being arrogant on the one side, and being a slug on the other hand. I can’t think of the right word to describe the opposite of arrogant. Slug is the best I could come up with! Confidence is sexy. Arrogance is not. Chronic waffling is enough to drive anyone insane.
On which side of that equation do you spend the most time?
Here’s my latest blog post for HopeAfterDivorce.com … I’m Sorry
Here’s my question: Why is it so difficult to say something, anything, even just an, “I’m sorry” not when we personally did anything wrong to someone else, but when that someone else is going through something difficult?
Why do some people hear of someone else going through a rough patch and decide to disappear for a while. Suddenly, they are too busy for a phone call, too busy to stop by, too busy to write a quick email!What’s going on here?
Does this look familiar? My friend, Lisa, was recently told by her company that her job was being eliminated. She has four weeks to wrap-up what she is working and transition out of her role. She understands. She’s not bitter. In fact, she has an incredibly positive attitude about the whole thing.What she is devastated by, however, are the number of “friends” she has at work who have stopped communicating with her.People whom she used to speak with daily (in person, via phone, or email) have suddenly disappeared. She hasn’t heard from them … at all. She asked me why I thought this was. All I could come up with is a comparison to my own experience when I was going through my divorce.
I found when word got out that I was going through my divorce that some people rallied around me in full force, while other friends seemed to pull back. I don’t think that old adage of “ you find out who your friends are” holds true necessarily.I don’t think that some people intentionally decide, “You don’t have a job (or a husband) anymore, and I’m not going to be your friend.” Rather, I think that some people have what I’ll call “survivor guilt.” Perhaps they wonder why you lost your job, or lost your marriage, and not them. They feel guilty talking with you and worry about complaining about how much work they have to do, or how frustrated they became with their husband last night.This seems cruel, they think, when you don’t even have a job or a husband.
I also think this group lacks a certain amount of social etiquette or emotional intelligence.They can’t quite comprehend that “ignoring” a situation doesn’t make it go away.In the case of my divorce, it wasn’t going to go away no matter how many friends chose to ignore it or ignore me. Furthermore, ignoring me in my time of “need” doesn’t make me feel any better. “Bad” things happen to people every day. We can’t ignore them and pretend they don’t exist.
I have heard people rationalize their behavior by saying, “I know I wouldn’t want to talk about it over and over again, so I’m not going to bring it up … at all!”I’ll concede that is a valid point … except there is a difference between bringing it up, acknowledging it, and moving the conversation forward to a different place, and bringing it up, belaboring it, and leading the person to a place of negativity.
What’s a person to do? What’s the right answer? Here’s my advice. When you have a friend going through a tough time, address it head-on, let them know you are here for them, then move on. Be mindful to the clues the person gives off. Do they want to talk about it, or would they rather not, and be open to either.
If a friend or co-worker has a parent who passes away, just say, “I’m sorry to hear about your mom,” and move on. If a friend or co-worker loses her job, just say, “I’m sorry to hear about your job … and I’m happy to refer you to a recruiter I know if you want an introduction,” and move on. If a friend or co-worker is going through a divorce, just say, “I’m sorry you are going through that. Please let me know if I can help you with your schedule (or something like that),” and move on.
The point is this: address it; don’t ignore it. As human beings, we want to feel connected to others. We want to feel recognized and understood. For our friends or colleagues to suddenly ignore us because of what we are going through becomes the tremendous “elephant in the room.”The consequences persist.It can become difficult to re-establish a friendship and the former level of communication without an obvious awkwardness over the gap that existed.
I think Mahatma Gandhi had some incredible things to say. This is one of them: “A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.” Don’t be a coward. Be brave. Just say those two little words, “I’m sorry,” and be a good friend, colleague and co-worker. Be capable of showing love. Let people know you are aware of what they are going through. Acknowledge it. Support them through their valley. Letting them know you are thinking of them is so much more powerful than ignoring them and the situation at hand.
What do you think? What is your experience with saying, “I’m sorry” when you have done nothing wrong?
It’s been a busy few weeks … and I’m afraid it’s been a while since I posted an udpate. Why? You know how BUSY it always seems to get right aroundThanksgiving? Well, that’s my excuse. I’ve been busy with Thanksgiving, a couple of birthdays, and preparing for the December holidays!
I’d be remiss if I didn’t backtrack a little bit to Thanksgiving and comment on a great feature put together by Northside Woman magazine. They asked several of the women they had featured during 2010 to put together a list of the things she was most thankful. It was amazing and inspiring to read all the different things that these women put down on their list.
Here’s what I wrote:
I’m thankful for my faith, my amazing husband, my wonderful children, my fantastic mom, our good health, my rescue dogs (and people who support pet adoption!), lifelong friends, new friends, and all the friends in-between, a positive relationship with my ex-, fall football, “Saturday in the South,” the love of reading, my phenomenal business partners, my iPhone, Johns Creek UMC and Buckhead Church, the ability to give back to others and to role model that for my kids, the impact of “The High Road Has Less Traffic,” traveling to places I’ve never been, soft blankets and hot soup on a cold day, Starbucks, the beach, talks and walks with friends, Lake Oconee, my kids’ baby books, hot summer days, blue skies, big smiles, belly laughs, Survivor, high heels, pedicures, new adventures, comfortable routines, the power of prayer, and the beauty of forgiveness.
Have you put a list together lately? It’s an excellent exercise! Really makes you think about, and appreciate, all that you have to be thankful for!
What do you think?
Justin and I had a joint CD (Let Go & Let God) and Book (The High Road Has Less Traffic) launch party this past Saturday night. Thanks to everyone who came by to support us and wish us congratulations. We really appreciate it! How fun to have an even larger number of books and CD’s … AND … shirts, signs and necklaces proclaiming the ‘high road. less traffic.” philosophy in circulation! Check out the shirt and necklace in the photo (and the new shorter haircut!)!
Stay tuned for some upcoming PR including press in Around About Cumming magazine, Best Self Atlanta magazine, Sashay magazine, and Better Times Pittsburgh.
I love the fact that we are getting the ‘high road. less traffic.’ philosophy out there! Keep it coming! What do you think?
A huge thanks to Stephanie and Skirt Magazine for the great comments about The High Road Has Less Traffic! Love the reference to the high road being called “a genius concept!”
By skirtySteph, Friday, September 24, 2010
If only my parents had read this book before, during or after their divorce. The High Road Has Less Traffic by Monique A. Honaman is a book about getting through divorce with more positivity. With respect for each other. With morals. And by doing the right thing by each other.
What a genius concept.
My parents get along great now and are able to be in the same room with each other, each other’s significant others and enjoy themselves. Thank god. I wish this book was around then to help us, our family, friends and most of all—them.
Written from the POV of a girlfriend voice, Monique is honest and blunt, faithful and funny, sarcastic and heart-felt.
Thanks to Greg Bullen at WMPC Radio in Michigan, and Host of “Off the Bookshelf” for the great interview last week about The High Road Has Less Traffic. When Greg first contacted me about the interview, I (of course!) went searching on the web to see what I could find about him and all that I found talked about what a great host he was and how much fun he was as an interviewer. He didn’t disappoint. He had clearly done his homework and we had a great interview as you will hear on the attached MP3.
Fun stuff … he’s now going to be interviewing Justin about his new CD Let Go & Let God later this month!
Take a listen … what do you think?
I was thrilled to be a guest on the High Velocity Radio Show this past Monday. Hosts Todd Schnick and Stone Payton were incredibly entertaining, and we had an absolute blast. And it was a ton of fun to share the “air” with Justin. He talked about his newly released album (check it out on my website at Boutique Monique) and I, of course, discussed the book, “The High Road Has Less Traffic.” The full interview will be posted in the next few days, but as a ‘teaser’ Todd and Stone released this short video that they shot at the end of radio interview.
What do you think?
Are you familiar with SheKnows?
Getting to the heart of what it really means to be a woman, SheKnows (www.sheknows.com) attracts nearly 45 million unique visitors. With editors dedicated to providing daily content for women seeking advice, information and a fresh, fun take on life, the site is an authoritative source for women ages 18 to 54. The SheKnows audience gains access to exclusive content on entertainment, parenting, health and wellness, money and career, dating, beauty and style and more, and are offered a stimulating, well-rounded online experience enhanced with a vibrant message board community, free games and activities and captivating blogs.
SheKnows recently launched GeoParent which offers Moms (like you and me!) Local Information on Attractions, Events, Activities and More in 10 U.S. States and Canada!
SheKnows (www.sheknows.com), one of the fastest growing online content and community global destinations for women, recently launched a new regional parenting resource called GeoParent.com. This website caters to on-the-go, busy moms wanting to treat their families to the best of what 10 U.S. states and Canada have to offer in a targeted fashion.
GeoParent.com is an all-in-one regional-specific hub aimed at parents looking for tips and advice on the best family attractions, events and activities in New York, Arizona, California, Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida, Illinois, Georgia, and Canada. GeoParent picks prime articles covering various sections that include Family Attractions, Best in the U.S. Festivals & Fairs, Fun Places for the Kids, and more. Besides activities alone, there are also numerous editorial pieces in Health in Your Area, and What Your Lunch Style Says about You that pertain to parents across the U.S. and Canada.
“With the vast amount of resources SheKnows has, launching GeoParent to target mothers on a local level was clearly a sublime project to initiate,” stated Kyle Cox, Vice President and General Manager of SheKnows. “This local channel provides moms with detailed articles on the best attractions for families that are practical and budget-friendly, with informative pieces on child safety and more.
SheKnows is a terrific resource in and of itself for women like us! They’ve done it again with GeoParent — a terrific resource for moms like us!
What do you think?