Why Did This Thing Go Viral?!

I  posted this on Facebook last week about how extremely distracted I can be, and apparently it struck a chord because TEN MILLION of you have viewed it thus far.

Viral Laundry In Oven Post


You shared it with friends, tagging them and laughing about the many ways you do this exact same thing too. With your own personal flare of course:

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 9.16.45 AM Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 9.16.57 AM Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 9.17.10 AM Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 9.16.27 AM

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 9.17.30 AM

So to all the mamas, papas, grandparents, non-parents, teenagers, and more who read this and thought “yep, that’s me”, let me just take this opportunity to say THANK YOU. You’ve reminded me yet again and in no uncertain terms, of a beautiful truth that gets me through most every day…

that I am not alone. 

To you, who can marvel at your innate awesome-sauce-ness and crazy-ness all in the same breath, I offer a fist bump.

Solidarity in our humanness. You rock.


ps: Perfect is a hella-va-lot-overrated, don’t you think? I’d love to hear more about what, if anything, you are working to love and accept about yourself. Trust me, saying it out loud? It’s liberating.

pss: I also wanted to let you know about a NEW playground I’m playing on that’s built for more than just mommy’s (which makes me feel very happy and even less alone…). It’s called GENERATION MINDFUL and I hope you’ll join me there. We have some work to do if we’re going to usher the next generation into a more compassionate world. Add you to this place and bring your husbands, in-laws, the kids’ teachers and more. We’re there, slowing life down and celebrating the little moments. And our love? Our shared focused? It’s powerful stuff. Strong enough to make even impossible dreams come true.

Peace, and I hope to see you there.

If you want to walk with me and other mamas in the My Mommy Manual community, join to the right and connect with us on instagramtwitter, facebook and/or pinterest too. The manual is ours to write, but we don’t have to write it alone.

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My child won’t stop crying!

The next time your little one is losing it over something you think is silly (like maybe they asked you for a banana but not a PEELED banana, and, well, you peeled it! Who knew this could cause such pain and upset, right?!? but they are kids – not mini adults, and believe it or not, it DOES…) and you’re tempted to stay “Stop crying” or “Don’t cry”, take a deep breath and as you offer them the peeled banana anyway, say instead “I see you’re sad/disappointed. It’s okay to cry. I’m here…”

mr rogers quote

Say these words and mean them. Be there for your little one who is just beginning to learn about this thing called “feelings” … including anger, disappointment and yes, even rage.

Sure. It’s not easy to sit there and listen to your child cry when every cell in your body wants to yell “ALRIGHT ALREADY HERES YOUR DANG BANANA. SHEEESH WILL YOU STOP CRYING??!?! IT’S NOT THAT BIG OF A DEAL!” as you reach over to the fruit bowl and grab another banana.

But imagine instead you simply say “This is your banana today. If you want to peel your banana tomorrow you can. This is your banana today. It’s right here if you’d like it.”  Instead of being angry and reactive, these words are responsive, like training wheels, helping your child learn to be with their emotions, to express them and to shift.

As you sit with your child in the middle of their upset, look to yourself. What is happening in your body? Are you holding your breath? Are your shoulders tense and way up by your ears instead of relaxed and sitting on your ribcage? Does your face look all scrunched up, irritated and/or scary? Take a deep breath. Soften the lines on your face and keep breathing (this is the first thing that goes when we’re upset). Imagine a moment with your child where you were at peace and FULL of love. Snuggling. Staring into their big, dark eyes when they were a newborn. Breathe, holding this memory in your mind as you allow for this less than peaceful child that is before you to be seen as well.

As you sit there together, accepting your child and all their many feelings, she will likely still cry and she may never reach over and eat that peeled banana, but in the end, she will feel HEARD. And even though she was dealing with some downright big/scary/ugly feelings, the two of you will leave the experience feeling closer to one another instead of mad/angry/frustrated and further apart. Instead of learning to whine and cry to “get her way” your child learns 1) you can be trusted with their big emotions and 2) you can be loving even as you are setting limits. Limits that are clear, firm and respectful. What a gift.

Let your child know in ways great and small, you are a safe place for them to feel their emotions no matter what. Because you two? You are on the SAME SIDE OF THE COURT. You are connected. You are a team.

(And a damn good one at that.)

PS: If you liked this post, join our community of mindful mamas and receive a free gift, a Hug Each Moment Kit via email today along with weekly positive parenting tips and inspirations direct to your inbox.

Inspiration and support for the journey of motherhood.  The manual is ours to write but we don’t have to write it alone! Let’s connect on twitterfacebook and pinterest too. xoxo


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Am I Raising An Entitled Kid?

© Marchibas | Dreamstime.com

As parents, we hear much these days about entitlement. We talk about it, think about it and read articles/books/posts about it because lets face it, NO ONE wants to raise an entitled kid. Quotes like the following leave us quaking in our boots lest we end up the parent of the sniveling brat who will never learn to take out the trash, tie his shoes or appreciate the world around him:

“A lack of discipline is apparent these days in just about every aspect of American society. Why this should be is a much larger question, one to ponder as we take out the garbage and tie our kids’ shoes.” – Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker

The truth is fear sells, and the parenting information and analysis we’re taking in often comes wrapped in misinformation and fear-based messaging like:

“Love your child, but don’t love your child too much.”

“Attachment and connection are important, but be careful or you might spoil your child.”

And one that was just offered to a friend of mine by her pediatrician no less: “It’s time to show your 13 mo old who’s boss before she decides she is!”

Wanting to do the right thing, many parents come away from these mixed messages doubting their parenting instincts:

Wanting to respond to their newborns cries but fearful of spoiling, they instead delay picking baby up.

Wanting to hold their “needy”/clingy toddler but fearful of spoiling, they refuse to “coddle” their seemingly demanding child.

Wanting to teach/redirect their curious child who’s gotten into some sort of trouble or another as they explored the world around them (you know the kind – five thousand cheerios all over a newly cleaned kitchen floor, a chair that is not to be climbed being climbed anyway and tipping over, brushing the family dog with mom’s hairbrush of course, etc) but fearful of spoiling, they sternly respond with a “NO!!!” and gently slap their child’s hand/bottom.

Out of societal pressure to avoid permissive parenting at all costs, parents can easily be left doubting the more respectful, gentle parenting approaches available to us. Redirection. Positive reinforcement. Teaching and guiding by example (with our actions and words, not words alone). Because of a societal fear of spoiling, sadly, some parents, unsure about how to best respond, default to scolding, yelling, shaming, and even hitting. And as negative reinforcement generally breeds more negative behavior (not less), these same parents are left scratching their heads and wondering “Where is this bad behavior coming from?”

Over time these frustrated parents at times conclude that their child is bad and/or that they are bad. They think things like “If I was a better parent my child would not be acting this way!” “Something is severely wrong with my child” and/or “I’m embarrassed to be out in public with my children.”

But the truth is much simpler and far less anxiety provoking. The truth can save us from this downward spiral. The truth invites us into our power— our center. The truth builds up our confidence as parents even as it pulls us ever closer to our children and our families. The truth doesn’t come from fear or guilt or push our buttons like so much of the  sensationalized parenting stuff we’re reading. What is this simple truth that can save us for unjustified societal pressures warning us that being kind and parenting from a place of empathy will warp our kids??? Simply stated it is this:

Children who experience empathy and connection grow up to empathize and connect.

If you feel led to hold your child, hug your child and/or teach your child from a patient, forgiving place, this is ALWAYS okay to do. If you feel led to get down on one knee and make eye contact with your kid as you seek to understand where they and their big emotions and even their misbehavior is coming from, this is always okay to do. If your child displays perplexing behaviors, instead of taking it personally, explore the many different causes that may be driving this behavior before assuming it must be due to some misgiving of theirs or yours. Diet. Sensory integration. Personality types. Fears, worries and past experiences. Inherited tendencies. All of these factors come into play when it comes to understanding our children and meeting them where they are.

Teach and guide your children. Be clear and consistent, respectful and firm even as you chose love over fear. Let go of parenting advice that does not resonate truth for you (this post included!!!). Any day. Every day. Let go of fear. Tune in and trust your heart to guide. Allow yourself to parent from your center instead of from expert advice or societal pressures and worry.



Love. Always. Wins.

empathy and connection


ps: No matter what parenting challenge is before you today, trust yourself. You’ve got this mama. Join with me and other moms here. The manual is ours to write but we don’t have to write it alone. Let’s connect on twitterfacebook and pinterest too. And thank you for passing along anything you (I hope and pray) like. It’s a big-fat-lovely compliment when you comment and share, so again, TIA. xo


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When did “like a girl” become a put down?!

How old were you when these words were first hurdled at you as an insult? Were you 9? 13? I honestly can’t remember a time when I did not know “running like a girl”, “hitting like a girl” and “throwing like a girl” to be put downs.

We can change this. As the commercial above shows, there is a time (generally pre-teens/tweens) where kids know running “like a girl” means running fast  and “throwing like a girl” means throwing far.

Always just kicked off a campaign aimed at making sure “girls everywhere keep their confidence throughout puberty and beyond.” How? Simply put, “by showing them that doing it #LikeAGirl is an awesome thing.”

“In my work as a documentarian, I have witnessed the confidence crisis among girls and the negative impact of stereotypes first-hand,” said Lauren Greenfield, filmmaker and director of the #LikeAGirl video. “When the words ‘like a girl’ are used to mean something bad, it is profoundly disempowering. I am proud to partner with Always to shed light on how this simple phrase can have a significant and long-lasting impact on girls and women. I am excited to be a part of the movement to redefine ‘like a girl’ into a positive affirmation.”

Let’s be a part of this change starting today. Comment below and tell me (with pride) what amazing things can YOU do #likeagirl? How about your daughters, mothers, sisters, wives, neighbors, friends?


Join with me and other moms here. The manual is ours to write but we don’t have to write it alone! Let’s connect on twitterfacebook and pinterest


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The Days Are Long But The Years Are Short



To have this simple truth take hold of you somewhere deep inside your soul when your children are still small is the greatest wish I could wish for you.

This moment. This hard moment. This perfect moment. This is it.

Today, just for one minute, make an intentional effort to see the world around you through the eyes of your child. They see so much. They have so much to teach us.


days long years short


When we tune in and trust, everything is possible. I hope you’ll walk with me and other moms here because mommy-hood is BETTER when we’re holding hands. Let’s connect, here and on twitterfacebook and pinterest too. The manual is ours to write but we don’t have to write it alone. xo



Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Musical

Win four FREE tickets to Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Musical on November 18th in St. Louis!!!

Alvin 300x250

Have you known me to run many-a-giveaway here?


Why? Because usually I’m getting hit up by big companies wanting to pass on things that make no sense with my site or my mission of inspiring connection. Over the years I’ve been hit up by many an off-brand offer to pass on to you, offers I promptly delete.

But then a young lady from Chaifetz Arena emailed me and asked if I might let my community know about their upcoming show: Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Musical. She was straight forward, kind, and my immediate response? HECK YES! (even before she offered me tickets to do so).

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Why this immediate yes? Because all my kids, ages 5 to 15, love Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Because I love Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Because even my husband likes Alvin and the Chipmunks (tolerates might be the word he’d use, but as much as he despises other kid shows/movies, etc, this is still saying a lot…).

So yes, I said yes, and now here you go. You can thank me later. I hope you win.

Plus, you can save big on buying tickets with code GSG: $10 off select seats to the 4pm show or $5 off select seats to the 7pm show.

TICKET LINK: Check it out. From what I can tell, ticket prices range from $9 to $56.

The world’s most famous chipmunk trio – accompanied by the Chipettes – will delight fans of all ages with LIVE performances that will feature world-class production, music, special effects, and immersive interactivity to encourage audience participation.

Based on the characters from the hit Twentieth Century Fox movies, the show will bring the music and excitement of a live rock concert to life as the Chipmunks perform hits by One Direction, Maroon 5, Carly Rae Jespen, Elvis Presley and more! Join Alvin, Simon and Theodore as they sing and dance their way across America en route to their big charity concert.  From an “old school” breakdancing competition in Chicago, to a no-holds-barred food ?ght in New York City, and with the Chipettes along for the wild ride, Chipmunk fans from coast to coast will experience it all –LIVE on stage!


Rock on mamas. I hope you’ll be connecting with your kids come November 18th with the silly fun that is this crazy chipmunk trio. I’m going thanks to Chaifetz and look forward to sitting with/near whichever of you is the big winner!


PS: If you liked this post, please click “like” above, share it and/or join our community of mindful parents. You will receive gentle parenting tips as well as a free gift direct to your inbox — Hug Each Moment Kit, a journal for you to keep, helping you to write love notes once a year to each of your children from birth to ten. (And a promise – I protect your email with my life — no spam allowed!)


Support for the journey.  The manual is ours to write but we don’t have to write it alone. Let’s connect on twitterfacebook and pinterest too.

Smallest Teachers

I taught baby massage, like I do every Friday, but today, as I loaded up my things in my car, I realized I was leaving class feeling — what’s the word? — lighter.

By lighter I mean something about class today has me walking just a little bit slower, smiling just a little bit wider, thankful just a little bit more.

Why? I’ve been thinking about this for the last two hours, and the only answer I have for you is this:

small teacher

Starring into these eyes. Lying my hand on this ones head as he starred back at me. Breathing. Sharing stillness. Holding and soothing a sweet, little baby girl, just weeks old that came to class, crying from tummy pains/gas minutes into her massage.

These babies.

The peace of the present moment I am pulled into when I am with them. They are to blame, I’m quite certain of it.

Today, if you have little people lying, rolling, crawling or walking around you in the house, take a moment. Stare into their eyes. Breathe. Hold their gaze just a little longer than you normally would. Share a moment, still… together, no matter their age (even if you risk being called weird by your tween/teen.)

I promise you, you will walk away transformed. And likely, they will too.


When we follow our bliss, anything is possible. I hope you walk with me and other moms here because motherhood (and life) is better when we’re holding hands.

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Hadley bedtime poem


When we follow our bliss, anything is possible. I hope you walk with me and other moms here, sharing the stories of our lives, because motherhood (and life) is better when we hold hands.

My Crazy Is Showing



Remember being a kid and saying to your brother/sister/friend, “Your EPIDERMIS IS SHOWING!!!” and then laughing your butt off as they recoiled in horror and embarrassment, covering themselves but not quite knowing where to cover?

I do. I remember being on both ends of that joke. Oh the horror. How embarrassing. I hated being embarrassed (and still do. Who likes it really?)

That fear of showing my epidermis? It’s a lot like when I sit down to write. I read over the stories of my life fearing I’ve shown too much. And then ideally, I hit save anyway. Ideally, I resist the urge to edit me and my epidermis right out of my stories.  And it’s hard because, editing ourselves, isn’t that what we’ve been trained to do?

Hiding our “crazies”.

My friend shared a secret from her childhood with me this morning. She sent her story to me in a private Facebook message. She would not have called it a secret; more of a “deep-dark-secret”.

My friend thought I might not reply, saying I could un-friend her and she wouldn’t hold it against me. She thought in sharing her story with me, her “crazies” as she called them, I would love her less or go away all together.

Isn’t that is how we all feel? “If they only knew…”

My friend shared something *private* with me. Something she doesn’t love about herself. Something she was certain I could not love in her either. But I did. And really, I love her all the more for it.

I have these stories. You have these stories. My friend was brave to share hers with me.

This connection created through sharing?  This is the single reason I write.

I want to show you my epidermis.

I sent my friend a reply. I told her how much I loved her. How brave she was. I told her she was LOVE and that she was enough just the way she is. And even as I hit send, I was full aware, this reply was for me. It’s the message I am needing to receive myself.

It’s all smoke and mirrors, the messages we are sending. The emotions we think are for THEM, (anger, hate, annoyance, intolerance, jealousy…) let’s be clear, they say more about ourselves than anybody else.

Thank you friend. In sharing your heart with me you have brought me closer to myself. So much good comes when we simply share the stories of our lives.





I believe that when we follow our bliss, anything is possible. I hope you walk with me and other moms here in sharing the stories of our lives because motherhood is better when we are holding hands. 

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Happy Halloween




Halloween. It’s a big deal when you are a kid. Plans for what to dress up as can begin as early as July…

Here are three super easy ideas that don’t take a lot of supplies, talent OR time and are SURE to be a hit with your kids no matter their age – tots to teens.


Watermelon BRAIN: Just a small watermelon, a potato peeler and a knife will get you this good looking center piece!

Bread Stick Roll BONES: My kids had a blast making these femur bones and ribs out of a roll of bread stick dough. They ate ‘em up with a side of butter cinnamon sugar to dip them in. Get creative and make your own shapes!

Scary HAND Veggie Dip: Just cream cheese “glue” almond slices onto the ends of five finger-looking (peeled and ends cut off) carrots, then stick ‘em in a bowl of dip and you’ve got a spoooookie treat. Your kids will want to eat even their GREEN veggies with this one. (for the picture, check the video above.)

How to Bake Pumpkin Seeds



Suzanne Tucker is co-creator of My Mommy Manual.com and a proud mom of four. Join her and other moms on this journey called motherhood, because life’s better when we hold hands.