And learned a deep truth in the process

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Image by Tonya Crombie

I am a meditator . . . of sorts. I’m not the Buddhist monk meditator or the hippie guru meditator. I’m the middle-aged mom meditator. I usually use an app when I meditate. And I don’t sit in lotus pose because it makes my ankles hurt.

The only nod I give to the “real” meditators out there is that I sometimes light a candle when I meditate. THE candle (because there is only one that I use) was a gift from a friend. It was a thank you for inviting her son to the beach with my family . . . you know, back when we used to go places and invite other people along. …


I’m Not a Real Parenting Expert, I Just Play One on Medium.

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Image by ViktoriiaNovokhatska

It happened again yesterday. I was having coffee with a mom friend, just chatting about the various trials and tribulations of motherhood. My friend said, “Well, this is what you do for a living. So you know how to handle it.” People say that and probably think things like that all of the time.

But here’s the thing. I don’t.

I know a lot of stuff. And a lot of that stuff is actually about parenting and child development. I even know a lot about anxiety and the factors that impact success in life.

And I am very good at seeing how all of that “stuff” can help YOU when YOU struggle. …


So, here’s what I’m doing wrong now.

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Image by Sean Locke Photography

My son turned 18 last week.

It’s a huge milestone. He's still a teenager. He hasn’t finished high school yet. But in many aspects, he could be considered a fully formed adult. He can vote. He has to register for the draft.

And as he turned 18, my husband and I celebrated that we managed to do the things that got him here. That wasn’t always easy. When my “Irish twins” were toddlers I was convinced they had some sort of murder-suicide pact going because they both seemed hell-bent on killing themselves and/or each other. …


Someday By Mariah Carey

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Photo by emrecan arık on Unsplash

This selection may be even more embarrassing than MMMBop, but it’s on the playlist and I made a commitment so here we go. My name is Tonya and I have an embarrassing Mariah Carey song on my running playlist.

If you’re just joining in, I’m sharing the deep message that should be a part of my personal manifesto, you know, life lessons and rules to live by, that can be found in every ridiculous song on my running playlist. …


I just wish I had known to save some patience to myself.

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Image by fizkes

Ever been convinced you knew how something worked only to realize you had it wrong?

Yeah, me neither.

Okay … it has happened to me once or twice or 600 times. Here’s just the latest example. I stumbled across something I wrote a few years ago, and literally cringed as I reread it. I saw so many things I wish I could change. Bad sentence structures. Cliches. Lots of adverbs. Run-on sentences (I am the queen of the run-on sentence.)

Then I quickly went from simply reading to berating myself for all of the stupid mistakes I had made. …


Sometimes a lack of anxiety can be a problem

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Image by Tverdokhlib

I talk about anxiety a lot. Like really a lot. Especially about kids who struggle with anxiety. It’s not just my job, I’m also pretty passionate about the topic. I often find myself sharing with anyone who will listen that anxiety is normal. That everyone feels anxious at times. That feeling anxious isn’t something to hide or be ashamed of. That it’s ok.

These are my taglines, my catchphrases, my mantras…

I talk about it so often that I was a little surprised when a friend recently said, “But what if my kid isn’t anxious? I mean like not anxious at all? I mean like, I wish he was a little more anxious because maybe then he would care more about things? …


But not for the reason you think

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Image by Ollyy

As we enter week 7,034 of the pandemic, I find myself thinking about resilience.

re·sil·ience /rəˈzilyəns/ noun. The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

Right now, resilience is something I need more than ever. Like most people, I find myself feeling all of the feelings: fear, sadness, boredom, just generally angsty.

I’m not very productive these days. I’m wasting time scrolling through Facebook like it’s my job. I’m irritable. My coworker, aka my husband who has been working from home since March, doesn’t find it cute or endearing when I randomly blast 80’s dance music in the middle of the workday just to spice things up. My kids are tired of my cooking and my company. …


The Middle by Jimmy Eat World

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Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Welcome to the fourth installment in my quest to find the deep manifesto-worthy life lesson in every song in my playlist. I’ve talked about MMMBop and You Can Call Me Al. Today, it’s this peppy tune from Jimmy Eat World, The Middle.

I originally pulled up this song on Apple Music when my daughter was a preteen. Those were tough years and at the time, I thought this was the perfect song for a middle school girl (or boy for that matter but I don’t think I could have paid my son to sit through most songs that I like.) The lyrics in this song are all “Hey, don’t write yourself off yet” and “it’s only in your head you feel left out.” …


It was in an empty box in the freezer.

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Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

I assume all parents have a few pet peeves. Things that send them into orbit. Things kids feel like they’ve heard their parents rant about for their entire lives.

I certainly do. Mine are wet towels on the floor, clean clothes in the dirty laundry basket, and empty containers in the pantry or in the fridge or anywhere really except the recycling bin.

I hate finding empty containers anywhere that they don’t belong. My kids often put empty cartons of juice or boxes of cereal back right where they found them after finishing them off. This causes two problems. First, there’s the disappointment of discovering that the fruity pebbles you were looking forward to having for breakfast are gone. …


Somehow the “balls to the wall” culture made me a better mom.

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

When I finally graduated from my doctoral program, I was living the dream. Well, maybe not the dream you’re thinking of. I didn’t have much money. But I was living the dream I embraced as a young impressionable kid watching the Mary Tyler Moore Show. I was a single girl living in a teeny tiny one-bedroom apartment, making my way in the big city.

And I was ready to make my mark.

My first job out of grad school was as an associate consultant in a large international management consulting firm. My job was probably exactly like you’d imagine. Lots of smart, driven, competitive people traveling a lot, working hard and playing hard. At the end of each month, all of the consultants were rank-ordered in terms of billable hours. And the list was posted in the break room. True story. …

About

Dr. Tonya Crombie

Mom, wife, life coach, and best-selling author of “Stop Worrying about Your Anxious Child”. Lover of fun and ridiculosity. https://guidanceforthefuture.com/

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