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!