Connections and belonging: social connections (post 4 of 5)

When our youngest was three years old, I left my marriage. I wanted, and needed for my children to have, and witness only strong social connections within our home. We’d been through more climbs and dips of the roller coaster that was our relationship – with another posting, a deployment and more. By the time I decided to leave I felt like I had a room-mate – who happened to be the father of my children.

It was during/after my second pregnancy I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The thinking at the time was that physical trauma (like a car accident or possibly childbirth) could trigger fibromyalgia. But I always believed the trauma and chronic acute stress in my life had been the cause.

There continued to be high stress events in my life with divorce proceedings, my return to school to get another degree, a job that I left due to a toxic work environment, and then… my mom, who had always been my biggest supporter, died several years after the dissolution of my marriage. Eventually, I moved nearer to my closest friends and biggest supporters, who I’d been living far away from for many years. I needed a fresh start where I could be true to myself.

Reliable and consistent social connections

I wanted my girls to know that: no matter what, they could always count on me; and that our connection to each other would sustain us, whatever we faced.

I made lots of mistakes, but eventually came to the place in life where I am now… capable of taking care of myself and my girls, and eventually in a drama-free partnership with a man that I(we) can count on and trust, who would never do anything to hurt any one of us. It’s only since the girls and I have really been settled into this new life together – with a handful of great friends and family nearby that we can rely on – that my health has finally begun to improve.

We belong to our community, family, and each other. And we can face just about anything when we have strong connections… to ourselves, others and our physical space.

What social connections have brought you a sense of belonging and peace in your life? Is there anyone you can re-activate that connection to today?


Join us for a FREE five day challenge to make more authentic social connections!

For more information on how to develop more authentic connections:

Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Instagram, or Twitter @ceilidhontherun, email me at trish at trishblogs dot com, or use my contact form.

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What is Coaching with Trish and how does it work?

Have you been considering coaching to get some help with setting and/or reaching your goals?

Coaching is a great way to improve your chances of success!

Many people have heard about life and/or health coaching but aren’t really sure how it works. So, if that is you, you are not alone. Just about anyone can benefit from coaching, including other coaches.

Coaching helps individuals and groups to establish goals in different areas – whether it be life in general, career, business, finances, health and/or fitness, etc.  With the help of your coach YOU will determine what you want to work on. You will set goals that are reachable, and YOU will decided how to work towards them.

So what does your coach do?Trish - Coaching for Change

Before answering that, I must share with you one thing that coaching is NOT. Coaching is not therapy. If during your coaching sessions, therapy is determined as one of the resources required to meet your goals, I will assist with the process of finding the right therapist for you.

As your coach my goal is to help you work through that process. I will ask you the questions that will point you in the right direction. I will assist with researching both the issues/presenting obstacles and how to overcome them. I will help you to find the resources needed to be successful. And I will walk you through the process of setting the goals and objectives required to meet those goals.

Now once you have a clear idea of where you are wanting to be, and how you want to get there, we will decide together what support you require in moving forward. Primarily I will be your accountability partner. I will be looking for updates and helping to assess how your progress is coming. I will work with you to determine if there are new goals of reaching higher and/or maintaining the successes achieved.

How long will you need to work with a coach?

The answer to how long is completely up to you. You get to decide when we are done. You also get to decide how flexible the accountability will be and what will happen if you do not hold up your end of the bargain. Have you reached the goals you hoped to? Is the coaching relationship successfully assisting your journey?  Have you determined new goals to work on? Many people work with coaches for at least several months. Some people work with coaches for years and move through varying stages and or issues as they go.

I will “meet” with you via email, or virtual chat (text or audio) on a weekly basis (or otherwise, as determined in your sessions). I will help you navigate through a series of questions and conversations. The first session is a get to know you opportunity about where you are today and where you think you’d like to be headed, or what issue(s) you’d like to work on. This will also give you an opportunity to learn a little more about me and whether I would make a good fit for the coaching you are looking for.

What will be expected of you?

During sessions you will find yourself sharing/talking a lot more than listening. And you will be the decision-maker on this path.

In between our sessions you will have assignments, determined by you – with my assistance. I will be looking for an update during or prior to our next session(s). I may offer to provide resources to help with your journey. Most importantly, we will determine outcomes that will help us to know if you have achieved the desired objective and/or goal. And we will set a timeline by which you will work on them.

Coaching should not be stressful, but will be a bit uncomfortable. The only way to achieve change is to step outside of your comfort zone and do something that is at least a little bit of a stretch for you.

We will also determine what your learning style is and what will help you to be motivated to make the necessary changes to move forward. If this involves some sort of reward(s), we’ll establish what those rewards should be, and later, if they worked for your desired outcome. That way we will be able to set effective outcomes and rewards (or consequencWellness, parenting and social media coachinges if appropriate) going forward.

So what can we work on in our coaching sessions?


My areas of specialty are health and wellness; parenting/family/relationships/child care/and child development; social media marketing; curating family stories; and more. That being said I am able to work with you on just about anything that you identify as being important. My role is to ask you the questions that will help YOU to identify WHAT and HOW to work on the issue(s)/goal(s).

If you are ready to get started, or would like speak with me for a short consult to learn more, please complete my contact form. Or… you can join us on Facebook for a closed discussion about how coaching works.

I look forward to working with you!



Perfect? You are NOT the perfect parent.

That’s right. You are not a perfect parent.

Perfect parent and child care giver

It really shouldn’t be news to you that you’re not perfect. Not perfect in general, not even a perfect parent. If it is, you may be somewhat delusional.

Guess what? Those other parents. They’re not perfect either. Not even the ones who lead you to believe they are. Especially not them.

Many of us hope we’ll be the perfect parents.

Maybe not perfect to every child, but perfect to our own children. Even though many of us know we won’t come close, we want SO badly to be the perfect parent. And when we come to realize the reality of our distance from perfection. It’s a little depressing.

There comes a day in every new parent’s life that we wish those infants came with a manual. A do-it-yourself guide. At the very least, some sort of a description of what to expect.

Real life experiences…

My oldest used to get these fevers, unexplainably. Two days later, she’d cut a tooth. Doctors always say that there was no evidence that fevers and teething are co-related. Fevers are supposed be indicators of infection. Yet, it appeared to be a pretty obvious pattern to me.

And I remember thinking that I would never ever get my youngest daughter to sleep at night. I was *this close* to bringing her to the doctor to see if she was colic. And one day, things just settled down.

Where is the Perfect Parent manual?

A manual seemed like it would be so helpful, but even when I found a few minutes to read the next best thing – self help books about parenting. None of them really quite cut it. One thing I realized though, more from my previous experience as an early childhood educator… you are your child’s best “expert”. That’s right. No one, and I mean no one, knows your child better than you do. Parents, I repeat… no one knows your child better than you do.

You are your child’s best expert

If the doctor says something that doesn’t sit right with you. Ask more questions. If that doesn’t help, ask for a referral or a second opinion. Talk with people and find out what you can about similar situations. That mom who “appears” to have it all together? She may *not* be your best “go to”. But maybe you’ve noticed another child that seems to be in a similar boat… does dad seem approachable? Maybe he’s going through the same thing, or better yet, maybe he’s one step ahead and has some insights to share that *may* be applicable. Just remember that no two children, no two parents, and no two families are the same. Their “answer” may not be your answer. But it may point you in the right direction.

You’ve got thisPerfect parent

I bet you’d like to feel like you have it all under control. I can almost guarantee that will never be the case, at least not for long. With our ever changing lives, our ever changing children, and our ever changing knowledge and experience this will ebb & flow.


And if someone tries to let on that they *never* hide in the bathroom hoping that everyone in the house would forget how to find them for just 15 whole minutes… they are lieing.

I don’t have toddlers trying to talk to me under the bathroom door anymore, but I do have cats. Can you relate?


Coaching services for parents


Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun or email me at trish at trishblogs dot com!

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Alone versus lonely

Do you feel alone or lonely? Adults’ lives are filled with dichotomies. The more wrenches that get thrown into life, the more contrasting views that seem to apply to the same situation(s).

I am faced with one of the most common single parenting dichotomies. I do not get enough time to myself. Period. My life consists of working and MomsTaxi and juggling the much more active social lives of my two (*almost) teenage girls with my own. And I cherish my alone time. I really truly do.


I have been without a significant other to share my life with, for a long time. Nothing brings my attention to that fact more than the few days that I have alone in my home. As those days approach I feel myself in a tug of war with myself.

Part of me is excited and anxiously anticipating having the house empty, clean, and quiet. Part of me wants to take that time and become a hermit just enjoying having no one to answer to.

Then another part of me begins to feel anxiety about having no one to count on to share even a fraction of that time with. Not just any-old-some-one. But someone significant who will also look forward to the quiet and the freedom and want to share some of that time completely detached from the outside world (except for maybe walking the beach). Someone who will also know the balance that is needed and share some social time with me out and about, taking in music or food, or a hard bike ride…

Sun and ocean

It is so hard not to begin feeling lonely, at the thought of finally being alone. For me this is a bi-weekly cycle. Sometimes I get lucky and find someone to share my time with. Perhaps a dinner date, a coffee, or a walk, maybe even a weekend long Netflix marathon…

I can (and do) do these things solo. Don’t get me wrong, there is some real benefit to not having to meet in the middle with movie choices and choice of dinner… But these days, I would prefer companionship to solitude more and more. Perhaps this stems from another dichotomy of parenting: kids grow up and become far less dependent on their parents. No longer am I needed at every social event, nor am I even welcome. While this is a tough pill to swallow sometimes, it is healthy for everyone. Yet, it leaves me with more time on my hands so that when the true solo time on the weekend comes, I am no longer craving alone-ness as much as I am adult companionship.

So here comes the weekend. Time to find my middle ground.

Where is yours?


Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun or email me at trish at trishblogs dot com!

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My daughter is a lot more brave than I am

Captured by Bruce Penney Photography

Captured by Bruce Penney Photography

Today I learned that my daughter is much more brave than I.

She’d had a falling out with a friend. Based on having only her side of the story it seemed to me that an unreasonable request had been made of her and that her response had been appropriate. My daughter stands up for what she believes in and is usually pretty calm about it. She doesn’t always take the most popular stand, but often the most just. However, it resulted in two very upset children, with my daughter coming home from school crying that she’d lost her friend.

After a long weekend of stewing about it she came to me and asked if I thought she should talk with her friend. I told her that yes I did. I said that while it sounded like she was right about what she told her friend that it also was important not to let it come between them for too long. I explained that if she let her friend know that she felt her friend’s request was not okay (essentially she’d been asked to choose between two friends) and that she did not want to make a choice … and if her friend still made the same demand then my girly would at least know that she did what she could. I wanted her to know that she was right to stand up for herself and her choices.

My daughter proceeded to pick up the phone and call her friend.

Honestly, I’m quite certain I would not have done so when I was her age, and I don’t know if I even would today. I have come to believe that if someone is hurting me in some way, by their actions or inaction, that it just isn’t worth it to me to fight. I’m better off without them in my life. Now of course that is a very simple statement and there are often a lot more complexities to social problems than that, but essentially that’s my take.

I have no patience for games, no desire to try to read minds, and know unequivocally that I’m actually not very good at either anyway. I’m pretty direct when I communicate with others and appreciate the same in return. So, I feel much better served by simply walking away from situations … in which I have little time, energy or emotion invested.

I have a number of close friends. And I have a lot of acquaintances whose company I enjoy at times. My friends have been there for me through some of my ugliest times. They deserve a little more wiggle room. Maybe they were having a bad day, or maybe we misunderstood one another. That isn’t to say others don’t deserve the same respect – I just don’t go out of my way to try to make it happen after I have been hurt in some way.

In the end my daughter mended things with her friend. They both apologized for their part in the problem, and I believe my daughter’s right to have whatever friends she chooses is being respected … for the time being anyway.

She told me she was shaking when the phone was ringing while she waited for her friend to answer. She didn’t know if her friend was still mad at her. But it was worth it to her to take a chance.

I hope I’ll have the same amount of courage if I feel a situation is worthy enough…



Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun or email me at trish at trishblogs dot com!

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3 Lessons learned from single parenting

3 Lessons learned from single parenting

Snowball Fight

Captured by Bruce Penney Photography


We all have a different lens that we experience life through. My lens is that of a single mom with primary and full-time care of my children while working full-time. For the first time ever, I own a home on my own and have all of the challenges that come along with that to deal with myself.

I’ve learned to let go of some of my ideals and accept a new standard of success.

I’ve learned to stock my tool box. If I can learn to fix something myself, I want to – but I need the tools to do so. Bit by bit I’m re-accumulating tools for house projects. I’ve learned to stop a drippy valve on a pipe. I’ve learned to wire a light switch. I’ve learned the quickest way to start a fire in my wood stove in the morning. I’ve learned who provides some of the best service when it comes to masonry. And I’ve learned that every time I think things have settled down and I can start catching up, another big expense will come along.

Learning to manage those stresses is probably the biggest challenge for me. I read recently about a study suggesting depression is more like an allergic reaction from stress, and I believe it.

Two: I have learned from single parenting that there really is a reason why their father and I are no longer together. That was apparent to me from the beginning and continues to be reinforced. This isn’t a finger pointing statement, although I’m sure every single parent on both sides of the equation would like to point fingers at times. It is however a fact that becomes more apparent when attempting to co-parent that we were not meant to remain a couple.

The number one lesson I have learned is that it is not a sign of weakness, but more so one of strength, to ask for help. Asking for help is not an easy thing to do. I’ve been burned by my dependence on another in the past. I can be reluctant to trust others and at times am afraid of being further let down. Not only have I learned that asking for help is a sign of strength but also that if I change the expectations in my mind the asking gets easier. I know that no one else has the same commitment to my life and my children that I do. If I remember that everyone else has their own life and their own demands and that my own challenges don’t necessarily rank as high on their list as they do mine… it becomes a little easier to accept when the help doesn’t come. But it also becomes that much more appreciated when it does.

I have a roster, so to speak, of people that I know I can ask for help. Some of them I still haven’t asked yet. Some I have asked on numerous occasions. Some are there for me almost at a drop of a hat, some come and go based on their own demands in life. Whatever I do, I try to make myself available to help others in the ways that I can do without jeopardizing my own well being. Chances are when others are not available to help, they are doing a bit of the same balancing act.

What lessons have you learned from the challenges you face in life?



Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun or email me at trish at trishblogs dot com!

I invite you to subscribe to my blog using one of the options available on my page (email, rss, Google Connect, like my page on Facebook, etc.)

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Dance for the Whole Family at Maritime Dance Academy | City Mom Now

Maritime Dance Academy

Maritime Dance Academy

Have you considered a dance program like Maritime Dance Academy for your family’s extra-curricular activities?   Many moms struggle with managing all of the activities their children are involved in let alone finding time for their own similar activities. As the kids grow older, the activities become…


Click here to read more…

Ex-etiquette, we all have something to learn

Photo by Paul Wesson Photography

Photo by Paul Wesson Photography


It took about two years for my ex and I to find ex-etiquette that seems to work for us. Once we got past the bitterness, the awkwardness and the newness of everything we found a place that has the greatest level of harmony for us all.


I almost jeopardized that in a new relationship who just didn’t understand that two adults who no longer love one another CAN and SHOULD have a civil and friendly relationship for their children’s sake. Fortunately I woke up and saw the effect it was having before any permanent damage was done. After a sincere apology and open communication things feel even more harmonious. This is all I could ask for my girls.


The children who seem to be the most well adapted to the new arrangements are the ones who see their parents speaking in civil, if not friendly, manners while always making the children feel at peace. If they can attend an event and easily transition between both parents (as well their respected spouses/relatives) there will be less unnecessary stress upon the children. Imagine being the child who can expect both of their parents, and whoever else is a part of their lives, to be ever present – just as they might in a traditional nuclear household? It IS possible. I’ve seen it.


Picture this: Christmas Eve; it’s dad’s week to have the children. His parents and significant other will be arriving for dinner momentarily. Mom and her new husband arrive at the door, with dessert and a bottle of wine in hand. Everyone has agreed that the traditional Christmas celebrations centre around the children, therefore, everyone has agreed to set differences aside and celebrate WITH the children. Mom and step-dad leave at bedtime and head home, waiting for the kids’ call to say they are up and ready for opening gifts from Santa. Mom and step-dad head back over for the magical moments of Christmas morning. Later that day, dad and significant other troop to mom’s house with the kids to finish exchanging gifts and have Christmas dinner with mom and step-dad’s extended family. This may sound absurd to some, but I have witnessed a very similar scenario, to which I was included as extended family.


We may not realistically ever achieve even a semblance of this, but can strive for something like it.  I think as human beings we find anger the most difficult to let go of. However, the negative energy associated with anger is much more draining and spreads much more than we can ever imagine. Sometimes it is necessary to establish firm boundaries so that the situations that anger us become fewer and farther between. But ultimately, if we can look beyond and still follow the course of action in the best interests of our children, everyone will be happier in the end.


If you’re trying to find that middle ground of forgiveness and compromise, perhaps there are some resources that would be helpful. Is there a book you would recommend in navigating these choppy waters?


I’m currently reading “Ex-etiquette for parents – Good behavior After a Divorce or Separation”, by Jann Blackstone-Ford and Sharyl Jupe. These two women are friends in co-parenting. They write a national advice column: Ex-Etiquette 


Drop me a note in the comments below, or connect with me on Twitter @ceilidhontherun, email me at ceilidho at ceilidhontherun dot com, or use my contact form!

I invite you to subscribe to my blog using one of the options available on my page (email, rss, Google Connect, like my page on Facebook, etc.)

If you enjoyed this post, please do like/share it. You can do so using the easy share button below!

Stop. Commit. Act.


We’ve all said it at one time or another. I wish I could do such and such, but I just don’t have the time… A speaker at a mom’s networking event recently shared some very wise words: we CAN have it ALL, just not all at once. Once we get that, we can make time <and yes it is ALL about MAKING time> for ourselves.


Once I made the decision to fit fitness into my life, it happened, other less important things got pushed aside. Activities that I once completed in 2 weeks, would take 4. It was OKAY! I was out there, pounding the pavement, coming back with my heart racing and my lungs on fire – feeling glorious!


Guess who benefits from your self care time? Sure you do, and that is the most important thing, but for some the motivation to do so comes from this: we cannot give to others all of ourselves unless we take care of ourselves first! It’s true, the less we care for ourselves, the less we have of ourselves to offer others. Guess what – when we are feeling refreshed and alive we treat our loved ones with more care, compassion and concern. We are able to empathize better, and we actually ENJOY giving to others.


What is the trick? Scheduling ME into the calendar first!


I know this is easier said than done, but it’s critical. The next step being: following through with the schedule. Which is where I still struggle. Yes, I see that 15 minutes of mindfulness before I leave my room in the morning scheduled in my calendar, but I’m JUST going to check on the noises coming from 8-year-old’s bedroom before I get started… Guess what? I don’t get started.


One thing I have learned from past successful attempts at making time for self care is that I need a goal, something to work towards that provides me with both accountability and a sense of accomplishment. When I was running, I would enter an event that coincided with the end date of my current goal. There is nothing like fundraising for a cause and not only starting, but finishing the 5K, 10K or even half-marathon I just signed up for to get me motivated. People are counting on my to bring their message across the finish line and many people are aware of my deadline!

So, how do I incorporate that into my current goals? I am no longer running, due to knee injuries. I’m not a fan of winter cycling, and the pool hasn’t been working for me lately, no matter how much I love it. So, it’s walking and mindfulness for me.


I’m sure there is a walking event I can sign up for, similar to my running challenges, but what do I do about the mindfulness I so desperately need to slow down and experience?


Share your ideas with me and I will report back with a plan of action! Perhaps you’ll join me?





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