Wednesday, October 30, 2013

My Clip from Live in the D

 Yesterday, I made my very first appearance on live TV. Before I went to the Local 4 studio for Livein the D, I decided I needed to determine how I would measure my success.  I didn’t think it was realistic to hear thunderous applause from the viewers at home so here was my criteria:

Do not talk super fast. 

Do not interrupt and play that awkward game of double-dutch of inserting myself into a conversation. 

And most of all, do NOT ramble.  Like I said yesterday, once I start to tip toe off my point, I know that I will inevitably embarrass myself with a personal story that may or may not relate to the topic.

Speaking of topics, did I mention that one of them was discussing the American Pediatrics Association’s statement that condoms should be available to high school students.  I don’t even want to *think* where that unfortunate ramble would have landed me.

So besides condoms, we talked about tech-savvy toddlers, the Pennsylvania law that prohibits anyone touching a pregnant women’s belly, and the cutoff age for trick-or-treaters.

I had strong feelings about each of these, so at least I had that level of confidence working for me.  I knew that I was having a good hair day, so that helped me feel good, too.

I also felt that everyone at the studio made me feel really comfortable.  Everyone was very warm and welcoming, and Karen Drew definitely set a friendly tone for the panel.  This did wonders for lowering my anxiety levels!

So without further ado, here is the clip:

Live in the D Erin Janda Rawlings Mommy on the Spot
 I think once you talk about condoms for hight school students
 for your first live TV appearance, you can really talk about anything with ease after that.

What do you think?  Any way I could improve?  You know, in case they want me back again.

Monday, October 28, 2013

I’m Going to be on Live in the D!

This just in – I am going to be on a panel of moms on the local talk show Live in the D on Channel4.  We are going to be talking about controversial parenting topics with Karen Drew.

Um, did I mention it is live?

Am I nervous?  Yes, yes I am.

If there is one thing I’ve learned about myself (especially with teaching again and making friends at the new neighborhood bus stop) is that I talk a lot when I get nervous. 

A. lot.

I have been known to ramble on and on. Next thing I know, I have revealed deep, dark embarrassing secrets about myself.  It is as if all my work on creating healthy boundaries goes out the window, and I default to this chatter box that will tell you everything you never wanted to know about me.

Remember that scene in Goonies when Mama Fratelli is about to put Chunk’s fingers in the blender unless he starts talking.  So he spills his guts about everything.  EVERYTHING.  Even the time he brought fake puke in the movie theater and made everyone sick?

That very well could be me.  I am hoping to be articulate and graceful, like Gloria Steinem or Sheryl Sandberg.  But I am not going to totally discount the chance that I could be more like Kathy Griffin (who is totally awesome but not in a "family friendly live TV" kind of way).

So please be sure to tune in tomorrow at 11:00am on Channel 4 to see me on Live in the D.  If I end up sounding like a mix between Chunk and Kathy Griffin, just please pretend it never happened.

Have you ever been on live television?  Any tips on would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Moment I Realized I was a Working Mom

When I decided to become a stay-at-home mom, I figured if I ever went back to work again that I would find a job that the kids would never really miss me.  I would be home when they were home, I could volunteer, and go on field trips.

I was pretty sure when I took the teaching position at Walsh College while still blogging, I had found the holy grail of jobs.  I especially thought I did since one class is fully online while the other class requires me to only go in 6 times in a 10 week period.

And then I found out that one of the random Fridays that I had to go in to teach fell on the same day as Thomas’s first field trip in his new school.

I honestly thought there had to be some sort of mistake with the dates and times of the field trip.  How could I honestly miss a field trip?   To the farm?!  I started to play Tetris with my blocks of time to see if I could find a way to make it work.  Short of human cloning, I logistically could not make it.

I thought about asking my boss to switch the days we co-taught, but he had already been so cool with me leaving early on the first day of class so I could make it to Thomas’s first day of preschool that I felt I couldn’t push it. 

I finally had to admit defeat.

This was the first time I truly realized that I was officially a work-at-home-most-of-the-time mom. This spoke to me more loudly than the piles of laundry that don’t get folded or the orange juice that fails to buy itself.

I tried to make my peace with the fact that I would be missing an event with one of the kids for the first time in the seven years I’ve been a full time stay-at-home mom.  But alas, I only was super crabby that morning and fought back tears the rest of the day.

I felt icky and sad that Harrington had taken him on a field trip.  I realize that this was maternal gatekeeping at its best.  I know in order for me to Lean In to this new venture then I am going to have to let Harrington, you know, the father of these children, be a apart of taking care of the kids.  For the record, Harrington was excited to go to his first-ever field trip, and Thomas did totally fine.

missing a field trip was the first time i realized i was a working mom erin janda rawlings mommy on the spot
See that smile?  Pretty sure he's thinking,
"Mom's missing?  Hm, didn't notice."

 I just thought that I could honestly do this blogging/teaching thing without missing a beat at home.  I think part of me will always identify myself as a stay-at-home mom.  I didn’t have a defining moment where I was leaving the kids everyday to go to an office or a classroom.  The whole transition was so gradual and appeared seamless since I do most of my work from home. 

I do think that missing this field trip was my defining moment.

Do you ever feel guilty for missing your kids’ events or field trips?  How do you deal with it?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Public Speaking, a Trip to the Emergency Room and Technical Difficulties

As you may know, I presented at the 6th annual Rochester writers' conference. 

presenter, rochester writers' conference, badge
Legit presenter badge.

I was feeling pretty ok with my new dress and awesome play list, but then I got this text.

texts received when your child sticks something up his nose


As if I wasn't nervous enough, I now had to worry about this situation.  I gently guided Harrington on whom to call first.  (I say gently, but the whole thing was a blur, so I could have been yelling). Unfortunately, this incident occurred on a Saturday.  Since it is not quite the peak of flu season, the pediatrician’s office was closed.  Harrington made his way to our doctor’s preferred after-hours clinic, but since they didn’t have the necessary tools to extract foreign objects from little boys’ noses, Thomas had to be admitted into the ER.   I was notified of this unexpected turn of events by this text.

texts while your child is in the emergency room without mom, mom guilt
Conclusion: the doctor removed the tiny cap to a red
flashlight on a ring.  Also, note he took the time
to tell me he had hand sanitizer.  He has my heart forever.

With the distraction of my son in the ER without me (the one who always handles these health/emergency situations), it seemed that my turn to speak came rather fast, even though I was the last session.  Earlier in the day, I watched as a presenter’s computer did not work for her session and thought my bad luck card had already been played with the whole “emergency room nose situation.”  But alas, my computer would not connect to the Internet. So I had to use a different computer, one that did not have he same version of PowerPoint so I was without my notes.


Thankfully, I obsessively practiced (so much so I'm pretty sure my parents and Harrington probably could have given the presentation).  Although I was unable to deliver the specific stats, I still felt that I was able to communicate my point.  

Here is my self-proclaimed masterpiece.  

Now, I am my toughest critic, and I can say, without a doubt, I did pretty decent, especially taking all of these factors into consideration.  I don’t think I rambled too much, which is a tragic side effect when I become nervous. I think I projected my voice and hopefully gave some useful takeaways.

So while I was there to share knowledge, I do believe I gained some important takeaways myself:

I really needn't stop with the maternalgatekeeping (according to Sheryl Sandberg) because Harrington handled the emergency like a boss.  I mean, he not only brought the hand sanitizer to the ER, but used it often.  He also didn’t freak out which helped Thomas keep his cool, too.

Also, I do know what I'm talking about when it comes to social media and blogging.  I need to stop second-guessing myself already.  Lately, I feel like I am just a bundle of insecure nerves, both professionally and personally.  I replay conversations, lesson plans, presentation notes, and I wonder if they are good enough.  I mean, I was more nervous to post my presentation to SlideShare than talk about my personal stories on my blog.  Time to stop this nonsense.

How do you find confidence when you putting yourself out there for the world to see?