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Monday
Apr162012

Sweet Talks with Gina Osher of The Twin Coach

If anyone makes you feel comfortable, embraced, understood, and inspired to be a better parent (all at once!), it's Gina Osher. She holds nothing back in her self-reflective writing about her dealings with parenting twins, so upon your first read of her honest words you know she is a source to be trusted. This is why I turn to Gina's VERY informative blog (over and over again)—she knows what she's talking about and her wisdom is equally applicable to parents of singletons like moi. Oh, did I mention that she's really lovely in person too?

{q} What do you list as your job title on your tax return? If the form offered more space, what would you really say?
{a} I believe it says “landlord” because we own a duplex and rent one of the apartments out. But it would be nice to have it say “writer” and actually be earning enough to have taxes taken out!

{q} In one sentence, what does a day in your life look like?
{a} Wake up at the crack of dawn, check email, make lunches, make breakfasts, wake everyone else up, get kids to school, write/social media/answer emails, pick up kids from school, have a play date, make dinner, sneak in some social media, put kids to bed, eat dinner, spend time with my husband, write some more, go to bed as early as possible because I’m exhausted!

{q} Coffee or Coconut Water?
{a} Neither. I like my coffee so light and sweet that I might as well have a milk shake. So I stopped drinking it about 10 years ago. And I’ve never tried coconut water but it sounds so unappealing to me. I hate coconut! Just plain water (or an Arnold Palmer if I’m indulging)!

{q} Who is your favorite fictional mother?
{a} I swear, I haven’t read a book in the last 6 years that didn’t have to do with child development or parenting! I can’t even think of a fictional mother! How sad. But the real mother that comes to mind that truly inspired me and who made huge changes in the way I see things is Katrina Kenison who wrote “The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir.”

{q} What is the best blog post that you’ve ever read? Ever written?
{a} Oh, that’s such a tough one. I read some really terrific blogs and get so much from so many different ones. This is one written by the wonderful Genevieve Simperingham who runs Peaceful Parent Institute (and the Facebook community The Way Of The Peaceful Parent). I go back to it often when I am stuck.

As for my own posts, I really like this one I wrote originally for my own blog but then reworked (into a better version) for elephant journal.

{q} How did you fall into blogging? Any advice to fellow bloggers for staying the course and finding inspiration?
{a} I originally started my blog because I was doing parent coaching for new and expectant parents of twins. I wanted a place to put all of my information so clients could just look things up easily. But I quickly realized that parents who didn’t have twins were finding me and were resonating with what I was writing about. Over time the blog has morphed into something quite different from what I started with! I think that may be a secret to “staying the course” as well. For me, I have to constantly be motivated and inspired to write. Had I forced myself to continue only writing posts that fit my original concept, I would have quickly outgrown being interested in it. Obviously, completely changing won’t keep your audience, but growing and learning new things are a part of being human…I think reflecting that in what you write should be expected.

{q} What are the most rewarding aspects of blogging?
{a} For me, the most rewarding part is hearing from people who read what I’ve written and find some take away nugget that really resonates for them. Getting an email from a parent who tells me that they’ve improved their relationship with their child or had insight into their own behavior because of something I shared on my blog is what keeps me writing!

{q} What are your top three parenting strategies for running a calm, happy household?
{a} One: Ask for and accept help. Don’t think you “should be” able to do everything you used to do before you had children. Learn how to say “no” and learn how to say “I need help.” No matter what you do with the time the help gives you, accept that that thing was what you needed in that moment.

Two: Be introspective. Pay attention to your own needs, emotions, and reactions. If you are getting triggered by your children or your partner, find a way to figure out what’s behind the anger or frustration. If your anger seems disproportionate to the offense, remember that you are likely reacting to a memory, not the current moment. 

Three: Model the behavior you want to see. I love this quote from Katrina Kenison: “I can only bring peace to my children when I possess it myself.” It sums up parenting for me in so many ways. If I am out of control and yelling at my children, how can I expect them to react to adversity in a calm way? If I can learn how to be more peaceful (by being introspective and by asking for help) then I can model for my children the calm, connected, respectful behavior I want them to have.

{q} What’s the number one piece of advice you offer parents to erase their jitters and worries and improve their confidence when it comes to raising kids?
{a} For me, understanding some basics of child development really helped a lot. Just knowing that what my children were doing or going through was “normal” really helped me be less neurotic and have a better sense of how to respond.

{q} How does you background in the healing arts influence your parenting style?
{a} I grew up with very bohemian parents and the idea that we are not just our physical body, but that our emotions and spiritual selves are inextricably connected to it as well, was a given in our family. In learning various healing modalities, I learned a lot about how our behavior and experiences as children affects not only our thought processes but also changes our bodies and the energy we put out to everyone we come in contact with. This holistic way of looking at people, along with coming into contact with so many wounded adults, just changed the way I wanted to approach parenting my own children.

My parents were ahead of their time in many ways, most of all in their knowledge that children deserved respect. I’m very grateful to have had that respect as a base from which to start. I hope I am giving my children the same good start.

{q} If you had more hours in a day what would you do with them?
{a} Have a massage every day. Go to yoga every day. Sleep more.

{q} What is your idea of mommy bliss?
{a} Hearing my children spontaneously tell each other they love each other.

{q} What’s your favorite hidden gem in the city for entertaining your kids? For girls’ night out? A romantic date?
{a} It’s technically not “the city,” but I love taking my kids to Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark. It’s about an hour’s drive from LA, but it’s fantastic and my kids love it no matter how many times we go. I have two girlfriends with whom I try to do a regular night out, and we always go to El Coyote for margaritas and sub par Mexican food. It’s not a hidden gem by any means, but it’s low key and just tacky enough that we don’t worry about what we’re wearing or how loud we’re laughing. And as for date nights…we need more of those! We often go to Restaurant at the Sunset Marquis hotel. I’m always amazed that there aren’t more people there as every time we’ve been the food is delicious and the space is lovely and Zen. Not what you’d think of at a hotel famous for rock star antics, but that’s been our experience there!

{q} What’s the funniest assumption people make about your life with twins?
{a} That I’m a “supermom”!

{q} Guilty pleasures?
{a} I will admit to watching plenty of terrible reality TV shows. I’m kind of addicted to the train wrecks that are “Basketball Wives” and “Mob Wives.” There is no nutritional value in these whatsoever…but sometimes I need something mind numbing!

{q} You HAVE to join the cast of Real Housewives. Which cast are you joining?
{a} I have actually never watched any of the Real Housewives shows. I don’t know how to tell one from the other! Is there one in New Jersey? I guess that one since I grew up in Brooklyn and can probably relate to the loudmouthed, trash talk. I’m sure I wouldn’t last 5 seconds though. The chaos and nastiness would make me ill if I was actually involved in it as opposed to being a voyeur!

Rapid fire fill-in-the-blank:

Never have I ever been arrested.
My kids taught me how to love unconditionally.
I regret every time I have ever yelled.
My favorite food is bread and cheese.
My underwear is pretty.
Three words that best describe me are sensitive, generous, and a little bit of a control freak.

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  • Response
    Nice Web page, Maintain the great work. Thanks a ton.

Reader Comments (8)

YOU like reality TV? Who knew? Me too! Great advice about accepting help. It's a must for moms.

April 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristina Simon

Wouldn't it be heaven to get a massage and go to yoga everyday?!?! I would love to do it every week - or sometimes every month!!! Too funny about your kids telling each other that they loved one another because that is my ultimate desire also. That would be the most wonderful thing that could ever happen to me as a mother. Maybe someday it will happen - when my kids are in their 30s. He he!!!

April 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMissy

I love El Coyote! Fun read!

April 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDonna Tetreault

Good advice about modeling the behavior you want to see. I try to remind myself that daily! I'm a little bit of a control freak too.

April 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarpool Goddess

Thanks so much for the interview, Sarah! And thank you for the very kind words...your blog (and you) are among my faves as well. :)

April 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGina Osher

As always, Gina, you have upped the mindful-Mama bar -- as in, having a stand-off tantrum with my 3 yo that required my 5 yo to come intervene in, in order to resolve said tantrum, is perhaps NOT the behavior I wish to model for my kids? (Unless of course we count the fact that my 5 yo is apparently a GENIUS arbitrator between 2 irrational nuts ((me and the 3 yo)) and can ONLY have learned that from me, right? if only ...) Awesome interview.

April 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah Levy

This article makes me want to head to El Coyote with both of you! Fun stuff. Thanks for letting us get to know Gina a bit better :)

April 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSuchada @ Mama Eve

yoga every day sounds perfect! Would not have called you for a reality tv consumer ;)

April 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPractical Parenting

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