James Kicinski-McCoy is a writer and blogger, specializing in strategic marketing and branding, is a co-founder and editor of Mother Magazine, and co-owner and creative director of Two Son. She lives with her husband and four children in Nashville, Tennessee.
Advice is something that people love to give, whether we ask for it or not. Over our lifetimes, we will receive an awful lot of other people’s opinions—some good and some not-so-good. I have received a lot of both, and therefore learned how to decipher between what is helpful and what is not. There are two pieces of advice that I have been given over the years that I would consider to be some of the best. The first is, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” As common sense as this may seem, I think that it has gotten me through some really tough scenarios in life and in business. I have learned to let little things go and to really pick my battles when it comes to conflict. The other piece of advice that I consider one of the best has to do with parenting. A wise woman once told me, “Speak to your children as you would like to be spoken to.” I adopted this wisdom into my own parenting methods by speaking to my kids like equals. And so far, it’s worked in raising confident, self-sufficient children.
I, personally, don’t like to dish out advice unless someone asks for it. I’m happy to share my thoughts and opinions when solicited, but I’ve learned that telling someone how to live their life does not work. In other words, people seldom change their ways to accommodate another person’s suggestions. This is not to say I haven’t appreciated advice and suggestions from friends and loved ones over the years, but I’ve learned to trust my own instincts along the way, too.
I’d love to hear your opinion on advice giving and receiving. Also, please feel free to share the best piece of advice you’ve ever received in the comments below.
On Sunday, after a good sleep in and a latte in bed, and a few beautifully drawn homemade cards, my family took me to the nursery to go plant shopping. It’s our Mother’s Day tradition and I love it. We went to a place called Bates, on the other side of Nashville, out in the country that my friend recommended. I picked out a few new green friends and then we headed to The Pharmacy for burgers, tots, milk shakes for the kids and ice-cold beer for Mom. It was a mellow day, just the way I like it. I hope that you all had a lovely Mother’s Day, being celebrated or celebrating a mother dear to you.
P.S. How gorgeous is that first photo of Birdie that my husband took?! I might have it framed.
This year seems to be challenging us quite a bit. On Friday evening, Sailor hit his head while running in the kitchen and had to get five stitches on his forehead. It was not a fun experience for any of us. I am happy to report that he is doing well and his stitches are healing nicely.
Julian: Post shower stuffed animal fight.
Plum: She hasn’t been into having her picture taken lately. I’m wondering how this weekly series will go.
Birdie: Birdie threw a little concert for us last night and sang the theme songs to her favorite shows. She played the ukulele and wore sunglasses. I posted a little video on Instagram if you would like to see.
Sailor: Waiting, waiting and more waiting in the emergency room. Watching the iPad while the medicine on his forehead kicks in before stitches.
Julian: I have to make him put on shoes before he goes outside. I caught him barefoot in the snow last week.
Plum: Painting her nails navy blue. “I don’t usually paint my nails because I don’t like it when it chips.”
Birdie: “These are my special fancy shoes. They are my favorite shoes I have.”
Sailor: I found him playing by himself in the corner of my bedroom with a little double-decker bus toy.
Another year of photos of my children through my eyes. This year anything goes. It could be a photo of something that represents them, a favorite toy just played with and left on the ground or a hand print on the wall. It could be a photo of them showing raw emotion or all of them together outside running wild. I want to get creative and try to capture more this time around.
Julian: I took this photo shortly after he woke up. I was asking him how he slept and he told me he dreamed of dragons.
Plum: She loves My Little Pony but sometimes feels like she shouldn’t because she is eleven and thinks they are for little kids.
Birdie: We went outside and played in the snow. Just us and her white tiger.
Sailor: I took this photo yesterday afternoon, after a pipe broke from the freeze the night before and water flooded part of our house. The commotion and panic happened while he slept. He woke up from his slumber like nothing had happened. We played on my bed and all the stress of the day seemed to fade away for that moment.