Monthly Archives: April 2013

Please Parents, Don’t Break ALL The Rules!


Before I had children (while I was trying, pregnant, dishing with my friends that were moms before me, listening to their tales) I made a lot of rules that I thought I would enforce as a parent, the rules were for me, not necessarily for my children, but for the welfare of my children, and my mental health I guess.

Every single rule that I established for myself I broke:

“My children will NEVER sleep in my bed with me” says the mom who INVITES into her bed when her husband works a 24 with the FDNY.
“My children will NEVER eat in the car” says the mom who is giving her children baggies of snacks, dried cereal whatever so they have something to eat because they refused at the table.
My children will NEVER eat fast food” says the mom that in one day had McDonald’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner (just me, the kids only had dinner and that is when the official BAN on fast food started January 1, 2013 because that was BEYOND gross.)
And now I have yet ANOTHER rule that I will toss on the pile of rules that are now sitting in the corner of my living room, along with my cob webs:
“I will NEVER register my children in more than one activity (sport, dance class, piano lessons, science class etc) in one season.”
This was a biggie for me, my rules of all rules, my cardinal rule, the one I would say with so much emphasis that I channeled my inner Shananana and spewed it out with two snaps and a Z formation. The one I would NEVER break, the pact I made myself not to run around like a lunatic because “it’s not good for my children to see me bat-shit crazier” nor “is it good for my children to have to run around, be pressured to play instead of just playing” yep I broke it.
Yeah that one.
Baseball, Track, Soccer, OH MY!
As soon as I had two baseball games and track practice in one night I face-palmed myself, I mean is that really necessary? I can’t believe the chaos I created for myself and the stress I created for my life, our life. Thankfully my children aren’t complaining and are having fun, but there will come a time in this season when they both whine and complain about another game, practice, etc because it will be too much. They will be sick of rushing out of the house instead of having a leisurely dinner, of having to study for a test at 8:00 at night, or taking a bath at 10:00 p.m. because they have to finish a report.
Oh it will happen, and when it does I will remind myself that I created this shit-show that is occurring in my house, with the big bugger pouting and moaning that he is too tired to write his current event, and with his little brother screaming in the background naked as a jay bird trying to coerce him into doing some wrestling moves (still naked, poor big brother) all hopped up on the endorphins from track practice.

Oh yes, I will remind myself as I am sipping a glass of wine that some rules are not meant to be broken.   

Posted in broken parenting rules, deanna verbouwens, parenting rules, The Little Buggers, the unnatural mother, unnatural mother

The Finish Line.

When I train for a race, no matter the distance, no matter if it is a road race, a relay, a fun run, a triathlon my thoughts, my goals, my effort and my training is focused on one thing:  The Finish Line. I train to cross the finish line. I spend weeks upon weeks mentally and physically preparing myself to get to that finish line. The doubt, the questions, the what if’s about my life, my ability, myself are left on the road during my training, it’s where I gain the strength, the solitude, the courage and the confidence to cross the finish line.

The finish line that beautiful finish line.
It brings so much. It brings the closure of weeks of training.
I love knowing that during a race, as mile after mile gets checked off that I am getting closer and closer to that finish line. When I can actually see the finish line with my own two eyes, seeing the clock running rapidly, the numbers moving swiftly, realizing that it is all within my reach I love kicking it up a notch, driving my legs as fast as I can to cross that finish line, even when there is nothing (and that happens!) left in the tank, I always try my hardest to get to that finish line as fast as I can.
The finish line that beautiful finish line.
It brings so much. It brings the love and support of your family and friends.
As soon as my feet sail over the finish line, I know at that precise moment that it doesn’t really matter if I set a PR or if I bonked, all that matters is that I crossed that finish line. The feeling I have is euphoric, it’s a feeling that NEVER gets old, and one that I continually chase as I sign up for race after race. From the curls that sit on-top of my head to my mangled toes my entire body is filled with the satisfaction of completing something I set out to do with all my heart, soul and mind.
And when the cool touch of that finishers medal is wrapped around my sweat drenched neck I know that the glory of finishing is all mine. I wear the glory of that medal on my face, in my heart, on my sleeve because the sweat, fears, insecurities, anxiety, all my blah’s about life, including the many tears of training are behind, left on the course as I magically cross that finish line. That medal symbolizes that life is good.
The finish line that beautiful finish line. It brings so much.
It brings, perhaps naïve, the thought that everything in life will be A-OKAY.
This past Sunday as I crossed the finish line of my seventh half marathon I felt those feelings. I didn’t PR. But I gave it my all. The satisfaction of knowing that I was both physically and mentally strong was intoxicating for almost a full 24 hours – that feeling came to a screeching halt the moment I learned about the tragic events that occurred at the Boston Marathon.
I was and I believe I still am in a state of complete disbelief. That very morning of the Boston Marathon I made a conscious decision to sit firmly on the couch and watch these amazing athlete’s compete. This is my Oscars, my Superbowl, my Grammy Awards.
As I watched the marathon unfold I had a feeling of strength, of unity, of “WOW! I just ran 13.1 miles and these amazing athletes are doing twice the work in less time than I ran those 13.1 miles!” I tweeted. I Facebook-ed. I took part in this iconic event in any way that I could, albeit small, I even mumbled to myself that I must ask my sister if she would volunteer next year at Boston as it would be the closet I could ever get to that race.
The finish line that beautiful finish line. It never happened for so many.
On Monday that finish line brought tears, tragedy, sorrow, hate, death, sadness.
And for that I am sad. I am angry. I am confused. My beautiful running community has been marred. I am sad for those that ran Boston, I am sad for those that attended, I am sad for the families that lost loved ones, spectators that lost their  limbs, for all those that were affected by this horrific event –  I am angry that something so violent and tragic happened at something so big, so beautiful, so amazing.
I know that the running community is a strong breed (we sign up to run for one, two, three, four, five hours – heck even overnight relays!) that supports each other from whatever walks of life, shape, sizes, abilities; I know our Country is strong. I know that Boston is wicked strong. This cowardly act may knock us down for a bit, set us back a step but we will prevail.
That finish line that beautiful finish line.

The next time we cross over it, we will be stronger. 

That finish line that beautiful finish line. 

                                                   My first half marathon!

Posted in #morefitnesshalf, #runforboston, boston marathon, deanna verbouwens, half marathon, Mangia Mia Fitness Pia, more half marathon, running

The Truth About Being Unemployed: Don’t Assume I’m Desperate.

By Deanna

Being unemployed certainly is not what I want to be, as much as I like being home with my children, getting up a little later, and doing laundry at noon, I am a working mom and my family needs two incomes if we want to live the life that we do: go on multiple vacations a year, the occasional dinner out, splurge on a new pair of shoes, not feel completely guilty when I buy my kids some crappy toy they are whining about in 7-11 when I pick up my coffee (oh that too, buying coffee!) –  you get the gist. I am not living high on the hog, the average American middle-class family.

And as much as I need a new position, I am also not desperate for a new position either, what I am desperate for is the right position. Ya see when you have to search for a new position, you blanket the job boards with your resume – because as flooded as the job boards are, I know from experience that some pretty amazing recruiters troll those sites, that some pretty outstanding companies with some pretty stellar in-house recruitment departments use those sites to locate qualified candidates (that would be me, I’m a qualified candidate!) but it also automatically opens the flood gates with email solicitations like the one below – when I receive these, the hair on the back of my neck stands up. It’s a waste of my time and it’s a waste of the “recruiters” time. I usually read (cause ya never know!) and delete them, but for some reason, this email ticked off.


So I responded, yes I actually responded and sent the email below
 but now this is my
to email job solicitations that I am clearly not a match for:

(it looks official, right?)

Good afternoon:

Thank you for your email, I appreciate it and your offer to interview but please explain to me why you would think that I would be a great match for the position as a Benefits Consultant, Insurance Agent,  Compliance Officer, Customer Service Representative etc… at SAID COMPANY especially when my resume clearly states that I am a Social Media Manager/Strategist?

As great as a company as SAID COMPANY is (I mean, you have to be rock-stars, SAID COMPANYmarketing and advertising strategies/ads are smart, funny and memorable) I believe that, you are doing that company a great disservice by contacting candidates that have absolutely NO experience for this position within SAID COMPANY. Other than being an individual that has experience collaborating with professional at all levels, solid communication skills and well-versed in the corporate environment I have no other skills that would qualify me for this position, clearly I am not qualified.  

So tell me “COMPANY RECRUITER”  why would you be very interested in me as a candidate? Is it because I was a Website Manager for an Insurance Company? That I worked as a Technical Recruiter? Is it my sparkling personality? Well-written resume? Or is it because I am unemployed and every unemployed person you assume “in this economy” is down on their luck, kicking their shoes in the dirt, and looking to change their careers?

Because I am not.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this position might be perfect for someone, it’s a great company, and probably a great career however just because someone got unlucky and laid-off does not mean that every offer that is thrown out to them is a good fit. I’m horrible fit for this role. Assuming that I am down on my luck “in this economy” is a poor judgment on SAID COMPANY part.

To be quite honest I am not going to sell myself short, walk into a profession that I have NO passion for, to be unhappy – been there done that. That would be a huge detriment to SAID COMPANY as well as my ass, because frankly I haven’t gotten a handle on my emotional eating, and I am in NO position to be downing chips like it’s my job because well, I hate my job.  

And just so you know, not every unemployed person out there is desperate for a job and looking to change their careers. Do I need a new job? No, I don’t need a job, I need a new position to further my career in social media within a company that will challenge me, listen to my ideas, that will let me be a leader, use my experience to create thought-provoking content that will elevate their brand and the company; allow me to develop interesting, fun, mind-grabbing social media terse, creative landing pages to drive brand awareness, community support, or prospective clients to their website/company for the benefit of said company. Oh! And I also need a company that will understand that I may need a day off if my child is sick and to be understanding about that as well.  

Thank again for your email, and I sincerely hope you find candidates that are a great fit for SAID COMPANY.


The Truth About Being Unemployed: I do not want a career change, I am not desperate for a new job, regardless of the economy.

Posted in deanna verbouwens, laid off, new job, That's Life, the truth about being unemployed, unemployed, unnatural mother