MjAxMy02MWE2NjQzMWI4NmNjZTgx You’ve probably heard of the Myers-Brigg personality assessment. If you’re a writer, I know you have. In any case there are 16 types and you can take a test, there are a slew of online ones and they tell you about your personality type. It’s just components, certainly not all inclusive. Now I say as a writer I know you’ve heard about it because us writers are pros when it comes to personality tests and we’re on a first-name basis with all our baggage. For example, I know I’m a total control-freak (also very common among writers, well and moms), I’m reluctant to try new things because I’m not sure I’ll be able to do them right (AKA perfectionist), I have serious body-image issues, and I’m bossy as hell (is that the same thing as being a control freak?)

One of the other things I know about myself, and to bring us back to the subject matter and the Myers-Brigg assessment is that I am an introvert. Now I don’t know if there are levels of introverts, but if there are, I’d think I was a Class 4 (on a scale from 1-5), nearly as introverted as one can get. This doesn’t mean I can’t function socially, but I do need my space. Which brings us to the problem with being an introverted mom. Okay so there’s probably not just one problem, but there is a significant one.

There are days when I wake up and though I might not recognize it immediately, it is a day when I need to be alone. Not simply because I need to recharge, but because if I’m around other people I tend to get snippy. I’m not in the mood to talk. At all. I just want to be inside my head and have quiet. These are the days when I’m the worst sort of mom. Most of the time I won’t even notice it until mid-afternoon and I realize I’ve been grumpy with my girls all day. I’ll try to stop and reassess the situation, think of ways I can either (a) be more patient or (b) occupy them without having to engage too much. It’s not that I want to ignore them, but as an introvert, I crave, I need, alone, quiet time in order to function properly. And sleeping doesn’t count. I need awake time to be quiet and alone.

It’s not so much that I don’t like people (though there are days…) it really just has to do with my energy level. The stuff I need to be the best me, that stuff only gets refilled during those alone moments. They’re few and far between these days. And this week, which marks the third year we’ve had our girls, I’m so thankful for my children and the family we’ve become. But I also believing knowing this about myself and taking action to make sure they aren’t the butt of my grumps, makes me a better mom.

BuzzFeed’s 31 Unmistakable Signs That You’re an Introvert


So how about you? Do you know where you are on the spectrum? Do you think your personality brings challenges to your parenting or to any of your other relationships?  

Nancy Robards Thompson
Nancy Robards Thompson


family, Nancy Robards Thompson

The Norwegian had to work on Valentine’s Day (we celebrated in the evening). It gave me a wonderful opportunity to  spend the day with my other best guy, my father.  We went out for lunch and then we did our favorite thing — we took a long walk — about three miles in all — around a lake not far from his place.

My dad and I have always been close and we enjoy walking together.  When he and my stepmom lived in North Carolina (before she passed away), he and I would make time to hike on the Appalachian Trail each time I visited. Now, he’s back in Florida and closer to us. We don’t have the gorgeous wooded trails down here like we did up there (at least not in our area), but we do have each other’s company.   However, now that we’re living in the same town again, we talk on the phone nearly every day, but we don’t walk together as much as we should.  Isn’t that crazy? He’s busy, and sometimes I get so wrapped up in my deadlines and other demands that I lose sight of what’s truly important.

IMG_1443After our Valentine’s Day together, I spent some time reflecting on how lucky I am to have this time with my dad — time to walk and share our thoughts on the large and small things that make up our lives. He has such a great outlook and he’s fun to be around. Our walks are filled with great conversation and laughter and just the right amount of companionable silence. I’ve made a Valentine’s Day vow to make sure we do this regularly. I guess it simply took a walk with my father to remind me of what’s really important.

What’s important to you?  I’ll give a $5 Amazon gift card to one person who comments.IMG_1431

P.S. The two landscape pictures are from our walk around the lake.  

Kathleen O'Brien
Kathleen O'Brien


family, giveaway, Jaunty Post, Kathleen O'Brien, Nicknames

Does your family have any silly nicknames for one another?  Those affectionate labels can be pretty ridiculous, especially when outsiders have no idea where they came from.

Our family seems to love them.  When Girlchild was an infant, she had a little cloth ball in her crib, and when it moved it made a darling “bink-bonk” chiming sound.  She was energetic, and sometimes His Highness and I would smile from the other room at the melodies she’d create with her wriggling.  “There she goes, binky-bonkying around,” he’d say. 

Binky in her crib sitting up

And suddenly, she was Binky Bonk.  Then just Binky.  We called her Binky almost exclusively for years.

 Guess when we stopped?  Yep.  The day she got old enough to bring home buddies to play.  That afternoon, she informed me solemnly that Binky was fine when it was just us, but expressly forbidden in front of outsiders. (And, hey, isn’t she going to appreciate my announcing it here?  ;-) )

graphic mom lectures teen istock purchase

  The other day, out of nowhere, I suddenly remembered a name my mom used to call my sister and me.  Ooofty-goof.  Where did the term come from?  I have no idea, but it made me smile to remember hearing it in her teasing voice. 

My dad called me Bourney, which was a babyism for Mavourneen, which was taken from the old Irish song, Kathleen Mavourneen.  I have notes I wrote to him, saved from first grade, signed BBB.  In that magical way nicknames have, Bourney had become Bourney Baby Bird.

Daddy and me Bayshore 

I loved it, but I’m pretty sure I never mentioned that to my school buddies.   ;-)

 How about you?  Does your family do this?  Do you have any memories of those special names, spoken in loving, laughing voices that perhaps are long gone…except in your heart?

I’m giving away a $10 Amazon gift certificate to one randomly chosen poster today, so I hope you’ll join the chat!

Kathleen O'Brien
Kathleen O'Brien


Birthdays, family, favorite things, giveaway, Jaunty Post, Kathleen O'Brien

birthday card

One of my most-enjoyed morning rituals is sending good wishes to my Facebook friends who are having a birthday today.  Some I know well, in Real Life.  Others I have met only online, but have come to cherish as friends.  But many are still essentially just strangers who share my interest in reading and writing.

When I was younger, I might not have reached out to that last group at all.  Whether it was a birthday or a wedding or a death in their family, I felt oddly silly offering my good thoughts to people who might look at my message and think, “HUH?  Who is she?  Why do I care what this stranger thinks?”

 But all that changed the first time I had a real, up-close tragedy in my own life.  My sister’s husband died, and our whole family was pole-axed with grief…for him, and for her.

 comforter card

A flood of affection and good wishes poured in, and you know what?  Never once did I look at a card or a bouquet and think, “HUH?  Who is that?  Why do I care what this stranger thinks?”

 Far from it.  I was deeply grateful for the generous impulse that had led that person to reach out and try to comfort us.  I was moved by the intense, new awareness that, when it came to heartbreak, we were all the same.  The person behind the card might not have known my brother-in-law, or even my sister, but they knew grief.  And they wanted to help.

just for you card

So now I don’t think twice.  I just extend my wishes for happiness, for health, for an easing of pain, for a new home, a new baby, a new job…whatever is needed.  Because while I don’t know that person very well, I do know we’re all essentially just human beings trying to find joy in lives that can sometimes be very tough.  And I want to help.

congratulations card 

How about you?  Do you feel silly reaching out to people you don’t know very well, especially now that the internet has made the world so much smaller?  Do you enjoy getting birthday or get-well wishes from Facebook friends who aren’t necessarily Real Life friends?

I’m giving away a $10 Amazon gift certificate to one randomly chosen poster today, so I hope you’ll take a minute to share your thoughts.  

Robyn DeHart
Robyn DeHart


family, Robyn DeHart

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I suspect there are lots of great moms out there, I’ve met many of them, but I dare say you won’t find one better than my mom. She’s great for many reasons, but one of the main ones is because she’s just plain fun to be around. We tease a lot that our antics, which have often involved my sister as well, are very much like Lucy and Ethel from I Love Lucy. Someday I’ll tell y’all about my mom vs. the bus when we were traveling in London. And someday I’ll tell y’all about her very bad idea involving Ben-Gay. But today I want to tell you about her most recent chuckle-inducing behavior.

A couple of summers ago, I was having some medical issues that required weekly visits to the specialist. My mom came with me to those visits because The Professor was teaching summer school. On one such day we’d left the appointment with some bad news and I was tired and upset and hungry because I hadn’t been able to eat breakfast that day. So we stopped at the first place we saw, which happened to be a McDonalds. We went through the drive-thru and as I was driving around she informed she had to go to the bathroom, so I parked and waited. I was halfway into my Egg McMuffin when I saw her walk to the driver side of the car and then she proceeded to get into the car parked next to us. I was trying to honk and bang on the window to get her attention, but luckily the poor girl sitting in that car (whom she scared half to death) assured her that she was in the wrong vehicle.

Eight days later we were out running errands and we left the store and I was walking to the car and was talking to her, turned around and couldn’t find her. I looked around and called out because I was concerned she might have fallen, but nope, she got in someone else’s car again. And before you think she’s suffering from dementia, she’s not, she’s sharp as a tack. I think it’s mostly that she’s terrible with car descriptions. Both of the vehicles she got in were small SUV’s like mine, but neither were a Honda and neither were blue. And she’s actually done this before…

Several years ago (before I was even married) we had stopped at the small grocery store on the way home and I was driving her car. She had gone into the store and I waited outside. Out of nowhere an intense rainstorm started and by the time she came out it was pouring and when I say pouring, I mean like crazy, fat drops drenching the ground. In any case she came out of the store and proceeded to go to another vehicle even though I was honking trying to get her attention though admittedly I was laughing hysterically too as she actually pounded on the window of the other car. She finally found me, but she looked like a severely wet and irritated cat by the time she got in with me.

So there you go, some of my mom’s funniest moments. There are more, I assure you. So how about you? Have you ever gotten in the wrong car before? Or what’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you lately?

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