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Mother’s Day is quickly approaching! As a busy mom, Mother’s Day can sneak up on you with the chaos of end of the year school activities, home projects, and travel plans. Moms have a heart of gold and do not have expectations of presents, but we still love the gesture of gifting to make the day special and show our appreciation for everything she does for the family.

“We read a lot of articles and books about how to get through the engagement process, but no one ever talked to us about what it would be like the first year of our marriage. I wish we had known what to expect,” said one of the couples my husband and I mentor. This is a common comment, and if you find yourself having similar feelings, do not fret! You are not alone. The first year of marriage is fabulous, but it can also be difficult. Two people learning to become one does not happen overnight.

We all like to think we have good manners in marriage, but with the people that are closest to us, we can sometimes find ourselves slipping a bit. As stated by Cindy Grosso of the Charleston School of Protocol, manners are not about a bunch of rules. Manners are the outward manifestation of the condition of our heart. If we have a heart that loves, honors, respects, and cherishes our spouse, then these traits will show in how we behave.

Society is opening and people are resuming long overdue vacations. This is great news! I recently posted some tips on making your travels successful, but let’s focus on dos and don’ts of traveling with friends.

 

1. Boundaries: When traveling with others, set guidelines, boundaries, and expectations before leaving town. If you know you and your husband want one night to yourselves, express this up front. If a quiet breakfast in bed is necessary to start your day, see if this fits with the group’s schedule. 

The world is opening, and it is time to celebrate! One of the first things people are doing as they exercise their recaptured freedom is heading out of town to new destinations. I thought a few refresher tips on travel might be good for all of us.

Walking into the room, my husband pauses in front of the TV. Turning to me with a spoiler alert about my favorite Hallmark movie he says, “Hey Lisa…they get married.” And you know what? He’s right! The girl found her prince charming, and the couple has a happy ending, every time.

How many mornings have we left home in a state of utter chaos? Breakfast was late, children were crying, and we hurriedly throw on clothes from the night before only to realize how wrinkled we look. This mad dash makes for an unpleasant parting from our family and it is usually caused by a disorganized approach to our routine. So much of the bedlam we experience at the beginning of the day can be avoided if we are willing to implement a few tasks the night before.

The mamor (mother-in-law) and damor (daughter-in-law) relationship is meant to be beautiful and strong. In parts 1 and 2 of our series we learned why women in these roles might have certain feelings in their new family dynamics. Once we learned the “why” we then explored practical steps we can take to strengthen these special bonds. As we bring our series to a close, I want to impart some words of wisdom we all need to hear, and be reminded of, to ensure we create a healthy, life-long bond between the mamor/damor.

In part one of our series on the mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship we learned why the women who find themselves in these roles often experience emotions ranging from pure joy to hurt and sadness. Once we discovered the answers, our understanding of this special relationship came into focus. We had an “aha” moment which makes our path forward easier to navigate.

Do you remember the movie Monster-in-Law? It starred Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda in a romantic comedy centered around the tumultuous relationship between a bride and her future mother-in-law. If you have not seen it, you should. It will keep you laughing but, sadly, may hit closer to home than you would like to admit.

As Texas plunged into single digits with multiple days of a windchill below freezing, millions found themselves stranded with no power or water. Living along the Gulf Coast we have weathered hurricanes and endured power outages for much longer periods, but somehow this seemed different. Maybe for those of us close to the shoreline it was the unusual sight of snow we experienced as opposed to the natural disasters we usually face that arrive with rain, wind, and sweltering heat.

Our son and daughter (in law) were finally able to take a long-overdue honeymoon to St. Lucia in December. Cecelia interned one summer for a travel agent so naturally called the company to book their trip. What an incredible experience they had, and I was reminded WHY using a travel agent is worth the expense. Fees range depending on the service, but most charge between $300-350 to plan a vacation somewhere in the Caribbean Islands. 

Q: I will be a new mom soon, and I have been preparing for life “after” a newborn. There is a lot of information on raising babies, and how dads can support mom, but I cannot find much on how moms can support dads. A lot of my mental preparation has been around my marriage. Specific questions: How do I preserve my marriage? How do we embrace the changes? How do I maintain my husband as a priority when we have a tiny human demanding everything? How can I help my husband bond with our new child?

Want to set your children up for success? Then look no further than the habits of successful people you know, whether that be in the corporate world, media, or within your own circle of friends. Experts agree that there are certain common traits all successful people possess. This is great news because it means we can emulate those leaders that have come before us. 

Many of us grew up learning multitasking was a hallmark of a productive person. While sounding good in theory, this practice has proven to be incorrect. Studies now reveal that multitasking is nothing more than switching back and forth between tasks and it lowers our productivity. Below are 5 points that deal with the facts behind project hopping and the lack of performance that occurs when we allow seemingly innocuous interruptions to occur in daily life.

  • Lisa Lou

How to Exit a Conversation with Style

Updated: Jun 29, 2020



We have all attended parties where we are enjoying (or maybe not enjoying) a conversation with the people around us, but we need to remove ourselves from the group. How do we do this graciously without seeming rude. Here are a few tips to help you exit a conversation with style.


Body Language:

1. You can use your body language to end a conversation. In the United States we have a typical “conversation range” between 18”-36”. To end the conversation with your body, begin stepping outside this “conversation range.” The other person will read your physical cues and know it is time to move on. Use this tip carefully, though. Pulling away from a conversation can come across as rude. I much prefer to use my words with a few of the examples below.


2. One thing not to do with your body: do not start looking around. This sends the signal you are bored. Remember, your goal is to exit gracefully.


3. Hand off to a third party: This is probably my favorite thing to do, especially when I am the hostess. I love to match people up so they can expand their social networks. The best way to do this is have a conversation with someone for a few minutes, then say, “I would love for you to meet Debbie. Her son will be attending the same high school as your son next year, and you will be a great help to each other.” Then, grab Debbie and put the two together. At this time, you can graciously say, “I am going to let the two of you talk while I check on my other guests.”


Verbally:

1. When I end a conversation verbally, I let the other person know I enjoyed our time together. Examples of easy and polite exit lines might go like this:


a. “I enjoyed getting to know you. Please excuse me while I run to the powder room.”


b. “This was a very enlightening conversation, and I look forward to more. I need to catch my friend before she walks out the door.”


c. “This has been delightful. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and we get to see each other in the New Year.”


2. Offer something before you leave. This is important in business settings, but also a kind thing to do in social settings. I attend gatherings with the goal of trying to improve someone else’s day during my time at the event. This can occur in endless ways, but two examples might sound like this:


a. “I enjoyed our conversation about social skills. I am going to send you a copy of my favorite “go-to” book that I use for research. I think you will really enjoy the contents.” You have now improved their day by the promise of a gift (just make sure you are true to your words and follow through in a timely manner!).


b. “This has been a delightful conversation. Since I grew up with the CEO of the company where your son just applied for a job, I am going to give him a call on Monday so he can be on the lookout for your son’s resume.” You have politely ended the conversation but also extended a helping hand by your willingness to use your influence to help her son.


3. Have sensory acuity. Knowing at what point in a conversation to exit is important. If the person you are speaking with is about to share something important, it is probably not the best time to walk away. There is an unspoken rule that the person who starts the conversation should be the person to exit the conversation. If you are at a cocktail party, and someone approaches you to talk, that person should also be the one to exit. If they approach you, and then you exit, it can make them feel dejected. If the person that started the conversation does not know to exit, then you may employ some of the tips above to remove yourself.


Remember, the bottom line in all conversations: treat others as you want to be treated!


Together with you,

Lisa Lou