Monthly Archives: January 2017

Family: Favorites? Do you have a Favorite Child?

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When I learned I was having a second child, it was a shock. My second child was not planned and I had much planning to do before the  baby’s arrival. One thought I recall having was how can I love my second child as much as I love the one I have? Surely my first born would be my favorite. I know it must sound silly, but as I thought about family members and friends; I could see who one or both parents favored. My thought turned into a worry. Can I love them both the same?

My second child turned out to be a bouncing baby girl. I have one boy and one girl. Two totally different children personality wise. In hindsight it was crazy of me to think I could not love the second as much as the first. I honestly love them both the same.

I recall watching a television show where the mother was terminally ill. The mother had several kids and after she passed, all her children thought they were her favorite. I made a goal that I would make both my children feel special. When I go I want them both to feel as they were my  “favorite”. I’ll share some methods I have used that have worked in achieving this.

Learn To Appreciate the Differences in Your Children

After having two children, I noticed the differences in their personalities and development. It was as if I had to learn to parent all over again. What worked for one child may not work for the other child. Your children are going to be different. Mine seem like night and day in many aspects. I have learned to embrace their differences. It’s what makes them unique. I believe sometimes parents tend to favor the child who is easier to raise or more like themselves.  For me the best way to appreciate he differences in my children is to connect and learn more about what makes them unique.

Spend time with them individually

After I had my second child, I made a point to spend time with my first just him and I. I was conscious that he may feel left out or jealous of his little sister. Once a month I arrange an outing  with just him and I. Some activities we do are:

  • Go out to eat to his favorite restaurant
  • Go to the movies
  • Go bowling (one of his favorite activities)
  • Go out for Ice Cream

During this time we do activities he likes, we talk, we connect. I have found it is a great way to bond and build trust with each individual child.

Make Them Feel Special

When I buy something for one I buy for the other. I think that is rule number one for multiple children. Also make sure you buy the same number of items because the children will be counting!

Give them a prestigious title.  I know it sounds silly for kids but it works for mine. For example, I didn’t want my son to feel left out when his sister came along. I told him he has a very important role he is the “Big Brother” I explained you have a responsibility to protect your sister, help with her, and teach her. The title of Big Brother and the important role he plays made the transition smooth.

Other titles he has is my “favorite son” don’t use this if you have more than one son. It works for me because I only have one son. I tell my daughter she is my “favorite daughter” also I only have one daughter.

I tell my son he is my first baby and his sister is my only baby number 2. Facts but it makes them feel special so I roll with it.

Spend Quality Time Together As a Family

Family time with the entire family should be encouraged. This gives the children and parents an opportunity to connect with each other in the family unit. The family unit is the child’s first introduction to  a community. Spending quality time together as a family will give family members the opportunity to learn more about each individual’s characteristics, similarities, and embrace differences.

I make a point to tell both my children daily I love them. I accept and embrace their unique personalities and talents. I encourage them to do the same with the people in our family unit. These attempts have worked for me and my family. Both my children feel they are loved equally as they are and there are no “favorites” in our family.

Tell me do you have a favorite child? How do you ensure each of your children feel special and cherished?

Written by: Rochella Neely
An “open book”

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Career: How to Deal with a Bad Boss

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Dealing with a “bad” boss, takes skill and patience. It’s important to realize, the relationship you have with your manager is extremely important. If you are planning to grow within the company or if you plan to stay short term; it is wise to have your manager as your ally or cheerleader than foe. Your current manager can help you to get the promotion or prevent you from getting the promotion. If you leave the company, your reputation will follow you so protect your brand. How do you deal with a situation when you have a bad boss? You know the type, the insecure manager, the gossiping manager, the backstabber.

Find out what makes them tick

Find out what makes your manager tick. This will take some conversation, observation and getting to know him or her. Once you find out what makes your boss tick then handle with care. For example, if you find out that your boss is insecure due to unskillfulness in their role; assure your boss that you are not trying to take their position. You will need to prove your loyalty to your manager. This may take time and you may have to prove it more than once.

Aid in the areas they are weak. If you see your boss really does not like completing a report or struggles completing the report, offer to take it off his hands.

Do Your Job Well

The best assistance you can do for your boss is to do your job well. Learn as much as you can, become an expert in your field, and share your knowledge. By doing your job well, you in turn make your manager’s job easier and make your boss look good.

Go above and beyond when asked to take on projects. Deliver more than expected and do it with a positive attitude.

Keep your Emotions in Check

If you have worked for a bad boss previously, you understand how challenging it can be to keep your emotions in check. Don’t Let your boss get to you and don’t take things personally. Remind yourself this is a test that you will pass.

Do not fall into gossiping about your boss no matter how tempting it may be. As you are in the lunchroom and you hear the gossip about your manager, do not participate. Don’t do it. This is career suicide. I promise you if you do fall into this trap, there is a strong possibility what you said will get back to the manager.

Instead, if you must vent about your bad boss, go home vent to your family and friends. Someone who does not work for the company.

Protect Yourself

Have you ever worked for an untrustworthy boss? You know the type, they tell you one thing, then when its brought up again they deny it. For this backstabbing boss, get pertinent information and directives in writing to protect yourself. If your boss doesn’t usually put information is writing , you put it in writing. For example, send an email outlining what you verbally discussed. Even if you don’t get a response back, you have your writing.

Dealing with a bad manager can be challenging and demanding however it can be accomplished. The benefits of having a good working relationship with your manager out weights the negative. Learning to build strong relationships with key people is a valuable, life long skill that can benefit you in both your career and personal life.

If you enjoyed this post, see my post on How to Increase Relationship Building Skills


Written by: Rochella Neely
“an open book”

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Family: Absent Father and Daughters

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Often, I hear girls gather to their father. It wasn’t until I had my own daughter that I understood this. Maybe because as a child, my own father was not around to experience this concept. I watched in awe as I saw my daughter fascinated with her father or any male figure for that matter. She longed to be in the presence of a male.
This is not what I daydreamed of when the doctor said “it’s a girl” I immediately dreamt of me and my “mini me” going to lunch, having lengthy, bottomless, conversations, visiting the salon together; inseparable. Here is my daughter glazing into her father’s eyes, as if he carried her for nine months, experienced the waves of agony as the uterus expands to deliver life; her life. Not to mention, I’m still trying to lose the extra 15 pounds of baby weight.
The bond between a father and daughter is beautiful and amazing to watch. As I watched their interactions, it became clear her father is teaching his daughter how a man should treat her. Her father is fulfilling that natural yearning all little girls have; to be adored by their fathers.
One of the most interesting aspects of parenthood is that it makes the parent more self-aware. As I witnessed the relationship my daughter is building with her father, I couldn’t help but think of the relationship I had with my own father as a child.
As a child, it was not uncommon for the children in my school to come from single parent homes. In my mind, this was normal. As I think back to my teenage years, I recall longing to speak to a male figure daily. I had to hear a deep, male’s voice. I thought I was just boy crazy! In hindsight, I believe it was that desire to hear my father’s voice.
When I began dating, it was awkward for me. I did not know how to act around boys; I could not give a hug to the opposite sex without feeling bizarre. As I became an adult I made poor decisions regarding the male company I kept and was terrified of a relationship.

All these issues I believe, stem from not having a strong foundation with the first man in my life; my father. Yes, girls need their mothers. However, girls need their fathers as well. A girl learning how to develop a healthy relationship with the opposite sex is fundamental to her overall development and an important skill to learn.
Here are some tips to help the girls in your life grow in this area.

1. Recognize the Need for Her Father
It’s comical, I remember being in high school speaking with another classmate. We were discussing an article we read about a girl who expressed how tough it was not having a father. Me and my friends were laughing. We don’t have fathers in our life and we are just fine. We are not missing out on anything. How can you miss what you don’t have?
At that age, we had no idea what we needed. So, the first step is to recognize the need. Even if the child does not recognize the need immediately, they will at some point in life. Girls need to know they are loved by both parents. This helps aid in the child’s self-esteem and self-confidence. She needs to learn how to interact, how a boy is supposed to treat her on a date and in life. All these elements are important for her development. Ladies don’t lie to yourself by saying my daughter does not need her father.
2. Show your daughters how to be a lady
One of the best gifts a mother can give to a daughter is to teach her how to be a lady. Daughters look to their mothers for direction as to how a woman should act. Teach your daughter appropriate behavior around the opposite sex, how to properly resolve conflict, and how to respect others. Instill in your daughter they are the catch and not the hunter. Showing your daughters how to respect themselves, will in turn teach them how to require respect from the opposite sex. For example, implanting in your daughter that their male companion should not humiliate them in public; should respect their opinions, as well as boundaries. These valuable skills will instill self-esteem, self-respect and confidence in your daughter.
3. Show your daughters love
Love is one of the most powerful, basic, raw, human need. It is enormously important to give your daughters an abundance of love; especially our girls with absent fathers. Love is powerful, able to transform and break down many barriers. Showing your daughters love will enable her to feel protected, show her how to love others and contribute to her self-confidence. Practice telling your daughter daily “I love you”. Show your daughter you love her by freely giving out natural affection such as hugs and kisses. Teach your daughters what love looks like and what it does not look like. For example, love does not hit, love is not jealous, love does not have malicious intent.

4. Encourage your daughter to establish a relationship with her father if possible
Key word is if possible. There may be many reasons a father is absent. Absenteeism could be due to death, divorce, problems with substance abuse or incarceration. Never put your daughter in a situation where her physical or emotional welfare may be in danger. If for example the reason for the absence father is simply the parents split. Encourage the relationship however do not force it. Both parties must have an interest in cultivating the relationship. If not, it will fail.
For example, the relationship with my father and I was turbulent in my teenage and young adult years. I recall trying to build a relationship as a teenager with my father and feeling completely rejected. I experienced calling his home, leaving messages and waiting months for a return phone call. When I did receive a phone call, we would agree to spend time together. I recall some days waiting for him and he never showed. Rejection after rejection, I gave up trying and the relationship became null. For me, at that time the relationship was not possible.
5. Find a good male role model for your daughter

I have spoken with many women who had wonderful male role models in their lives. Positive male role models are beneficial to a young girl’s development. Look to see if you can encourage a male role model for your daughter. Some great places to look are her grandfathers, uncles, older siblings, stepfathers, a volunteer mentor, a trusted family friend, a trusted religious leader or member. The possibilities are endless. Here are some qualities you should look for in a possible male model for your daughter:

Someone who shares your values and understand the goal of the relationship
Someone who likes kids
Someone your daughter feels comfortable with
Someone who is trust worthy
Someone who has a desire or want to be the model for your daughter

I consider myself blessed that my children can build a relationship with their father. My daughter hopefully will not experience the pain of an absent father. A parent’s role is to ensure their children receive everything needed during childhood, so their children can become well rounded, productive citizens. This includes healthy relationships with both parents.

Written by: Rochella Neely,
an “open book”

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Career: Interview Tips to Land Your Dream Job

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Thanks for stopping by! I am a business woman, blogger, wife and mother. I help women balance the challenging roles of career and family life by sharing resources, tips and experiences. I have worked in the financial industry for almost 20 years and I have two children.
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It’s a new year! One of your new year resolutions may be to switch employers, secure a promotion or change careers. The beginning of the year generally opens doors to new opportunities as employer’s budgets have been finalized, retiree’s positions are open and companies are looking to fill positions.

Whatever your career goals are for 2017, it is important when your opportunity arrives, you are ready and put your best foot forward. Below are some tips to help you secure your dream job


Update Your Resume

If you have been at your current employer for years or changing careers, it is imperative to update your resume. Your resume is what inspires an employer to  reach out to you. This is your first impression to a hiring Manager or HR professional. Make it count. Ensure your resume is up to par.

Check that there are no grammatical errors. This is a pet peeve of mine. I will not call a candidate that has typos and a poorly written resume. If the individual did not put in the effort and time to ensure his/her resume is presentable; may be a clear indication of the candidate’s attention to detail if he/she works with you.

List your accomplishments, this is something I like to see on a resume. Don’t be afraid to brag a little about your achievements. Your resume is the place to highlight these activities.

Briefly list your responsibilities in previous roles; this will give employers a clear picture of your experience. Notice I said briefly. Hiring Managers want to be able to skim your resume to see if you may be a good fit. Make it easy for them by not listing a long list of responsibilities. If you get the interview, you will have the opportunity to go in more detail at that time.

The Interview Starts Before You Step in The Building

One of the biggest misconceptions candidates have is, their interview starts once they are in front of the hiring Manager. I start interviewing when I make the call to set up the interview appointment. I take note of items such as how did the person sound on the phone? Did they sound professional? Did they seem excited to receive the call? What was their tone? Were they accommodating when scheduling the interview?

Once the interview is confirmed, start preparing. Look at the description for the position, this will tell you what the employer is looking for. Research possible questions you could be asked and be prepared to answer them. Practice out loud your responses. Tape record yourself so you can play back how you sound. Some individuals have done mock interviews with a friend or mentor and video-taped themselves to assess where improvements can be made.

Dress for success. Dressing professionally, goes without saying. No matter what type of position you are applying for, ensure you are dressed professionally. Your clothes should be clean, pressed and presentable.

Treat the receptionist or the person who escort you to the hiring Manager, with courtesy and respect. At a previous institution, I worked for–when an applicant came to fill out an application or for an interview, the receptionist had a questionnaire unbeknownst to the candidate that was completed. Some of the questions were, did the person make eye contact? Did the individual smile? Was the individual courteous? Remember employers like to know who they really are hiring, not who they think they are hiring. Always be prepared.

During the Interview

During the interview, try not to be overly nervous. It’s normal to be nervous during an interview, however you want to minimize this as much as possible to have an effective interview. Some practices I do before an interview is to take slow, deep, breaths before entering the interview. I am aware that I tend to talk faster when I am nervous, I purposely slow my speech down so that I sound “normal”. Make eye contact. If you are not making eye contact, the interviewer may think you are not being honest. Let your true personality come through.

Be confident but not arrogant. Confidence is a good quality. Some ways you can convey you are confident are:

  • Make eye contact, introduce yourself and give a firm handshake
  • Make eye contact throughout the interview
  • Project your voice
  • Smile
  • Tell a story when appropriate

Sell yourself. The purpose of the interview is for the employer to get to know you, for you to get more information regarding the company and position, and to sell yourself. Let the interviewer know what you have accomplished and what you are capable of. One of the questions I usually ask during an interview is “If I have two candidates and you are one of those candidates, both candidates have the same experience, look the same on paper, and are both equally qualified for the position. Tell me why you should be selected over the other candidate?” This is your chance to sell yourself. The interviewer has given you the opportunity to convince them why you should be selected. Use that opportunity wisely.

Be prepared to ask the interviewer questions. I like to hear candidates ask questions, it shows they are serious about working together. Please beware basic questions about the position and company may be covered in the interview. So, have some creative questions in mind in case your question was already answered earlier.

Here is a list of things you should not do during the interview:

  • Be late for the interview
  • Dress inappropriately
  • Use slang
  • Ask about the salary unless the interviewer brings it up
  • Speak about your current or previous manager negatively
  • Chew gum
  • Speak about your personal issues/situations
  • Ask about internal confidential policies and procedures
  • Argue with the person conducting the interview


After the interview, thank the individual for their time and give a firm handshake. This last pointer, many people fail to do after an interview and that is to send a thank you note. I think sending a thank you note shows gratitude and sincerity for the opportunity to possible work together. If I am undecided between two candidates or if I am unsure about one candidate, the thank you note can give the candidate the extra boost for the position. The thank you note preferable should be an email. You can also mail a letter. The letter should briefly outline why you should be selected for the position, a thank you again for their time and convey that after speaking with them, your continued interest in the position.

Interviewing is an art. If it has been awhile since you went on an interview, prepare and knock the interview out the park!

If you enjoyed this post please visit Ways To Find Your Passion and Turn It Into A Career


Written by: Rochella Neely
an “open book”

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How To Cope With Being Overwhelmed

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One evening, after coming home from work, I said to myself “self, I can’t believe this is my life.” My 1-year-old is screaming a screeching, piercing, scream that just will not stop. My 6-year-old is crying because he is tired, hungry, and frustrated due to needing help with his homework. I try to cook dinner, while drowning out my daughter’s sleepy cry. My daughter is pulling at my leg; she wants to be held and rocked to sleep. I’m trying to cook dinner (without burning it) and my 6-year-old needs help with his homework. What to do! Do I cut the stove off and rock the baby to sleep; while listening to my son whine that he’s hungry and needs help with his homework? Or do I listen to the earsplitting while I prepare dinner? Suddenly, it’s as if I’m in the eyewall of a hurricane, my heart pounds faster and I feel as if I can’t breathe. At that moment, I realized I’m overwhelmed!

I am sure most parents can relate to these feelings. For me, after having my first child, I had no idea how challenging it would be. Family and friends told me prior to having my first child oh, motherhood is so beautiful, it’s wonderful, you are going to enjoy every moment. Lies.

No one tells new parents that many mothers can feel completely overwhelmed by motherhood. Some parents fall into postpartum depression due to hormonal changes and an unrealistic expectation of motherhood.

Conflicted emotions some mothers experience are: feelings of wanting her old life back, overwhelmed with all the responsibilities of motherhood, exhaustion with balancing work and family, guilt for having negative feelings, resentment for all the sacrifices, vs intense love, extreme protectiveness for the child, moments of happy bliss with the child, more meaningful family connection, and a sense of accomplishment as she watches the child grow.

What do we do when these situations and intense feelings arise? Let me let you in on a secret. No one really knows the answer because each situation is unique. There are some steps you can take to ensure you are the best whole person for you and your family.

Take a Deep Breath and Inhale

It’s important not to completely freak out when you feel overwhelmed. Have you ever experience someone do this? I have and it is unsettling. When the person who is supposed to be the leader freaks out, everyone else thinks it must be bad if the leader is freaking out! In your home, you are the leader. Your kids look to you for direction and guidance. So, when difficulty arises, take a deep breath and tackle each problem one step at a time.

In the scenario above, I chose to put the toddler in her crib and let her cry herself to sleep while I finished preparing dinner. I instructed my oldest to stop crying, complete his homework after dinner;  which would be a better time for me to assist him with any questions he had.

 Trial and Error Are Necessary

Other parents may have chosen a different course of action. Some parents could not stand to hear the screaming while they prepare dinner. That’s okay! What is perfect for one family, may not work for another family. Each parent must decide what is best. How do I know what the best course is for my family? In the previous example, I used my gut. Don’t underestimate you gut. From my experience, it rarely lets you down.

There are many tools available to assist parents with making some tough decisions. I personally do a lot of research, I also speak with other parents who have has similar situations, communicate with your spouse regarding decisions, there are books, magazines, blogs etc. to assist with many topics of parenting. Use the tools available to you wisely. After making an informed decision implement it and see if it works. If adjustments are necessary along the way make them. Don’t be afraid if you don’t make the best decision the first time around. Trial and error will need to take place.

Ask for help when you need it

There is an old African proverb that says “it takes a village to raise a child” A mother may have many responsibilities such as working 8-12 hours per day, cooking, cleaning, training, disciplining, engaging in regular exercise, and the list can go on.

If you need help, ask for it. Sometimes we as women think; “if I ask for help, then people may think I am not capable of handling my responsibilities”. Well every parent needs help at some point in parenthood. If you need a sitter to watch your children while you take care of some items, do not feel guilty. If you have a spouse or significant other delegate some responsibilities to them. If you need some “me time” ask for it.

Quality Time For Yourself Is Important

Taking out time for yourself is of the upmost importance. You will be surprised how many women have lost their sense of identity due to not caring for themselves. Some of them may be reading this post right now. I almost lost myself at one point. You may ask yourself how can I find the time when I have so much going on? Make it a priority. Put a reminder on your schedule, make the appointment with a friend that will hold you accountable to follow through. Please do yourself a great need and service by doing something for yourself at least once week. Some suggestions are:

  • Treat yourself to a spa; get a massage, or facial
  • Have a girl’s night out, to connect with friends
  • My favorite: Sleep! Honestly, I am so sleep deprived it is a treat for me. Go to a hotel for a weekend and just sleep in. No kids, no significant other and just relax
  • Treat yourself to a Mani and Pedi
  • Get your hair professional styled. Honestly the massaging of the head, while getting your hair washed is heavenly to me.
  • Take a vacation alone or with friends
  • Read a book
  • Meditate
  • Do something that brings you inner peace or joy

Many women have feelings of being swamped with the day to day responsibilities of life. The key is how to handle these feelings when they arise. Remember to take a breath, listen to your inner voice, tackle each barrier one at a time, as this too shall pass.

Written by: Rochella Neely
an “open book”



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Thanks for stopping by! I am a business woman, blogger, wife and mother. I help women balance the challenging roles of career and family life by sharing resources, tips and experiences. I have worked in the financial industry for almost 20 years and I have two children.
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Hello! My name is Rochella Neely. Thanks so much for stopping by Career and Family Life. As a young child I always knew I wanted a career. As I became older, the thought of having a family appealed to me as well. When both my goals became a reality, oh boy! I had no idea how challenging balancing the two would be.

As far as I can recall, I have always enjoyed writing. My dilemma was how can I balance work, family, social life and find time to write? I decided to start small and write about my passions. So the birth of Career and Family Life was born.

My vision for this blog is to be a support community for those who want to “have it all”. I truly believe you can have a career, family and be fabulous doing it!

Please return back soon for some interesting reads as we take this journey together.

Till next time