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If you are familiar with the world of entrepreneurs and start-ups, you’ve probably heard the question, “What’s your unfair advantage?” The idea of an unfair advantage, at least in business, is that it’s your unique skill or talent that can’t be easily copied or bought.


In negotiation workshops, I’ve often encouraged participants to identify their own unfair advantages as part of the evidence they prepare for making an ask. I’ve received pushback from women, in particular, who have said, “If it’s unfair, why would I use it?” So I would backpedal, clarify and explain using different words.

Recently, I was speaking about negotiation to the Young Professionals Network at She’s The First, a non-profit that provides scholarships to girls in low-income countries. When I brought up the idea of unfair advantage, Perrie Rizzo, She’s The First’s director of resource development, raised her hand and said, “At STF, we call it your superpower.”

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I love this positive and empowering take on a concept, which I know from experience leaves many people feeling cold and icky. With thanks to STF, that’s the language I now use.

Your superpower is something that comes to you naturally, effortlessly and without the need for justification, like Wonder Woman’s superhuman strength and speed. I’ve since heard from many women that mentally framing the concept in this way helps them embrace and own their strengths rather than rationalize and defend them.

You must be able to identify and articulate your superpowers before they can help you in a negotiation. If you’re not sure what they might be, start by thinking about what qualities come naturally to you. What’s obvious to you that isn’t to other people? If you’re still stuck, ask colleagues or friends who you’re close with to help you brainstorm.

Here are three negotiation superpowers you may already have and how you can use them to achieve your goals.

1. Empathy

Empathy is being able to put yourself in your counterpart’s shoes and really imagine how a situation feels from her or his perspective. While this can be especially challenging if you are already in a conflict situation, it is essential.

If your mind is made up before you enter a conversation, you’re less likely to come up with creative solutions that will satisfy the needs of both you and your counterpart. Imagine what their priorities, goals, fears and anxieties are and find a way to address them in your offer.

Your goal is to make it easy for them to say yes to you. For more on how to summon empathy, Dr. Christine Garcia, a clinical psychologist at UCSF's Department of Psychiatry, shares her strategies—including role-play.

“Becoming a mom has made it much easier for me to recognize that individuals have shared challenges,” says Celia Wilson, NYC mom of one.“For mothers, it includes communicating with partners, figuring out how to soothe the baby, encouraging sleep and finding opportunities for self-care between the demands of others. I am embracing the view that everyone is doing the best they can with what they have.”

2. Leverage

This is your opportunity to capitalize on the concessions you’ve probably already made but have not necessarily gotten credit for. Perhaps you went above and beyond to make sure an important client meeting was successful, or you convinced a key supplier to renew a contract when it was considering canceling.

You can frame your request as asking for something in exchange for something you have already done for your counterpart. “Working parents are extremely efficient with their time,” reflects Kate Gomes, a London mum. “We have to be! So often the fact we completed a task early with no fuss is our best leverage, and one we can use with impunity.”

3. Collaboration

Women are very successful when they negotiate on behalf of others. Frame your request as something that affects or benefits your team or organization as opposed to just you as an individual: think personally, but act communally.

One example could be requesting budget to hire a junior associate. Yes, this person would take work off your plate and free up your time to pursue more engaging projects, but he or she would also do the same for others on the team. This elevates your entire group’s productivity and sophistication and benefits the organization as a whole.

“As mothers, we come together to teach our children to negotiate with others on a daily basis so that they can have successful relationships with others—taking turns with prized toys, setting up or changing the rules of a game and making and accepting apologies,” says Sabrina Smith-Sweeney, NYC mom of three.

“We can use that same superpower that helps us understand and explain both sides of the relationship to our children into our workplace negotiations. Before making your pitch, you can think about how you would guide both sides of the conversation if you were coaching from the sidelines.”

Originally posted on Forbes.

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It's time to go shopping for your little ones mama. Not long ago we shared the super sale on Hunter boots for us moms, and now the super colorful and water proof boots are on sale for kids! Perfect timing as Spring is approaching and there will be a lot of puddle jumping in our futures.

The sale is up to 50% off in select styles, but in all the colors of the rainbow! We don't know how long the sale will last so act fast because some sizes are already on low stock!


Here are our favorite styles to shop from the sale:

The original grab handle boot in light blue

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The classic gloss boot in blue

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Chelsea boot in yellow 

Original Big Kids' Gloss Chelsea Boots

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The original grab handle boot in pink

Original Kids First Classic Grab Handle

Originally $55, the original Grab Handle boot is 40% off right now.

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The classic gloss boot in yellow

Originally $55, the original Classic Gloss boot is 40% off right now.

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The camo boots

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We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Jessica Simpson's life seems perfect. She has three beautiful kids, a wildly successful career, a seemingly solid marriage...she has it all, at least as far as we can see. But recent revelations prove that no one really knows what anyone else is secretly dealing with—and Jessica, by her own admission, has been struggling with alcohol issues.

The singer-turned-business-woman recently sat down with TODAY's Hoda Kotb, and it will air on NBC's TODAY Wednesday morning.

"I had started a spiral and I couldn't catch up with myself…and that was with alcohol," Jessica explained. "I would say it openly to everyone. 'I know. I know, I'll stop soon. I'll cut back'," Jessica continued when asked if she realized things were getting out of control. "For me to cut back, like I'm an all or nothing girl, and so I didn't know it was a problem until it was...I completely didn't recognize myself…I always had a glitter cup. It was always filled to the rim with alcohol."

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She's hardly alone. The rise of #winemom phenomenon is well documented and many parents struggle with substance abuse problems. But Simpson's story proves there is a way to get your life back.

Simpson quit drinking in 2017 after she found herself unable to get her kids ready for a Halloween party. She says she'd started drinking before 7:30 in the morning, before accompanying her husband, Eric Johnson, to a school assembly for their oldest daughter. Later that night she was unable to get her kids dressed in their Halloween costumes. The next morning she was so ashamed. Feeling like she had failed her kids she slept until they left the house, then got up and drank some more.

That episode was her tipping point. She quit drinking (as did her husband, Eric Johnson, who supports her in her sobriety.)



As parents, we know how overwhelming the demands can be...and how easy it is to sink into habits that don't ultimately serve us well. For Jessica, the way to heal was to sever her relationship with alcohol.

"I had to give [drinking] up," Jessica said. "I'm not going to miss another day. I'm not going to miss another Halloween. I'm not going to miss another Christmas. I'm going to be present."

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Babies come with a lot of stuff. And when you're out and about, a roomy, comfy diaper bag is the place for everything you need to be prepared for whatever the day throws your way. But is a cute, trendy diaper bag that doesn't scream, well... DIAPER BAG, too much to ask? It's not, mamas.

We've rounded up our favorite diaper bags that don't actually look like diaper bags, but instead like the cute, super stylish bags you might have carried before the days of finding crushed up puffs at the bottom of your purse.

These bags prove you can get the job done, mama—and look darn good while doing it.

Freshly Picked City Pack

Freshly Picked City Pack

This simple, modern backpack can easily take you from a day at work to dinner with the kiddos. We love the hardware details, the lightweight design, and the hidden back pocket.

$150

Vogshow Waterproof Bag

Vogshow Waterproof Diaper Bag

A sleek look, plus a padded laptop compartment, anti-theft and insulated pockets and magnetic buttons instead of zippers. 🙌

$34.99

Skip Hop Travel Bag

Skip Hop Travel Bag

With a large zippered main compartment, there's plenty of room to keep all of the things. We love the adjustable straps—you can wear as a backpack, cross-body, messenger bag, or attach to the stroller.

$99.99

Companion Quilted Backpack

companion quilted backpack diaper bag

Are you off to sit on the beach for a few hours, or taking your toddlers to the zoo? No one will be the wiser, mamas. We love the quilted look, padded straps, and roomy interior.

$178

Mommore Diaper Backpack

Mommore Diaper Backpack

With a water resistant exterior, wet clothes pocket and a main compartment that completely opens up, you'll love having this to tote around.

$34.99

JJ Cole Brookmont

JJ Cole Cognac Diaper Bag

As stunning as it is functional. It has 15 pockets and a removable liner on the inside so you can easily clean up messes in no time.

$99.99

Little Unicorn Boardwalk Tote

If you're looking to keep things simple + stylish, mamas, this is the bag for you. It's versatile, functional, and will get tons of use well past the diaper days.

$69.95

Presidio Vegan Leather Diaper Tote

Presidio Vegan Leather Diaper Tote

This stunning tote would make the perfect on-the-go bag. It comes with a changing page and a couple pockets on the inside to keep everything organized. Don't forget to personalize it!

$99

Ticent Tote

Ticent Diaper Bag

With nearly 500 reviews, this one has incredible ratings. It offers multiple pockets, including an insulated one for snacks or bottles. The waterproof cotton material is ideal for those inevitable spills.

$30.99

Fawn Design Original

Stylish and versatile, this bag can be worn as a cross body or as a backpack. It's roomy without being bulky, and has a total of 10 pockets for awesome storage.

$159.99

Skip Hop Greenwich Backpack

No one would ever know this bag is packed full of baby's items. 😉

$69.99

Rosie Pope Highbury Hill

Highbury Hill Diaper Backpack

If you're looking to up your style, this chic backpack will help you get there. Lots of inner pockets and zippered compartments make it simple to organize your stuff, and the top flap and wide opening make for quick + easy accessibility.

$159.99

Babymel Robyn

Babymel Robyn Diaper Backpack

We love everything about this effortlessly stylish faux leather backpack. It's easy to wipe down, converts to a cross body bag, and even comes with a changing pad and drawstring bottle holder.

$90

Petunia Pickle Bottom Pathway

Petunia Pickle Bottom Diaper Tote

This two-tone canvas bag could not be prettier. We love that it easily stands upright when set down, and that it's super functional as a diaper bag yet super stylish as an everyday purse.

$159

Skip Hop Duo

Skip Hop Duo Diaper Bag

The timeless stripes on this 11-pocket bag means it will never go out of style, and the durable cotton canvas means it will stand up to years of use.

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We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Shop

Frustrations and emotions were at an all time high for both us. I was worried that my lack of patience would get the best of me, leaving her feeling let down and frustrated with me on her new journey of becoming a “big girl." And selfishly, I was tired of washing wet underwear. For her part, my daughter was tired of being asked for the hundredth time if she needed to use the potty.

We both were feeling a little defeated in this new adventure.

I have found too often as a mother that I expect my child to respond new things, like to potty training, as fast and as close to the last blog post, book or opinion I heard or read. What I have learned is that no two children are alike and the moment I release my expectations for where mine should or should not be, we are both brought back to peace and patience.

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So maybe a break was all we needed to start fresh the next day. We headed to our favorite spot by the lake and had a picnic. My daughter munched on popcorn and chatted away about the weather and pinecones, and listened for the sounds of helicopters—which you hear quite often living on an aviation military base.

Sometimes in the daily struggles of motherhood I have noticed that I can forget who I am and the strength we possess as mothers. It may not come easily at first, but I grow with each new day. Even potty training—this mundane human activity that is emotional and (quite literally) messy, teaches me much about the meaning and purpose of motherhood.

Potty training has taught me a huge lesson on patience. Patience to be present, to pay attention to what is right in front of me. To be encouraging, to not rush the process, to not place expectations on timing or play the comparison game we often play as mothers.

Patience is needed in every area of parenting and potty training is just one way where we can see as parents where our patience is wearing thin.

I have found that it's when I come from a place of patience and presence that I can then glean wisdom from those messy, mundane, time-consuming tasks of potty training, and find that the waiting, sitting and hours of time spent in the bathroom gives me an opportunity to be present in my child's world.

Whether it be the grocery line, a traffic jam, or cleaning up wet bedding, I learn the art and joy in the small and big moments in motherhood. Giving our children space to fail and try it again as many times as it takes encourages them that they too can cultivate the gift of patience in there own tiny lives.

My daughter speaks to me everyday, inviting growth that sometimes feels really hard and frustrating, she provokes patience to be felt and sensed through every minute of the day. And for this I am grateful. Because to truly live and be present in my child's world means “I learn from her, and she learns from me." Even in potty training.

Our children have so much to offer to who we are as individuals and they have so much to teach us. In fact, I have come to live for these exhausting, beautiful, and downright messy moments in time. When I push myself to embrace them, rather than just find them frustrating, I stretch and grow and evolve. I become the mother I hope to be.

And to you mama, whether in the midst of sleepless newborn nights or toddler tornados or the midst of potty training, may you find strength as a mother, as a wife, and as a person to let go of any expectations or judgements you place upon yourself.

May love and gratitude fill our hearts and peace be with all of us on the journey that motherhood is.

Life
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