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282: Portrait of Randi As a Young Mom (with Author & Podcaster Kimberly Samson)

Kimberly Samson is the author of F*Ck This, a candid and hilarious collection of essays about the journey through midlife. She’s also one of my oldest friends, who has witnessed a ton of my formative moments as a person and a parent. In this conversation, Kimby shares what motivated her to write a book about the midlife experience and what she’s learned by living through it. She also lifts the curtain on some of my best (and not so best) moments as a mom. It’s a whole new perspective how I’ve grown as a parent of a strong-willed child, and how my mishaps have given me the tools to help others.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The pivotal role my sensitive child played in my transformation as a mother, and my ambition to help keep other parents from repeating my missteps.
  • Why it’s okay for parents to talk to each other about their children more than anything else.
  • That unconditional love and basic human annoyance aren’t mutually exclusive.
  • How amazing my friend Kimby is!

And much more! 

 As always, thanks for listening. Head over to Facebook, where you can join my free group Mastermind Parenting Community. We post tips and tools and do pop-up Live conversations where I do extra teaching and coaching to support you in helping your strong-willed children so that they can FEEL better and DO better. If you enjoyed this episode and think that others could benefit from listening, please share it!

About Randi Rubenstein

Randi Rubenstein helps parents with a strong-willed kiddo become a happier family and enjoy the simple things again like bike rides and beach vacays.

She’s the founder of Mastermind Parenting, host of the Mastermind Parenting podcast, and author of The Parent Gap. Randi works with parents across the U.S.

At Mastermind Parenting, we believe every human deserves to have a family that gets along.


Randi’s Web and Social Links

About Our Guest

Kimberly Samson is an author, podcaster, blogger, influencer, mother of three, wife of one, and a native Angeleno. Her book F*Ck This: Practical Advice To Get You Through Your Midlife Crisis is available at

Links & Resources

Thanks so much for listening to the Mastermind Parenting podcast, where we support the strong willed child and the families that love them!

If you enjoyed this episode and think that others could benefit from listening, please share it using the share button in the podcast player above.

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[00:00:00] Randi Rubenstein: I think if I had just had an Avery and a Cory, like I would have been all still enmeshed with my parents and they would have been our live baby dolls and I would have, you, you know, said the same kind of things that might be, I, I think I would have just still been completely running my life by the rules of that tribe, my, my, you know, origin tribe versus, 

[00:00:25] Kimberly Samson: All right, well let me stop you and say, per usual, I think you don’t give yourself enough credit. You know, you’re a grower and a seeker no matter what, and I think that it’s not by some twist of fate that, you know, you’re where you are in your life. I think it’s a lot of hard work and a lot of self awareness. 

[00:00:43] Randi Rubenstein: My name is Randi Rubenstein, and welcome to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast. At Mastermind Parenting, we’re on a mission to support strong-willed kids and the families that love them. 

I’m here with my good friend Kimby and I asked her to come and be on the podcast because we’ve been friends since college. With, a little bit, a lot of bit of a break in between, which we’ll get to. 

but I wanted Kimby to come on the podcast because she wrote a book. She wrote this amazing book and I just read it and we were chatting about it for hours, a few Saturdays ago. And it was such a fun little friend date and we were talking all about it. And, and then I said, you know what? You need to come on the podcast. We’re going to talk about this for my listeners. So welcome to the show. I’m so glad you’re here with me.

[00:01:41] Kimberly Samson: Thank you, Randi. I’m so happy to be here. I feel like every conversation we have should be a podcast, so it’s fun to actually record one. Um, but I thought it would be fun, since I’ve known you a very long time, to give your listeners a little window into you that they might know, and I would like to recall one of my favorite Randi stories, if I may.

[00:02:01] Randi Rubenstein: Oh, I don’t, let’s just say this. Let me just preface, that we, Kimby’s from L.A. She came to college in Texas. We went to the University of Texas together. That’s where we met.

[00:02:13] Kimberly Samson: Hook ’em horns.

[00:02:14] Randi Rubenstein: She’s, Hook’em Horns, and now she’s back in L. A. And so, yeah, let’s just say these are gonna be old college stories.

[00:02:23] Kimberly Samson: This isn’t a college story.

[00:02:25] Randi Rubenstein: Oh, it’s not?

[00:02:26] Kimberly Samson: It’s not a college story. So I had a stupid big fancy wedding and Randi was a bridesmaid in my wedding. And during this big, lavish, ridiculous party, Randi came up to my new husband and I and said, oh my God, my boobs are so engorged. And you turn to Dave and you go feel this.

And you, and my bridesmaid’s dress, I’m so sorry, it was probably expensive and stupid, was strapless. And you have these gigantic hard tits coming out over the top. And Dave looks at me and I was like, go ahead! So, Dave in his fancy tuxedo, I remember him putting his hand on top of your boob, and Scott standing right there and squeezing and him going, oh my god, and you said, can I please have your room key? I gotta go pump. And I’m like, of course. 

So number one, I love that we’re the kind of friends like that you would ask for the key to my honeymoon suite at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills. And two, we didn’t hesitate and gave you the key. 

All right. So party goes on, the night ends. Dave and I go up to our big fancy suite. We walk in and there are champagne glasses filled with your breast milk. And it says, Um, have like an, have an evening toast on Alec. And I, by that time the milk had separated. It was just, you know, disgusting. And I laughed so hard and Dave was so horrified.

[00:04:06] Randi Rubenstein: That’s such a good one.

[00:04:09] Kimberly Samson: So fun. It was so fun. Mm

[00:04:13] Randi Rubenstein: I was the first out of all my friends to

[00:04:16] Kimberly Samson: You sure were.

[00:04:17] Randi Rubenstein: to, to have a baby I had gotten married and then six months later I was accidentally pregnant. So I had Alec at 27, way before I had planned to become a mom. So now I’m going to all my friends weddings and I was like at your wedding, I think he was six months old. So, 

[00:04:37] Kimberly Samson: We were married in August of 98. 

[00:04:39] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah.

he was born February of 98. And so I, yeah, so here I am and I’m celebrating, and I have engorged boobs. Plus the fact that, you know, in California, it wasn’t so rare 26 years ago to, to nurse your baby, but in, in Houston, it still was pretty rare. in 

[00:05:06] Kimberly Samson: were alone. You were our pioneer. Yeah. 

[00:05:08] Randi Rubenstein: I, I was a little, I was in my own headspace and I, I mean, that’s a funny story because I guess I was just owning it from the start.

[00:05:15] Kimberly Samson: You totally were and actually on the subject of breastfeeding I remember like you were a voice in my head, a very encouraging voice because I think there are a lot of dumb things that, you know, stories that women tell each other or tell themselves and they don’t fess up to a lot of shit And I feel like on the subject of breastfeeding you were definitely a voice in my head about, you know, it’s not easy, but it gets easier.

And you can, I mean, I remember thinking like really you being influential in that way. And I had a hard time with Riley getting started and stuff. Um, and so I do think you were like a pioneer and an encouraging voice. Like you can do it, you can get through it, it’s, and you know, everybody makes their own choices and, and all of these things are so fucking loaded for women, right? Guilty, I didn’t, or, you know, I feel like people are making me, so I don’t mean to say any of that. But for me, you were a very positive, encouraging voice that helped me get on what was the right choice for me, which was to feed him as long as I could.

[00:06:15] Randi Rubenstein: I remember with um, another mutual friend that we had at the time, I remember actually saying the opposite thing to her, like she was killing herself trying to breastfeed and it just wasn’t working and she had been, like her mental health was suffering and I remember it was like six weeks into it. and it was when I had Avery and she had had her daughter. 

And she was really, cause I think, you know, it was like I became a mom first and I was a breastfeeder. And so you know, a lot of my friends were like, I want to breastfeed too. And there’s all whatever the other pressures. And this friend, I remember saying like, you have put in the work. And at some point, if you decide, like, my mental health is more important, if this is not working,

[00:07:08] Kimberly Samson: Well, I think that’s the right conversation. Because I had that happen to me when Riley was nine months. I was like, I cannot fucking do it anymore. I, I have to be done. It’s not good for him. And I had that same moment too. Like I had done the best I could with him

[00:07:22] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah,

[00:07:23] Kimberly Samson: And he was starving to death. Yeah,

[00:07:25] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah, like let yourself off the hook, like at some point you, you got to call it so anyway, well, that was a good story.

[00:07:33] Kimberly Samson: Oh my God. It’s one of my favorites. It’s such, it might’ve been my favorite moment of my entire wedding.

[00:07:40] Randi Rubenstein: I mean, can we, yeah, really we need to remember what that was like, like people like you, I think I heard you tell that story, I think on someone else’s podcast recently.

[00:07:51] Kimberly Samson: Oh really?

[00:07:53] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah, you were talking, not that story, but you were talking about, you were talking about your wedding and you know, here you had this, the, uh, the wedding of a girl’s dreams and

[00:08:05] Kimberly Samson: Not this girl, but someone.

[00:08:08] Randi Rubenstein: I, I think that’s important for people like me to remember because as I have kids that are getting older and before you know it, I’m going to be in that season, maybe, maybe, maybe not. I’m not pushing for it. That’s for sure. For fuck’s sake. That’s for sure. But I need to remember, um, the mindset of you of having, you know, this wedding that was, that you just had to sort of show, like, this is the wedding that was destined for you, right? Like, it wasn’t really your wedding, it was more your mother’s wedding.

[00:08:41] Kimberly Samson: In my mother’s defense,

[00:08:43] Randi Rubenstein: Mm

[00:08:43] Kimberly Samson: I wasn’t even at a point of maturation where I ever even considered what I wanted. So I wasn’t doing the opposite of what I wanted. I literally did not know I was allowed to think about what I wanted and that’s, you know, on me. So whatever. I was very malleable. It was perfect for her.

[00:09:03] Randi Rubenstein: Is it on you? Um.

[00:09:05] Kimberly Samson: At that moment, yeah, I think so. I was old enough to start knowing better. Just took me a longer time.

[00:09:12] Randi Rubenstein: I don’t know if I agree with all that, but, um, we can just agree to disagree on that one.

[00:09:17] Kimberly Samson: We can agree to disagree.

[00:09:19] Randi Rubenstein: Um, okay. So, let’s, let’s talk about this, book that you have written. Yeah, all of a sudden, it was not that long ago. And you said, so I wrote this book and it’s about to be published. And I’m like, huh, what, where have I been? What have you been keeping this a secret?

[00:09:38] Kimberly Samson: I was.

[00:09:39] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah.

[00:09:40] Kimberly Samson: I I definitely was. I mean, because, One, I think, you know, so, nobody’s gonna believe me when I say this, but you and I are not out there kind of people. I know we have podcasts and we do stuff on social media, but the truth is that we’re not really, you know, out there people. And it felt very vulnerable to put to publish this book, but I felt like it was something I owed myself and I owed all the time and effort I had put into writing things over the years. It’s really just essays that I’ve been writing for years and years and years that I decided to package into a book. And so I still don’t really feel like a hundred percent. I mean, I know it’s good. I know people enjoy it. I know I’m funny. I know I can write and still it’s something I kind of just whisper to people. 

[00:10:28] Randi Rubenstein: Tell everyone what the name of your book and your podcasts are.

[00:10:33] Kimberly Samson: Okay. So the podcast is called The Midlife. Um, and the book is called Fuck This: Practical Advice to Get You Through Your Midlife. And really my position has been, is that this is a universal experience that humans, men and women go through, in their, you know, mid to late forties where you really start questioning everything. And I really, I do believe it is the second adolescence where you just kind of take a step back and I, I think you do reassess everything. 

But what I see, what I think is that I think women get it wrong. And I think when they reassess everything, they don’t realize that, you know, the call’s coming from inside the house. And they start picking apart all these things in their lives, like what career they did pick, what career they didn’t pick, you know, what their kids are doing, what their kids aren’t doing, what their husband is, you know, whatever that relationship looks like.

Um, and I think the truth is, is that you have a huge opportunity to decide what kind of life you want, and put the pieces together in a really harmonious and beautiful way, and have a great life if you’re willing to be self aware and honest with yourself. Um, and this book is kind of just like my very direct, tough love, sailor language, uh, not politically correct, but compassionate and loving in a weird way, way for you to just get your shit together. Um, cause I think we are all, you know, capable of so much if we take the responsibility for it.

[00:12:14] Randi Rubenstein: Well, I think the most, the thing that’s going to be most relevant To parents who are listening to this, who maybe are in the little kid years or the elementary years or even the middle school years. And I will also say Kimby’s still in, in those years too, because, because, because she had, she has a very big gap between her second and third child. Uh, she has, yeah, she has three boys. How old is everyone? Tell everyone.

[00:12:48] Kimberly Samson: So, um, Riley’s 23 and a college graduate and Aiden is 20 and a sophomore in college and Tyler is 12 and in the sixth grade. So, still in the shit, friends, I understand. But I also know I’m a totally different parent because I’m a totally different person. And so, if my book is like a little bit ahead of where you are right now, I like beg you to read it now because it can be so much easier and so much more fun and so much better 

Audiogram 1 In ?

[00:13:18] Randi Rubenstein: I remember when my kids were little going out to dinner with Scott, and I was, I was so immersed in my role as a mom, right? Like I finally,

[00:13:32] Kimberly Samson: Full identity, right? It’s your full identity.

[00:13:35] Randi Rubenstein: It was, it was, it was my full identity. Not that I would have totally admitted that.

[00:13:42] Kimberly Samson: Of course not.

[00:13:43] Randi Rubenstein: But real, I don’t think I would have. I think I was reparenting myself essentially, like I was going to do it differently and this also I wouldn’t have admitted. I was going to do it differently, damn it, than it was done for me. I was going to be the kind of parent that I used to watch on television and all of my fictional families that I was, I think, dissociating and living vicariously through.

Audiogram 1 Out?

[00:14:13] Randi Rubenstein: It’s so weird, the shows that I, like, when these shows would get canceled, I felt like a family member just died. Like they, they were my fictional families, right? and so I think it was like, I was now creating the family that I had always wanted. And so I threw myself into it wholeheartedly and I was obsessed. 

And I mean, to the point that that’s why I do what I do now, because 25, 26 years of freaking studying and self helping and trying to figure my shit out and do it differently for my kids, there was a big learning curve. Like I had a lot to learn. And so I was so in it and you know how I can go down rabbit holes and become such an extremist and so obsessive. So it’s all

[00:15:01] Kimberly Samson: But you’re a very good student. You’re a very good student.

[00:15:04] Randi Rubenstein: I have such a curiosity about whatever it is that I’m curious about. And so I was so obsessed with learning and doing and, and creating. And I remember being out to dinner cause it was like, oh, you have to have a date night. That’s really healthy for your children to have a strong marriage and a date night. So the, we, we go on our little date night. And, which really was just a night during the week when I didn’t have to do dinner and bedtime. Like I hired

[00:15:31] Kimberly Samson: Mm hmm.

[00:15:32] Randi Rubenstein: you know, a great sitter and I would get home and my kids would be in bed. And so I got to skip that whole like, you know, witching hour. It was a break and I thought it was great. 

So we did, we would do that on Wednesday. We’d usually go exercise and then we’d have a casual bite or, you know, do something. And then, but I remember we’d be sitting at dimmer. And here I am with Scott and the truth is, is like, I really like him. I used, you know, you were just with us in California last summer. Like, you came out to see me for the day and he hung around with us most of the day. Right. Like,

[00:16:08] Kimberly Samson: But it felt fine. It felt fun.

[00:16:10] Randi Rubenstein: it’s fun. We have a, we have a real friendship. We have a similar sense of humor. Like we really like each other. 

Audiogram 2 In?

[00:16:16] Randi Rubenstein: And I remember being at dinner with Scott and thinking, okay, I shouldn’t talk about kids and I’d like be searching for something else to talk to him about, but I really didn’t want to talk about anything else. And then I would, and then in my brain, I’d be thinking, Oh God, what am I going to do when they grow up? Like, am I going to have

[00:16:36] Kimberly Samson: I actually talk about that in the book. Because I feel like that’s like one of those stories that women tell each other. That, you know, you have to have all this other stuff going on because the kids are going to leave one day and you can’t talk about the kids, and I actually say in the book, yeah, you can talk about the kids, they’re your greatest hits.

Like, I think we’ve been very fortunate that we’ve had great parenting partners. We have different strengths, but we, it’s been a group project. And so they are our favorite thing to talk about.

[00:17:05] Randi Rubenstein: hmm.

[00:17:05] Kimberly Samson: and why is that a bad thing? Why, why is that supposed to make you feel like there’s not other dimensions to your relationship?

Audiogram 2 Out?

[00:17:12] Kimberly Samson: Which, by the way, the other thing I talk about in the book is the only way there’s other dimensions to your relationship is if you’re not only, um, you know, interesting and doing stuff that you can talk about, but if you’re interested in your part also, and like, ask questions and care about what they care about and, you know, create a friendship. So I think that that’s something that you and Scott have done and Dave and I have done. And so all of it is part of a rich fabric of life. 

[00:17:39] Randi Rubenstein: Well, 

[00:17:39] Kimberly Samson: so, and I feel like, and how about that pressure you felt? Like, I’m, I’m boring. I’m not being a good, you know, this is supposed to be date night all about us, but us is also them. That’s not a bad thing.

[00:17:51] Randi Rubenstein: Well, he didn’t want to, I think though the difference with us is that, Scott didn’t really, he wasn’t as into it as me. He

[00:17:59] Kimberly Samson: Then, but don’t you think he’s so into it now?

[00:18:02] Randi Rubenstein: Well, now, but I will tell you, we’re not sitting around talking about the kids all the time anymore. I mean, I only wanted to talk about the kids, but he wanted to talk about freaking real estate, you know, or whatever deal he was working on. He wasn’t that into it. 

He was into me. He was into me. So he was going to talk about whatever I wanted to talk about, but I could tell. I wanted to talk about the kids, and he really wanted to talk about himself or me or anything else. And so there was a bit of a disconnect. 

And I think that when I started my business and then all of a sudden I became sort of my newest obsession was talking about all the things I was racking my brain in terms of figuring out, how do I do this work and all the, you know, freaking marketing, which I’m done talking about marketing, but I, um, cause I just hate it.

Um, but when I started moving into the business stuff, then we started talking a lot about business. I mean, he wants to hear about the kids and he wants to catch up. But even to this day, I think I’m more interested in talking about the kids than he is. You know,

[00:19:18] Kimberly Samson: But I think that’s okay, but you, you have a dynamic. The thing is, I think that it is multidimensional and that the, and there’s not a recipe. And that’s the weird thing about, you know, most parenting advice or most life advice. It’s like, it kind of makes you feel like if you don’t do it this way, you’re doing it wrong and that’s bullshit.

[00:19:37] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah, total, total bullshit because the only thing, I think the only recipe is what you brought up at the beginning was the self awareness piece. That worry that I had, like, Oh gosh, when these people grow up, what do I have? Like, like, what if these are the best years of my life? And then all I’m doing, it’s like people that peak in high school and all they do is chase back. They’re like, Oh, remember high school? And you’re like, yeah, like, stop. No, I

[00:20:04] Kimberly Samson: Yeah. But they don’t, they don’t evolve. Right. They’re still the same person. So that was the best place for that, that version of the person. So of course that’s all they can hang on to.

[00:20:13] Randi Rubenstein: Well, and that’s what I was worried about. I was like, what if I’m that person? Like what if this is my high school and all I’m doing is spending, because this feels so purposeful and meaningful and all I want to, and I’m obsessed with these people, these three people that I’m raising. And what if 20 years from now, I’m just remembering these years right now? And I have, like, I, I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I don’t know what else interests me right now. And so I was really worried that I was just going to be this one dimensional person and I, like, this is it, you know? And so,

[00:20:51] Kimberly Samson: Yeah, but that’s the problem, right? Is that, is that I think we’re kind of programmed to believe that there’s some like achievement or end point where you, you are, you’ve grown up, this is what you are. And I think that’s a complete fallacy as well. I mean, the truth is, is I think. And I might change my mind in 10 years and I’ll have a podcast called The Elderly. I don’t know. 

But I think the whole point is, is that you keep the fun part is for me that I have decided that I will never be cooked and that’s what’s so fun. I can’t wait to see what else iterates. I can’t wait to see what other path this brings me down. So it’s so freeing. And I don’t have to have decided what it is.

I mean, I think, I think your relationship, I mean, we know a lot about each other as mothers and our children and things, and I think what we both have experienced is the evolution of those relationships. And I, for one, was never somebody that was like, Oh, I wish they were still little because I’ve just liked them better and better in each of their next versions, even though they’re filled with challenges. It’s never easy, but I think we both have allowed the relationships to evolve and that’s so fun.

[00:22:07] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah, except for ninth grade. I hated ninth grade.

[00:22:10] Kimberly Samson: But you hated it for all of them?

[00:22:13] Randi Rubenstein: I think I just hated ninth grade. I hated, I didn’t hate them, I mean, I loved them, but I didn’t necessarily like them in ninth grade.

[00:22:23] Kimberly Samson: Oh, I’m not saying it’s all, you know, farting rainbows and stuff. 

[00:22:27] Randi Rubenstein: I didn’t like me in ninth grade either. There’s something about ninth grade. Probably in my mind, ninth grade is when it all, I think it reminded my, my body probably of when I became a full fledged teenager and that’s when, you know, and that’s when it sort of went off the rails for me for a while. And that’s when I got addicted to smoking. 

now I can say, thank God when I was a teenager, I was out there, you know, living my own life and getting out of my household and having some fun and doing risky shit and all that stuff. But I think for so many years, because especially the smoking, it was the monkey on my back, that it was like ninth grade was when I could have gone one way and I went another way. And then I had to spend so many years trying to clean so much up. And so

[00:23:24] Kimberly Samson: but if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have had cigarettes to smoke on the sun deck. So, you know, you have to look at the positives as well.

[00:23:31] Randi Rubenstein: It was a good time. I know. I wish, I wish I didn’t love it as

[00:23:34] Kimberly Samson: I love, I love to, I love to actually fess up to the fact that I don’t consider myself to have ever been a smoker, but how many cigarettes did I smoke of everybody else’s?

[00:23:46] Randi Rubenstein: But you’re not. You’re not. You know what? I’m sorry. If you’re, if you’re a real smoker. You’re buying your own freaking pack. You’re not just bumming.

[00:23:54] Kimberly Samson: Only during a breakup did I ever buy a pack of cigarettes, but that was it. 

[00:23:58] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah. Yeah, you’re, 

[00:23:59] Kimberly Samson: No, but I know. So it was like more, it was more your fear of your children having the same, having like a moment, like a crossroads and you, I think maybe you were worried that you weren’t going to put them up or be able to put them on the right track. Like you were somehow responsible? 

[00:24:14] Randi Rubenstein: It was, I think it was unconscious. I think it was, I think it was unconscious. I think there was a body memory of this is where, you know, I there was a fork in the road and this is where I went to the super wild side that led to, you know, lots of destructive patterns and behavior.

And I think in me, it was like, I wanted my kids to have such a different childhood that I think it was like, the pressure was on. I didn’t consciously know it. All I know is that for each one of my kids that ninth grade year had me angsting the most.

[00:24:52] Kimberly Samson: Interesting.

[00:24:53] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah. Yeah. But other than that, I agree. They just, yeah, the, the relationship improves, you know, I was just saying this, I think on the podcast I just recorded. Everybody focuses on the 18 years that they’re in your house,

[00:25:07] Kimberly Samson: You don’t even know what’s coming.

[00:25:09] Randi Rubenstein: and, well, and the thing is, is like, we’re God willing, we’re going to be, we’re going to be parents of adult children for far longer than the time that they lived in our house. and when, I think when you do things like figure out who you want to be when you grow up beyond them. And when you, live your own life and move into that next chapter, I feel like your relationship with your kids has the opportunity to deepen. 

Because I think kids that do have, I think my, my worry back when was real and, um, and probably important because I, I’ve seen this with moms I know in my personal life, who don’t have their own life and even though their kids have grown up, they still, if you talk to them, it’s like, hi, how are you? Where have you been? What’s going on? All they can talk about is where their kids are, what their kids are doing. 

And I’m like, uh, wait, like how long ago did they leave your house? And they, all they can, who’s going to law school, who’s, who’s dating, who, and who’s got what job. That kills me when they have to start talking about what their kids do for work. And it’s like, well, what are you doing? Like, do

[00:26:26] Kimberly Samson: Well, I mean, that’s an age old story, right? Since they started, you know, going to preschool, is when parents take their self worth and self esteem from what the child is doing and like what school they go to. You know, like what license plate you can have, what bumper stickers you can have. Um, and that the truth is, is that is really unfulfilling for people, for women. But again,

[00:26:55] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah.

[00:26:56] Kimberly Samson: yeah, but again, they think that they’re doing it, you know, right. You know, you and I are very detached from the success of our children. Like I really, I just feel like I’m here to love them. 

It’s like, I, you know, I read something you wrote once. I don’t know that I fully disagree with it, and I also don’t know that I fully researched what you said, but I like the sentiment. Like you say, don’t ever say I’m proud of you or something. Right. It’s like, and, and it’s kind of true. It’s like you don’t, you don’t praise the outcome, you praise the journey.

[00:27:29] Randi Rubenstein: Mm hmm.

[00:27:30] Kimberly Samson: And I think, you know? 

[00:27:32] Randi Rubenstein: Telling someone you’re proud of them, there’s this concept my coach taught, talked about recently that I think is so interesting. And she talks about the power over versus the power with dynamic. And how in our society, in a capitalist society, there’s a lot of power overing, right?

And um, and power overing always involves, you know, somebody is in a more powerful position there’s usually some type of control. It doesn’t truly give each person, I think, the agency and the autonomy that is going to help us grow into, you know, the, the most alive versions of ourselves, let’s say, right? That, back to that fulfilled question.

And so I think telling your kids and I, and my kids actually gave me a really hard time about this over the years, because that’s what parents tell their kids. I’m so proud of you. Your kid comes home with a good grade. They worked hard on something. They want you to tell them, I’m so proud of you. And I would never say it.

I remember one time Alec was like, Mom, just tell her that you’re proud of her. Just say it. Just say it. I’m like, I hope that she is so proud of herself because that is really something. And

[00:28:54] Kimberly Samson: There was actually just like a, there was actually a recent study where they, I think, and we were discussing it weren’t we? Like, where they had kids and they told them some of the half the group that they were like, had they had done a really great job. Their outcome was really great. And other kids, they praise the effort and then they. Like, repeated this, uh, experiment. And the kids that had that had been praised for the outcome ended up doing worse than the kids who had been praised for the effort. They actually exceeded the first group. 

And I think it’s kind of the same thing. 

[00:29:23] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah. 

[00:29:23] Kimberly Samson: Again, I think I keep speaking, I keep speaking to like, stop deciding what you’re going to be when you grow up, as if that’s some like finite destination. It’s like, who are you growing into being? Right. And same thing with kids and like, what tools are you using better, you know, in your life and you know, what parts of yourself are you improving? 

And it’s always, uh, you know, the ING of a word. Because it’s a constant state of improvement and assessment rather than, you’re going to cross some finish line. Because the only finish line you’re crossing is the grave. So, you know, like what are you doing between now and then?

[00:30:00] Randi Rubenstein: I agree and I’m, I’m so proud of you is that, like, I’m power overing you. Like you’re doing these things and now, like, I’m like, oh, what, what? I’m proud to be your mom. I, I think you’re an amazing human being. I want to know them. I don’t want them to ever feel like they need to prove to me that they’re lovable or worthy of anything from me. I, I want it just to be, I want it just to

[00:30:26] Kimberly Samson: Well, I think the word that dominates both your and my parenting and relationship with our children is unconditional.

[00:30:33] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah.

[00:30:34] Kimberly Samson: It doesn’t matter what you’re doing good or bad, or I agree with, or I don’t agree with. My love for you is unconditional and my support for you is unconditional. You don’t have to prove anything to me.

[00:30:48] Randi Rubenstein: And I think you’re like me in the sense that it doesn’t, it isn’t all rainbows and daisies. There’s times that our kids do something and we’re like, what the fuck was that? You know, like, like enough. Or, I mean, it’s not like we don’t, we’re like, Oh, everything is like there,

Audiogram 3 In?

[00:31:06] Randi Rubenstein: we get to be whole humans. We get to be annoyed,

[00:31:09] Kimberly Samson: And so do they.

[00:31:10] Randi Rubenstein: and yes, right. But the foundation, the love is unconditional. And that means that sometimes. I can be a shithead and sometimes you can be a shithead and like, and we’re all going, we’re going to boomerang back to each other again and again and again. Like I, I, I just feel like that is not something that people are talking that much about. You know, I think there’s so much right now about parenting. And, I think I’ve been guilty of it as I was like in my, you know, learning, learning, learning, learning, trying to do it so differently. I think it can, there can be such a performative aspect to it all.

[00:31:53] Kimberly Samson: Totally. Ugh. Vomit. Yes.

Audiogram 3 Out?

[00:31:56] Randi Rubenstein: Yes, yes. And, and if I think about it, I’m like, and even when I didn’t think I was performing, I think sometimes I was performing. You know? 

[00:32:07] Kimberly Samson: 100 percent. 

[00:32:08] Randi Rubenstein: Even right, even for my kids, like they knew when I wasn’t listening, they knew when I was trying to be the mom that was like really interested in whatever, you know, super boring thing they were trying to tell me about. And then they’re like, mom, and I’m like, what? They’re like, did you hear what I’m saying? I’m like, of course. They’re like, repeat it back. You know, they can call me.

[00:32:31] Kimberly Samson: had something like that with Tyler yesterday. He started playing golf. And of course, my parents are very supportive of this endeavor. He’s on the golf team. They, of course, had to buy him new clubs. Cause you know, the old ones were perfect. And he comes home and I was like, how was it? Which I genuinely wanted to know, how was it? It was really a binary question. Was it good or it wasn’t? 

And he’s like, it was amazing. And he starts going on about, yeah, my new seven iron and blah, blah, blah. And I told my mom, I was like, yeah, he’s as boring as you guys are about golf. Like I don’t care. I don’t want a hole by hole.

[00:33:04] Randi Rubenstein: Please no. Just, did, did you have fun? Were there

[00:33:08] Kimberly Samson: Yes.

[00:33:09] Randi Rubenstein: good snacks?

[00:33:10] Kimberly Samson: Yes. A hundred percent. No.

[00:33:13] Randi Rubenstein: Uh,

[00:33:14] Kimberly Samson: Yeah, and I, I think that, but I think. So one thing I’m proud of and I talk about in the book and I know that you encourage also is that you don’t, I think when they’re little things are very black and white and there have to be rules and there have to be like, this is good, this is bad. Right. When they’re little and you’re setting the foundation. 

But as they grow, I think it’s so important to show your fallibility to your children. That they think that you just ended up where you are, and like, it was all easy for you. I don’t know. I’ve like had tremendous fuck ups in my life. And it’s actually been extremely freeing for me to be able to tell my kids as a bad example, like I kind of see this and you is exactly for me. I’m really sorry. This is something I did. I, you know, I’m trying to save you from yourself. It’s not your fault. And I had done this, you know? 

And so I just, I think that that enriches the dynamic too, where you’re not, like you say, power over, like you’re not, we’re not that better than them, you know, we’re just humans having a human experience. And so are they.

[00:34:17] Randi Rubenstein: That’s such a good point. I think it’s such a good point, but I think it’s also vulnerable. A lot of people, it’s like, well, I don’t want to lose their respect. They,

[00:34:26] Kimberly Samson: I think you gain it.

[00:34:27] Randi Rubenstein: Well, yeah, we’re 

[00:34:29] Kimberly Samson: it reinforces it.

[00:34:30] Randi Rubenstein: I think we’re lifting the veil here. We’re like, yeah this is the deal. Like that whole old school way of thinking of you need to be the all knowing parent. it doesn’t build a true, connected relationship, because no one knows every, I mean, like, I think everyone listening to this podcast, if you’ve listened to this podcast and, and you keep coming back, you’re a cool, with it person. 

And, you know how we all think about those know it all people. The know it all people who know all the things and who never make mistakes, who never have a vulnerable moment, who never get busted for doing some shitty thing that they wish they hadn’t done. No one likes those people. 

[00:35:14] Kimberly Samson: And that’s not true. 

[00:35:16] Randi Rubenstein: It’s not true. That’s why no one likes because nobody’s buying that bullshit. And our kids, they’re like little truth barometers. They bullshitting them. Even when they don’t know, they know something doesn’t pass the smell They know. 

So talk about when you started the Midlife podcast and you entered into the chapter that led to writing this book, this book that we’re just whispering about, but that y’all,

[00:35:45] Kimberly Samson: Don’t tell anybody.

[00:35:47] Randi Rubenstein: Y’all should all order cause you’ll laugh and you’ll love it and you’ll love Kimby. so, and we’re going to put the link to the book in the show notes. Talk about that. That process, cause that’s really where we reconnected after not speaking for how long? 15 years?

[00:36:04] Kimberly Samson: Gosh, was it that long? I mean, it’s totally possible. Yeah. So again, I think it kind of speaks to what I think both of our messages is, are. That didn’t, that wasn’t subject verb agreement, but you know what I’m saying. Um, that you don’t really know where you’re going, right? Just start walking a path and then kind of like it, it figures itself out.

But, um, I was just in a really bad place and I figured, um, if I’m in a bad place and I, I, for many defensive reasons have an ego to protect me. And I thought, well, if I’m in a bad place, I can’t all be the only one. 

And I started like, kind of, you know, researching, reading about this midlife in this moment where I felt like things were very black and white. And I felt like I was never going to be happy again. And I was really scared of being 80 years old and looking back on my life and feeling regretful. 

And I felt super unfulfilled and I felt like I hadn’t lived up to my potential. Right. Cause I’d been told my whole life, like, you know, I was, you know, a good student and I achieved awards and I was athletic and I won trophies and, and, you know, there’s no fucking trophies in grown up life. I mean, there are right, but there aren’t when really you’ve chosen the path that I chose, which was to stop working and to stay home with my kids. 

And I think mostly what I was was mad at myself and, and trying to figure out how I was going to feel better so I, I didn’t waste my life. I mean, I was really in a deep, dark place. Like I was like, seriously, this is it.

Um, and I was doing all those performative things because I was supposed to, um, on all the committees and taking my kids, all the places and signing them up for everything. And, you know, making all the dinners and doing all the shopping so that they had the childhood that I would have wanted. Um, and I, I got myself to a place where I was really fucking angry at everybody. Except the one person I should have been angry at, which was me. 

And I just started writing and I started, you actually said to me that, you know, when you start going into this sort of line of work, this coaching thing, really, what you’re doing is trying to coach yourself. And I think that’s 100 percent spot on. And the only way I could do it was to write like I was writing to somebody else because I’ve always been very good at telling other people what to do, but I don’t know how to follow my own advice. Right. 

So I think by writing to other people how to feel better, I started feeling better. So, um, in writing, what I did then was I read my essays as podcasts. and you know, I think it’s pretty good basic advice. And people appreciated it. 

I mean, I think a certain kind of person appreciates it. I think there are a lot of people that, uh, you know, don’t want to look inside and don’t want to take responsibility for where their life is, you’re not going to like what I have to say. But I think if there’s just a tiny little crack in you, that’s willing to maybe figure out if it’s you before you blame everybody else, it’s helpful. 

So it was, it was COVID. And it wasn’t because of COVID. It just happened to be then that I started writing and, you know, recording a podcast and, I had no grand designs for it. I learned a lot of things while I was doing it. I learned about marketing and learned about having an online business. I learned about building a course. 

And what’s funny about all of it is it turns out that I didn’t really enjoy doing it. I enjoy writing. And I love telling people what to do. And I love when they take my advice, but,

[00:39:48] Randi Rubenstein: I love you.

[00:39:50] Kimberly Samson: but also most people are really annoying and I don’t want, I have, kinda like have my selective people that are allowed inside my bubble. And so I’m like this, I’m not cut out for this line of work. This isn’t bringing me joy. You know, I just had to, and also I, I’m over it, right. I do think that there was an end point to my angst, thankfully. 

And so in collecting these essays and putting them out there in a solid format, I mean, they’re there for people to use. And that’s what I wanted. I just want people to feel better and I want people to get the fuck over it.

And one thing I hate about how commercial like midlife and menopause has been. It feels super wallowing to me. And I hate that women can do that with each other, that they like to, to stay, you know, in the shit together. And my whole perspective and my book, and if you go back to any of my podcasts is about feeling better, feeling happy, building a life you love. Loving the people around you, allowing them to love you and get on with it and see what’s next.

So I think that’s what The Midlife did for me is it’s just kind of brought me to the next, you know, chapter. And I finally learned to say, like, I don’t know if this is it, but this is what I’m doing now.

[00:41:04] Randi Rubenstein: Hmm. Yeah, and I don’t have, I don’t have to know. It doesn’t have to be forever. Guess what?

Ah, like, like, I exist at choice. And right now, this might be my choice and next month or next year I may have a different choice.

[00:41:22] Kimberly Samson: yeah. And also to sort of like. I think, um, one thing we, as women, like, especially if you’re, you know, if the, if somebody asks you what’s going on and your answer is everything going on with your kids, is like, you’re really cutting yourself short. You are not, you know, recognizing everything that has gotten you to this point.

It’s like, even if you’ve been a stay at home mom, like I was, you know, you learn a lot of things. There are valuable skills that you’ve picked up. And I think we really sell ourselves short when we take on this completely other identity that we only exist to serve the people under our roof.

[00:42:02] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah,

I think, yeah. I mean, look, I. I. I feel like, like in my groups, it’s, it’s actually pretty amazing because, you know, there’s always been this whole like working moms versus stay at home moms. Um, which I don’t really like even the term stay at home moms. I haven’t decided. Maybe you can come up with a better term because,

[00:42:24] Kimberly Samson: No, I hate it.

[00:42:26] Randi Rubenstein: yeah. Like when, when you’re, when your full time job is raising children, like, like you are working your ass off all the fucking time. There’s no lunch break, you know, like,

[00:42:38] Kimberly Samson: But I think, I think similarly, even if you’re a working mom, you’re, are you not a mom a hundred percent of the time also? 

[00:42:45] Randi Rubenstein: right. You are.

You are. And that’s the thing. And so in my groups, that’s been the most beautiful, like there’s never been any weirdness. I would say, I think it’s 50 50, but maybe it’s more like 60 percent working 40 percent, you know, working from home, raising children. I, I don’t have a catchier way of saying it. 

Um, but I think part of why we have such, you know, nobody even really talks about it. Like if we talk about, if I coach somebody about something that has to do with, with a job or work stuff, um, like I never, there’s never weirdness or it’s not uninteresting for my moms who don’t work outside the home. And, and vice versa. Like they all learn so much.

But I think it’s because I was a mom who full time, that was my job for many years. And then I started a business and, um, became obsessed with Mastermind Parenting and all things Mastermind Parenting. So, you know, Scott would tell you, that, I mean, his favorite thing is when somebody acts like they’re real impressed by his career and they sort of, you know. 

Like people in our personal life, because people in our personal life, not a lot of them know that much about what I do. Um, but a lot of them know about what he does. And so, and so, cause it’s more of like the typical, you know, success, whatever, like, and so people will focus on him. And he, he’ll say, no one works more than Randi. She works more than anyone I know. 

And I’m like, that’s not true. I just have unorthodox working hours. He’s like you are obsessed with the work that you do. No one works more than you, you know, like he gets offended by it. And I think because I have been both, like I can see both. And so there’s no, and I guess I set the tone in my group, so there’s no weirdness between moms. Like we all just come together and workshop all the things and there’s none of that competitive nonsense. 

[00:44:54] Kimberly Samson: Yeah, I actually, I open the book by saying, cause I, I worry about this all the time. You know, it’s been a privilege that I up until, you know, and it’s funny what you say is like, I still think of myself as a stay at home mom because I work from home, but I work my ass off too. Um, but I say in the books, I really, I worry about offending somebody that I’m only speaking because this has been my experience.

And I’m not saying like, I, I think about, you know, not everybody, um, is, you know, ever married their partner that had a baby. Not everybody is in a heterosexual relationship, raising children. Not everybody is stay at home or working or, and I say, there’s a lot of different ways that we get to midlife. I still believe we all get there, no matter what your personal dynamics are. And all I can do is give you my, um, you know, perspective on things and hope that you can take something for it and apply it to you, I’m not saying it’s the right way or the only way to do it. 

And I think that that’s kind of the grace that we, both sides of that coin and all the iterations in between have to give each other. And also you’re not a hun you’re also a hundred percent of still a mom, even if you have some big high power job.

[00:46:13] Randi Rubenstein: Well, and anybody who gets offended, like, I think the truth is just the, whatever your truth is, is the way to go. And other people who are interested in speaking the truth, telling the truth, sharing their truth, listening to the truth, I think they appreciate the truth, even if it isn’t their exact experience. And the people who are offended are, have you ever heard the, the one third haters?

[00:46:43] Kimberly Samson: Mm

[00:46:44] Randi Rubenstein: It’s not mine. It’s actually this coach that I love. Her name is Amy Pearson. And, um, and she taught me and maybe it’s not hers. Maybe it’s iterated from someone else. I don’t know. But

anyway, I learned, I learned it, right, probably. So it’s probably been filtered down a couple of times, but I love this. It’s a, it’s called the one third rule. And so a third of the people are your people, and they love you. They’re your super fans. Like anything you do, they’re like, we’re, we’re in, we’re, we’re up for that. And then, and in, and whether it’s work, whether it’s an outfit that you choose to show up in, a new haircut, whatever it is, okay, they’re, they’re down for your choices. Okay. So those are, those are the, those are your people. 

And then there’s a third that are the neutrals. And the neutrals. They’re not really thinking about you. Like you’re not really their people. They’re not really your people, but nobody’s like, like we, like, there’s no hate. It’s just like, we just don’t really go together and that’s fine. Okay. So it’s sort of like the neutrals. 

And then there’s the third that are your haters and personal life, professional life, the people who always are going to be offended. They’re going to be offended. You can, you can try and tip toe around, but that doesn’t matter. They’re going to find something to hate on you for.

And what most of us do because of that fucking negativity bias that every human has.

[00:48:12] Kimberly Samson: We cater to that fucking one third.

[00:48:14] Randi Rubenstein: Yes, we’re so focused on the one third. So then we’re like, I hope I don’t offend anyone. And

[00:48:19] Kimberly Samson: Mm hmm. You’re 

[00:48:20] Randi Rubenstein: gonna, you’re gonna fucking offend them no


[00:48:23] Kimberly Samson: I am.

[00:48:24] Randi Rubenstein: Yes. Yes. Yeah. They’re going to find something to be offended by because they are not your people.

And, and so that little hack from positive psychology, if we can all just, we, we have, you have to work to override that negativity bias,


[00:48:43] Kimberly Samson: think you’re right.

[00:48:44] Randi Rubenstein: but if we override it and override it and override it, eventually we’re like, Oh yeah, what we focus on grows. I’m focusing on the, on the one third that are my people. I’m just going to go full fledge, all of my bandwidth goes to the one third that are my people, period.

[00:49:00] Kimberly Samson: maybe he would have told me that a year ago. I wouldn’t be so bored with The Midlife.

[00:49:04] Randi Rubenstein: I know, you know what, you, you, you went through it and you created a body of work that

that helped you to go through it and process. And now it’s helping other people as they go through it and it lives on. And maybe you don’t have to be the one that is actively steering that ship.

[00:49:28] Kimberly Samson: I don’t. Because I don’t want I don’t want I bet I’m glad it’s there. And I’m and also I mean just like personally, friend to friend. It’s not like, you know, all the people are listening at the moment, right? I’m just kidding. Because I just talked to you like friends, but I just like I needed to do it for me.

[00:49:43] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah.

[00:49:43] Kimberly Samson: Right. I needed to feel that sense of accomplishment. And I think, I think what’s so interesting, I don’t know if you’ve had this experience too, and I joke about like whispering about the book, but it is really hard for me to still answer the question, what do you do? I’m getting better about it because it feels very like show offy and, you Ugh, Try hardy. 

You know, yeah. And so I kind of.

[00:50:05] Randi Rubenstein: too! Me too, me

[00:50:06] Kimberly Samson: I know, but I should, I should be proud of all of it and all the things that I’m working on. And, but because it’s not like, you can’t just say, Oh, you know, I work for Apple or something. I don’t know. It just like, it feels so goofy to me. 

And I think that’s part of it for women too. We’re like so used to cheerleading all the people around. Like I could totally go somewhere public with you and I could just introduce you the entire time and be so happy doing that. Like, you know, shouting from the rooftops what you do. But ask me what I’m doing and be like, well, I do this and I do that. And it’s such a dumb thing.

[00:50:41] Randi Rubenstein: I know, it’s

[00:50:42] Kimberly Samson: I think that’s part of it for us too in midlife is learning to own it. And like, whatever it is that you’re doing at this moment is special and important Yeah. and. And and it might not be the same thing in six months or it might be the same thing for the next decade and that doesn’t demean or any of it. 

[00:50:59] Randi Rubenstein: I think a lot of times, also, our intuition is whispering to us and when it feels uncomfortable to talk about what you do, chances are it’s because it might be to somebody who’s in the two thirds that are not your one third. Because I think when, when somebody in your one third gets curious and wants to know more about you, and so, what you do and the work that you enjoy and, and what you’re into, I think it organically comes up. 

And so whenever it’s a, now I’m being interviewed. What do you do? Um, I, I think, I think my intuition, that’s what I pretty much avoid it at this point because I think my intuition is saying they don’t get to know. They don’t need to know.

[00:51:49] Kimberly Samson: I love that kind of reframe though, like you don’t get to know.

[00:51:52] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah. You don’t get to know, that you don’t get to know there’s no, they’re like, I can, I just, it’s like, I’m trusting that, that intuition more and more and more where it’s like, if

[00:52:03] Kimberly Samson: So what do you say? I’m just curious. So like if you’re in a new situation, they’re like, oh, Randi, what do you do

[00:52:08] Randi Rubenstein: Oh, I know what Scott does. Um, yeah. Do you, do you work? And I’m like, Oh, uh huh. Yeah, I do. I, yeah, I’ve got my own business. What, tell me more about you. I usually just turn it back on them. 

And, and they’re like, Oh, well, what do you do? And I’m like, I’m like, I don’t know if you have a kid that is like that kid that everybody’s like, that’s a, that’s a rough kid. That’s a hard kid. Or if you had a sibling or if you were that kid, I help parents with those kids. Those, those kids are my jam.

[00:52:36] Kimberly Samson: Oh, I love that answer.

[00:52:37] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah, I’m obsessed with those kids. So I help parents

[00:52:40] Kimberly Samson: a great are trying to, you’re trying to figure out one of those delicious kids.

But I love that because you didn’t have to say the word podcast. You didn’t say the word coach. You didn’t say the word. I really love that. Good for you.

[00:52:52] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah, I mean, and I think it’s, it’s, I’ve been, I think really, I’ve only gotten this comfortable with talking like that as I’ve sort of felt more and more and more confident in what I do. Like, I’ve now been like, now I’m like, I’m like, okay, and I’ve been doing this for a long time. Like I have, I’m 10 years in business at this point. And, and at this point I’m like, yeah, I don’t have anything to prove to anyone.

I love what I do and I’m helping people. I’m not trying to get famous. I’m not like, I don’t have some, like there’s many years where I was like, what is this going to turn into? And now I’m like, no, I love working in this small, boutique way. We just had a conversation about this recently, where Kim, Kimby was like, don’t say it’s small. Why do you have to say it’s small? And I’m like, intimate. I like working with people in an

[00:53:54] Kimberly Samson: I can deal with that.

[00:53:56] Randi Rubenstein: You know, I do. So I’m going to say intimate. I like truly getting to know, I don’t want to have some big, giant business, and I have hundreds of customers and I’ve moderators answering all the questions. I want to dig in and know what the hell is going on in your house, and your house, and your house. 

And I’m only, you know, I’m one person. And I mean, obviously I have Lindsey who works with me and helps me run things. But like, it’s really important to me to know people. So I’ve gotten like way, I mean, in the last couple of years, I’ve been scaling down rather than scaling up because I have, I’ve gotten really clear about the way I like to work. 

[00:54:37] Kimberly Samson: Don’t you think that that’s like another gift of midlife though, too, is that you can sort of annihilate your ego, right? Like you don’t have to give yourself a job title. You don’t have to say you’re a this, that you’re running this kind of company or this kind of coach. I, you know, have this many people in, you know, already recorded, you know, programs or whatever. And I think that that’s like, so freeing and fun about the midlife too, is that you actually can just be.

[00:55:10] Randi Rubenstein: yeah. Like, and I think a lot of the reason that I can just be is that, my kids are cooked. you know, they’re cooked. And I think when I was much younger, I had a low level anxiety of how’s this all going to turn out? Like, I just really hope I don’t fuck them up. And now I’m on the other side of it and I’m like, it’s good. I feel good and I think I have less of that sort of proving energy or, you know, deep down worry. And so

[00:55:40] Kimberly Samson: but again, like, what does that even mean? That they’re going to turn out okay, so that looks good for you? Like that’s where that kind of weird energy came from. Cause I think that’s the way we were programmed though. That weird reflection.

[00:55:51] Randi Rubenstein: For me it wasn’t that, that it looks good for me. It was really that, and I didn’t know this, it was unconscious. I wanted so badly that I, I didn’t want my kids to ever, frankly, think about me or blame me the way I did my parents. And, and I think It was like, I loved them so much and the thought that maybe one day they might have a lot of animosity towards me or, um, and that was the driving force for me was that I was like, I’ve got to do this better. I can’t like, I wanted to have them in my life forever. And so

[00:56:32] Kimberly Samson: Right. But I think it was impossible that you wouldn’t have done it better just because you’re always an evolving human. 

[00:56:40] Randi Rubenstein: I think if I hadn’t had an Alec, I think I would have done it a more modern version of the way my parents, I think I would have,

[00:56:49] Kimberly Samson: Really?

[00:56:50] Randi Rubenstein: yeah, I do. Um, I think, I, I think, having an Alec and it not being so easy, you know? Like, like and me being

[00:57:01] Kimberly Samson: I do know because you left him with us when he was nine months old.

[00:57:04] Randi Rubenstein: Yes. Remember how hard was? Yes. I would love for you to end with that story. 

[00:57:10] Kimberly Samson: Yeah, so Dave and I, I didn’t even know, well, he, we must’ve been married cause he was nine months old. Cause he wasn’t fragile, like he was, you know, a baby. And you guys were in L.A. for something and you asked me if we could watch him. And we had just moved into our, like, new house. And, you know, I had, I was checking all the fucking boxes. Married the right boy? Check. Live in the right neighborhood? Check. Have the right job? Check. 

So, um, you said, you know, could we watch him? And I was like, absolutely, how fun, we get to play house, right with the baby. And I’ve never been afraid of kids or not been able to take care of babies. I have, I feel like I have a natural affinity for mothering and I could not comfort that child. He was crying. He was unhappy. Um, and I, I could not make it okay.

[00:58:01] Randi Rubenstein: He cried so much.

[00:58:03] Kimberly Samson: He did. I mean, and also like, yes, but also at nine months, like it could have been a weird separation. He didn’t know us at all. And I didn’t, I didn’t know any of those things either about kids. I just thought, Oh, they’re just like little dolls and you put them wherever and you get to play with them and they’re delightful.

Um, but yeah, he was really, really not happy to be with us. And there was literally nothing that I could do to make it better. And so, so much as I even like, I didn’t leave him alone, but like I tried not to entertain him and like just kind of be and see if he would calm down. Nothing. I think we tried to give him a bath. We tried to play with him. 

We, and of course being so young and dumb and all about myself, I was like, Oh, I guess I’m not good at this. Yeah, and then, yeah, he was tough, he was tough, but he’s delightful now. Do you remember that time that we stayed at your house and, um, your old house and there was a thud? And I like ran into the room and he was just laying on the floor. He’d fallen out of his bed. And like, I was literally scared cause he was just laying there. Do you not remember this?

[00:59:08] Randi Rubenstein: Uh, uh,

[00:59:09] Kimberly Samson: I went and got you because I, I did not know what to do. It’s like, um, and both you and Scott came in there and you’re like, he’s all right. I think he slept on the floor. 

[00:59:21] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah, no, he was, he was a toughie. He was. And I think if I hadn’t, you know, I think this deep desire that I wanted, yeah, I wanted happy children. I wanted kids that had like this happy, delightful childhood. And so when I, when he came to me, this little highly sensitive person who felt everything in such an intense way.

And I, I had to hold him all the time. I had to wear him all the time. I, I, that’s why I think I started reading so many books because I was like, what do I need to do to make him happy? And I was trying to learn as much as I could learn, cause I couldn’t figure out like, I was like, is there something wrong with him? Is something hurting him? Um, I could not figure it out. And so that is what led me.

And then as I started learning about child development and all the different things, I think I started realizing, none of this stuff was ever done for me. Like I was never put to bed or, you know, cared for in this way. I mean, really, like there’s been so much that I’ve had to teach myself as an adult because you know, I know we had dinner every night and that there was that routine, but other than that, we did not have like a traditional situation going on. We were not cared for in a traditional way. And so I, I had to learn so many things. 


Audiogram 4 In?

[01:00:50] Randi Rubenstein: I think if I had just had an Avery and a Cory, I think I would have been like, yeah. Like I would have been all still enmeshed with my parents and they would have been our live baby dolls and I would have, you know, said the same kind of things that might be, I, I think I would have just still been completely in that, you know, running my life by the rules of that tribe, my, you know, origin tribe versus, 

[01:01:18] Kimberly Samson: All right, well let me stop you and say, per usual, I think you don’t give yourself enough credit. And. I think that, you know, you’re a grower and a seeker no matter what, and I think that it’s not by some twist of fate that, you know, you’re where you are in your life. I think it’s a lot of hard work and a lot of self awareness.

Audiogram 4 Out?

[01:01:40] Randi Rubenstein: I think the

[01:01:40] Kimberly Samson: And I don’t think it’s external. I don’t think it’s external.

[01:01:44] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah,

[01:01:45] Kimberly Samson: I think it’s internal.

[01:01:46] Randi Rubenstein: No, I do. I do think it’s internal. I would agree with you there. Okay, obviously we could just talk and talk

[01:01:52] Kimberly Samson: I know, but as you know, I’m starving at this point, so I have to go feed.

[01:01:56] Randi Rubenstein: You need go feed. You need to go feed.

[01:01:59] Kimberly Samson: And also, can I just tell you about the parenting that never stops? I also have to rush to the airport because Aiden decided that it’s his end of spring break and they’re in Mexico and they’re supposed to go back to Bloomington today. But then he and his roommates also from LA have decided that they’re awfully close to LA being on the West coast of Mexico and Cabo that they should just come home and bring three of their friends with them. So my life turns on a dime and I’m going to the airport and I’m picking up all the people and feeding them and housing them. 

And then in those moments, I think, uh, yep, I’m so lucky that I can do that. And the rest of the things that I had planned for myself and my world take over will wait.

[01:02:40] Randi Rubenstein: And I’ll end with saying, how about how he wants to come home?

[01:02:46] Kimberly Samson: I know. I love that so much.

[01:02:48] Randi Rubenstein: Right, I never went home for more than a week once I left for college I was like get me the fuck out of here. So the

[01:02:54] Kimberly Samson: Dave said to me. Oh, Dave said to me. When’s the last time we had dinner at your parents house? I was like, yeah, I don’t remember. I don’t even was don’t want to go home. So

[01:03:02] Randi Rubenstein: Right and he’s like, oh I’m in college I’m on spring break and not I want to come home. I’m close to home I want to come home and I want to bring my friends to my home. Like that, to me, that’s that’s the dream. That’s living the dream

[01:03:18] Kimberly Samson: yeah. And so in the reverse of that is that I’m living the dream. Cause I have a friend like you that I can call and be like, Oh, my kid’s coming to your city. Can he stay with you? And you’re like, yeah, sure. So

[01:03:31] Randi Rubenstein: It’s my favorite. favorite. Yeah.

[01:03:33] Kimberly Samson: Thanks for having me today. it. This is the always

[01:03:37] Randi Rubenstein: Always fun.

[01:03:38] Kimberly Samson: All right.

[01:03:38] Randi Rubenstein: Bye everyone.

Thanks for listening today, guys. I hope you picked up some tips, tools, maybe some baby steps for creating more balance and boundaries in your life. And I just wanted to let you know, if you want to continue moving the needle forward in creating this for yourself, having a happier household, I want you to go to my website and check out We have three beginning programs, and if you need some accountability and more support then please look for the one that would be a good fit for you.

And, as always, we’re on all the social channels under mastermind parenting, on Instagram it’s mastermind_parenting. And, you know, periodically I do pop up on different Instagram lives, Facebook lives where I give you teaching and coaching and I love engaging with you live to help you help your strong-willed kids so that they can feel better, because when they feel better they do better, and I love, love, love getting to know you guys. 

So thanks for listening. If you like this podcast, please don’t forget to subscribe, rate and review. Super super appreciative.

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Creating A Happier Household

by Randi Rubenstein