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About Emily

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Emily Jones McCoy is the dugout reporter for the Texas Rangers, owner and co-founder of Posh Play, author of A Place For Everyone, consultant for Rodan+Fields and Scout & Cellar, and president of the Do It For Durrett Foundation. She has a husband (Mike), two children (Henry & Hattie), and a very small filter. You’ve been warned.

Know Your Value

So I read an article recently titled “It’s Almost Impossible to Be a Mom in Television News”, and it sparked many thoughts and a few conversations. Too many thoughts in my head can be a dangerous thing, so I decided to let them out here 😉

First off, the article was thoughtfully and candidly written by a woman named Julianna Goldman, a former CBS News correspondent and 15-year television news veteran. She documented her struggle—along with the struggles of more than a dozen of her contemporaries—who have been exposed to similar circumstances in terms of work-life balance.

I know, the title is TV news–and there is nothing newsy about me–but I felt TV sports was pretty interchangeable in this case. After I read the article, I sent out the tweet below, about my own experience as a working mom. (Don’t ask about the Santa hat in my profile pic…it’s a long story 😉

The next day, I got an email from a woman in Missouri who saw the tweet and wanted to know what it was about the Rangers organization that made this mom-reporter juggling act not only manageable but massively rewarding. She is preparing to leave a job she has excelled at for a number of years because she feels the same struggles Julianna Goldman felt before she left her job at CBS (Goldman ended up leaving CBS, in case you didn’t read her article). 

Now back to the woman in Missouri. I didn’t know how to answer her question. I told her I couldn’t really type it, but I’d be happy to talk to her over the phone. I gave her my number. She didn’t call. And I felt like an asshole. Here she was reaching out to me for a little woman on woman support, and I fell short. 

Quick aside—when I was just starting out in this crazy business, I reached out to a number of women who I respected and admired, seeking guidance, direction, tips…basically anything that would help me get to where they were. Some were more than gracious, others not so much. I made a promise to myself then that if I was ever in a position where if anyone thought highly enough of me to ask my advice, the least I could do was offer it up.

Ok, now really, let’s get back on track. After I got the email and told the lady in Missouri to call me and she didn’t and I felt like an asshole (stay with me), I ran into a woman I respect tremendously on a morning jaunt to Starbucks. She commented on my tweet and the article that prompted it. She’s had a successful career in the banking industry. She’s helped raise two sons. And she is one of only two of her friends who is still working 40 years later. My point is—that exchange wanted me to identify even more what it is that has kept me in the game for the last 20 years, and in particular, what has kept me coming back to my current job with the Rangers.

This will be my sixth season working exclusively for the team. I’ve covered the Rangers closely since 2008, when I worked for Fox Sports Southwest. But baseball is the only job this working mom—and her family (sorry about the third person)—have ever known. There have been times I’ve thought about walking away, thinking it was too much of a burden for my family to bear. Too many nights away. Too many sporting events and bedtime stories missed. But I keep coming back. And not because I have to, but because I want to. I don’t feel guilt when I go to work. I feel gratitude. I’m thankful for a ridiculous job that I have equal parts worked my ass off for and lucked myself into.

Don’t get me wrong, the guilt was there early on in this whole motherhood thing, but I can honestly say it’s pretty minimal at this point. I mean, Henry is 7 and Hattie is 5…they can pretty much survive on their own. Kidding again. But, the reason the guilt is virtually gone is two-fold. My family (this includes my support system) values me. And the Rangers value my family. Not just my family, but just family. Does that even make sense? Please say yes.

I made mention in that tweet about the Rangers helping my transition to working mom was a seamless one, but what I didn’t mention was how they’ve followed up on it. How they’ve gone out of their way to make sure my schedule is structured in a way that allows me to be as present as much as possible in my kids’ lives during the chaos of a Major League Baseball season. How they allow me to take an unscheduled personal day when I haven’t put my kids to bed in three weeks. How they encourage me to bring my kids to Spring Training, and let them post up on their iPads in the lobby while I do interviews (don’t judge).

I realize every business, every organization, every job is different. I’m not saying these things should only apply to working moms. And don’t even try to come at me with the “what about working dads” argument. I was raised by a man, so I know that dynamic first hand. It’s different for moms. It just is. Deal with it. What I’m saying is, if an employer values you, they should also value what makes you valuable.

I’m dumb enough to think the Rangers kind of dig how much I care about our team and our players and our fan base…so why would they expect me to feel any differently about my family? They don’t. I mean, I haven’t asked them, but I’m assuming 😉 

So many women feel “torn” in the role they’re in. They feel they should be home more if they’re working. They want to be more than just “mom” if they stay home. Bottom line, shit ain’t easy on either side. Make sure you’re valued wherever you are.

You Do You. And I’ll Do Me

So I had a really great conversation with a friend recently about social media…the good, the bad, the ugly, and the annoying…ok, mostly the annoying. That convo made me think about certain things in a way I hadn’t thought of them previously. It also made me want to word vomit, which is also known as blogging in my world 😜.

Here’s the deal. Social media is cray. It makes people do, say and post cray stuff. But I feel like in this day and age, everyone should have their own social media strategy. What are you trying to get out of it? Compliments? Likes? Acceptance? Sales? None of these are bad things, but I also feel like it’s important to be honest with yourself in terms of what your social media expectations are, simply so you can have a slightly realistic (if that’s even possible) perspective on this wheels-off media that is occupying so much of our time, eyeballs and energy. With that being said…I’m gonna be full-on, straight-up with y’all, just like my girl Paula taught me (if you don’t get that joke, just Google it). 

I prefer to be liked, but if that means compromising what I believe, I’m out. I’m not going to pretend like I agree with you just to get a follow or a retweet or a like. However, I am trying to get better at listening to those I don’t agree with. I firmly believe that the life we have experienced shapes the life we live. We all have vastly different life experiences, so it makes perfect sense—to me at least—that those experiences would manifest themselves in different ways.

I credit my church in helping me look beyond my situation and circumstance and challenging me to get uncomfortable outside my bubble to see a picture bigger than my own. And if you’re gonna try to come at me with the whole “keep your religion to yourself” crap, take a page from Michael’s book and start with the man in the mirror (again, Google it). If you can share your disbelief, I can share my faith. Two-way street. Deal with it.

Ok, back to my social media rant.

I am a living, breathing shit show. If you follow me on social media, that is apparent. I cuss like a sailor, I call my kids assholes, I get yelled at in the carpool line. That’s me, and quite frankly I don’t have the energy to pretend otherwise. But—and this is a big but (shout out to Sir Mix-A-Lot. Once more, see the Google)—I get it if you want to clean it up a bit on social media. Also, I realize there are actually normal human beings out there who are just, well, normal. Anyhow, not me.

But before I get all high and mighty on this “I’m so real” rant…I recently changed my Twitter profile pic to an image of me in a tight red dress gazing into the eyes of a camel. This was a totally vain move on my part, and I make no apologies for it. I mean, I will never look hotter than juxtaposed next to a dirty, hairy camel. Trying to operate in full disclosure over here.

Also in full disclosure, below is perhaps the worst picture I’ve ever taken. It’s a long story. If you see me, ask me, and I’ll fill you in.

It’s a long story…

So the bottom line is…I get it. We all have different social media agendas. I guess I just wanted to share mine. And if you don’t like what I’m posting or the shit I’m selling (play mats, skin care, wine, etc.), roll your eyes and scroll on by. Just like I do with fashion and food 😁. 

You do you. And I’ll do me.

Worries In A Jar

I wanted to follow up on a blog I posted not too long ago. It was about my 7-year-old son, Henry, and his early signs of anxiety…most–if not all–of which he got from me <cue the hand over the face emoji>. That was two months ago, and I’ve learned a lot about anxiety in children and adults in the time since then, which I wanted to share in the hopes that it might help others going through similar situations.

First off, therapists are your friend, and they actually study to become experts in their field, and they can help! There is a reason we pay qualified people to do things we aren’t qualified to do. For example, I would never attempt to install a chandelier in my house…bring on the electrician!!!

Second, despite serious strides and increased awareness in the last few years, mental illness is still greatly misunderstood and often dismissed by people who don’t directly identify. Trust me. I’ve been on both ends. I kept mine in check for 40 years…until I saw it in Henry…that’s when I knew it was time to come clean.

See below for an explanation from my previous blog:

A friend of mine recently posted a rambling blog about her anxiety (thank you Lana), and I hung on every word, identifying with every single thing she said. It made me feel so normal to know that someone else had these feelings of apprehension and anxiousness when–to everyone around them–it seemed to be the complete opposite.

And cue the bitch. Here I am finding comfort in someone else’s struggle because it’s similar to mine. So what does that make me? A crazy bitch who wants other people to feel crazy too so I’m not alone in this crazy bitch game??? I mean, I really hope not, but it’s definitely a possibility 😉

And then I had my son’s year-end conference at school. My kid (Henry) is killing kindergarten. I’m so proud. The only concern his teacher expressed was how Henry wants so badly to master every task on his own, without help. And if he doesn’t, he feels like he has failed. I hurt just thinking about what his sweet, 6-year-old heart must be going through. I mean, I’m 40, and I still don’t know how to deal with it.

We’ve seen it in him for awhile. He gets up at 5:45 in the morning because he doesn’t want to be late for school. If we leave the house at 7:32 instead of 7:30, his wheels are completely shot off for the rest of the day.

To be honest, I haven’t known exactly how to deal with it. We do our best not to coddle in our house. There are consequences for actions, and we preach that life isn’t always rainbows and unicorns. But I also want my kids to be able to feel safe with their feelings. And deciphering between a pouty kid and a legitimate issue that needs to be addressed can be a fine line.

And this is what I have come away with. Henry is me. The little girl that slept on top of her covers in her school clothes so she wouldn’t have to waste time getting dressed and making her bed in the morning so she could be on time for school. The little girl who never wanted to fail at anything because she didn’t want to disappoint anyone. And now, the grown ass woman who can’t just be still and whose mind rarely stops racing.

As his mom, I just want to do the right by him, even though I don’t exactly know what that looks like. I want him to know that it’s ok to strive for perfection, but I also want him to know that there is no way in hell that’s ever going to happen. And that’s ok. It’s more than ok. That’s just life–for him and all of us.

I want him to be able to talk to me about his fears and his insecurities. I want him to embrace his weaknesses so he can learn from them and be stronger for it. I want him to know that his mom is a giant shit show, still trying to figure this thing out at every turn too. I want him to mean well and do good, knowing that sometimes intentions don’t always mirror execution.

Above all else, I just don’t want him to feel alone. So if I have to remind him every day that he got this crazy from his mama, that’s what I’m gonna do. Because if nothing else, I hope he’ll find some comfort in knowing he comes by it honestly.

Since that post…we have seen a therapist, I have come to terms with the fact that there is no shame in my anxiety game, and Henry is the best, most unqualified psychologist I could ever ask for. When we met with the therapist, she recommended we make “Worry Jars” for Henry, so he could identify and categorize his concerns.

So we did. One for Henry’s worries. One for parent worries. And one for God worries. He was stoked to label his jars and get this party started. But it didn’t take long for him to ask about my jars. “I thought you had anxiety too, Mommy? Don’t you need some jars?” <in my head: there aren’t enough jars in the world 😜> But he had a point. I needed some jars, too. And so he made a couple for me.

Since then, when we have a worry, we write it down and put it in the corresponding jar. When the jars start to get full, we take them out, talk about them and then throw them away. it’s been awesome, and Henry has responded so well to it. But his favorite part is when I tell him about my worries…because he knows he’s helping me. And that makes me think I haven’t completely screwed up this whole parenting thing…at least yet anyway ;).

Guest Blog Alert!!!

I’m so excited to have my first ever guest blog in this space! Jen Mueller serves a similar role as me with the Seattle Mariners organization, and we’ve become friends over the years, swapping stories and helping each other out whenever we can. As an accomplished author, she was instrumental in getting my first children’s book published, and for that, I will be forever grateful. Her forte is effective business communication, which is important in our business and all businesses, for that matter.

Jen’s is smart, talented, witty and uber driven, and I’m thankful to call her a friend. I hope you’ll check out her words here and her work in general. At least read the first two sentences, because she says really nice things about me ;). I kid, I kid.

Me & Jen in the Rangers dugout earlier this season

I adore Emily Jones. She’s funny, smart, talented and gorgeous. She’s also an author thanks to her recently published children’s book “A Place for Everyone.”

Her message is spot on for the intended audience of children, but also for adults who could use a few reminders on the importance of inclusion and relationship building. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a classroom setting or a business environment, building relationships takes bravery and compassion. You have to be brave enough to strike up a conversation and compassionate enough to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. That’s how relationships start. 

Emily and I are sports broadcasters. Building relationships with the athletes and coaches we work with is a huge part of what we do. It’s also something you should be doing, regardless of your profession. 

Here are five ways to approach conversations that further business relationships. 

Ignore the “What if’s” 

What if this person doesn’t like me? What if they laugh? What if they don’t want to talk to me? There are a million “What if’s” that can get in the way of not just a great conversation, but a great business connection. Don’t psyche yourself out before the conversation even gets started, especially when those “What if” moments are rarely, if ever, true.   

Give good cues

Recognize that other people takes cues from you. Your body language, facial expressions and overall confidence level gives an indication of what the other person can expect. If you’re uncomfortable there’s a good chance the person you’re talking to will be uncomfortable too. Give the right cues and the rest of the conversation gets easier.

Take the initiative

Don’t wait for someone to find you. Be decisive. Find someone to talk to. This is especially if you’re in a networking scenario. You might need to step out of your comfort zone to initiate a conversation but it’s better than hoping the people standing next to you can read your mind and being disappointed when they can’t.

Know the end goal

If you think starting a conversation is awkward, try ending one when you don’t have a specific ask or exit strategy. Know the purpose of the conversation (i.e. making an introduction, inviting someone to join your table, opening the line of communication for a future exchange) and communicate that up front. It’s easier to exit a conversation after you’ve done what you said you were going to do.

Give yourself the benefit of the doubt

Don’t second-guess yourself. You look great. You are smart enough. You are witty enough and you are just the person to offer a kind word and help someone else find their place. 

I recommend A Place for Everyone for the kids in your family, and I recommend taking this passage to heart regardless of your age:

“Be the person who walks bravely into a new group and welcomes others into yours. There is a place from everyone. Find your place and help others find theirs.”

Jen Mueller has written three books on business communication to say what Emily Jones McCoy says so simply and brilliantly in her new children’s book, A Place for Everyone. Jen is a veteran sports broadcaster and currently serves as the Seattle Seahawks sideline radio reporter and is a member of the Seattle Mariners television broadcast team. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, Jen founded Talk Sporty to Me in 2009 and teaches business professionals how to improve communication skills using sports conversations. 

Link to Jen’s latest book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075G44NBR

Link to Jen’s website: http://www.talksportytome.com