Letting Go – No, You Can’t Protect Your Kids

The toughest job of parenting isn't the beginning. It's the end when you have to let go.

Letting Go Blows It’s that time of year again, time to send our kids back to school. And though there’s a certain level of relief involved…yay, we don't have to take a vote on what to eat for lunch today, yay, I don’t have to worry if your brain is shriveling up from too much TV, etc. etc.…it also fills me with sadness.  And this great big ugly hairball of angst about letting … [Read more...]

15 Moments That Will Change Your Parenting Journey

life doesn't care if youre ready

Change doesn't care if you're ready.. This week I became the mother of a 15 year old! Excuse me a minute while I pick myself up off the floor! Did I really just write that? I thought that only happened to other people?! When Biscuit was a baby I would meet Mum's who said they had a 15-year-old child. Child!? I would think, that's not a child, it's a dependent adult!  I … [Read more...]

Getting Past The Communication Barrier with Your Teen

the communication gap with teens

“You’re treating me like a little kid” he said, cutting me off from what I was saying. Internal eye roll. “I hate this age.” I said to myself. Instead of spewing those words at my eighteen year old, I took a deep breath and told myself, “It’s the age. Get past it. Respond calmly.” The internal dialog I had with myself could be from any stage of adolescence. I’ve heard … [Read more...]

When You Are Worried About Sending Your Kids to School

Are you worried about your kids going back to school? You're not alone.

In a couple weeks, I’ll be sending my 5 children, who span in age from 6 to 19 years old, to 5 different schools — elementary, middle, special education, high school, and culinary school. I’ve done hundreds of Back to School nights, classroom parties, Parent Teacher conferences, First Days, Last Days, PJ days, and Scramble-to-finish-this-project-that’s-due-tomorrow … [Read more...]

6 Good Things About Raising Teen Boys

raising teen boys is an awesome experience

What's So Great About Teen Boys? I have four children, three of whom are adults and have (thankfully) flown the coop. I thought I had this whole, raising-teenagers-in-a-stress-free-zone thing down. Even patted myself on the back for getting them off to college without an arrest record or a shotgun wedding. And then came wild child number four, who could easily have been a … [Read more...]

To My Daughter as You Start High School

a letter to my daughter on her first day of high school

The First Day of High School Three years ago my son started High School and it has not been an easy ride. Academic demands and a tough football training schedule, coupled with parental expectations and the weight of adolescence, made these some of his toughest years. As my second child boards the High School bus, I'm feeling a little wiser and at the risk of some eye-rolling … [Read more...]

From Mom to Monster in 60 Seconds

losing your cool as a mom is okay, in fact, it's expected

Yesterday I lost control Last night I bellowed like a monster. After four days of not having my kids since they were vacationing at their grandparents, I saw myself screaming at Miloš about his behavior that rubbed me totally raw and for the first time, I asked him to be away from me and to sit in a corner. Where did that monster come from? Who was she? I knew I blew it. … [Read more...]

ABC’s for High School Students

when crazy meets exhaustion

Listen kids, the next four years of your life are no joke. Freshmen, are you ready? In addition to wearing the right brands and having the proper accessories (iPhone, ear buds, and a bad attitude), there are trends and people to follow and cliques from which to be excluded. You’ll also want to study a little and possibly pay attention in class a few days a month. As a … [Read more...]

10 Ways to Prepare Your College Freshman

How to prepare your college freshman for school

Sending a child to college is a monumental marker, like starting Kindergarten. Nothing quiet prepares a parent for the first, second, or youngest child to embark on this new beginning. A few tips can help the transition, both for parents and child. Find out what really is needed for college life on your child’s campus. Dorm life varies significantly between colleges. … [Read more...]

The Best Advice I Ever Got About Parenting a Teenager

the best advice I ever got for parenting a teenager

Do you remember being mad at your parents when you were a teenager? Do you remember saying to yourself, “if I ever have kids I will never be as mean/useless/irrational as my stupid mom/dad is”? I sure do. And I was serious about it; I started reading parenting books when I was a 15 year-old babysitter, a full ten years before my son was born.  The research continues to this … [Read more...]

How a Blunt Soccer Mom’s Advice Lead to the Smartest Decisions I Ever Made

The truth about having three kids

The Third Baby Then…And Now When I was pregnant with my third child, a stranger walked up to me on the soccer field and gave me the most compassionate, rudest, wisest advice I’ve ever received. She said, “I’m going to tell you something nobody else will tell you. Having a third child changes EVERYTHING. You’re going to have to get a new car, a new house, and people will stop … [Read more...]

10 Reasons Why My Son Will Hate Middle School

why-my-son-will-hate-middle-school

Somehow my son graduated 5th grade last month. He is an official middle schooler and will head off to Jr High in the fall. At some point someone broke into our house, stole my baby boy and replaced him with a young man who reeks of B.O and makes fart jokes. I honestly never thought I would see the day where I would be the parent of functioning humans called middle … [Read more...]

Mothers and Moving and Making it Home

Mothers, Moving and making it home

My youngest daughter Hannah, who is just finishing her sophomore year, is moving out of her college dorm and into an off-campus apartment. She’s going to be sharing this new place with two roommates, but both of them have been studying abroad this semester, and therefore aren’t in town right now. So, she’s been left on her own to find the apartment for the three of them, … [Read more...]

10 Things Your Growing Son Needs From His Mom

10-things-your-growing-son-needs

The World of Sons I was raised in a family of girls, so the world of boys is an ongoing mystery to me. I always thought I would have all girls since my mom also cam from a family of girls. I realize that my family of origin and my mom’s family of origin really has nothing to do with whether I have boys or girls, but it was still a natural assumption of mine. When I … [Read more...]

To My Daughter on Her 10th Birthday

To My Daughter on Her 10th Birthday

This morning I am making you a cake, per your request like I do every year. This time you asked for something so simple, I almost prod you for more. How about raspberry jam filling? Chocolate shavings? Rainbow layers? But no, all you want is a lemon cake, leaving the icing up to me. You give me that closed mouth smile that means you’re happy but a little hesitant, like you’re … [Read more...]

How Does it Feel When Your Oldest Child Graduates from High School?

when your baby graduates high school

I have friends who have kids older than mine, heck even Karol's kids are older than mine.  Her kids graduated in 2011 and 2013.  I didn't attend Katarina's graduation, but I went to Brandon's.  I cried.  I cheered, I got emotional.  I was so happy for him, but in my experience there is a slight difference between the love for bio kids and step kids (at least in my experience), … [Read more...]

6 Tips to Balancing Family Connection and Fun Screen Time

6 ways to unplug and connect this summer

Oh Delicious Summertime Remember last summer? You started out strong with fantasies straight from your ‘80’s memories of yummy giggling connection, nourishing sunshine, fresh fruit, and dusty barefoot tree climbing. But then there were closets to sort, kids to feed, and socks to wash . . . Everybody kind of drifted off, positioning themselves in front of their screens. When … [Read more...]

The Passenger’s Seat

when you're in the passenger seat with your teen

I pulled into the rocky driveway of the boys' school and waited a minute or two before I saw them bounding down the back ramp to enter the minivan so we could make our way home.  Their teacher smiled and motioned for me to roll down the window as she followed them, so we chatted for a few minutes and I had my back turned from what was going on as the kids entered the van. We … [Read more...]

I Can’t Complain, But Sometimes I Still Do

the joe walsh school of parenting

“I Can’t Complain, But Sometimes I Still Do” (Me And Joe Walsh) If you get a few minutes between your busy life and your dedicated blog-reading, you should check out the CDC’s 511 page report on the state of Americans’ health. There’s no telling how much this research cost taxpayers, so we owe it to ourselves to give it a look. If the fact that you funded this report isn’t … [Read more...]

Tips For Having The “Other Talk” With Your Daughter

having-the-other-talk

When I was about twenty weeks into my third pregnancy, an ultrasound revealed that we would soon be welcoming our third daughter. As we drove home and let the information sink in, I had this conversation with my husband. Husband: "When you shared that apartment in college with three other girls, didn't you all end up on the same menstrual cycle? Doesn't that happen when a … [Read more...]