Family and Motherhood

HOW TO RAISE A FEMINIST SON

The news cycle of this past year has been too difficult to navigate, as a woman but more importantly as a parent, especially one of a very aware pre-teen. I want my kids to be aware and informed of the world and to be active citizens as they grow into their teenage and adult years. But, I also want to protect them. Not all the news of the day is meant for kids’ ears. The line of what to tell them or let them know can be blurry. We now live in a 24-hour-a-day news feed, on TV, the internet, our phones. We have a president who tweets inappropriate things constantly and who has been caught on tape saying even more inappropriate things! Our kids hear that, even if it isn’t coming from us. They hear things at school or see headlines in the checkout line or the news on the radio before you...

CRACKED WINDSHIELDS

  There is a crack in the windshield. No doubt about that. It’s my grandma’s old station wagon. The one where we could pile ten kids and not flinch when the door opened and we all had to grab on to the unlucky cousin closest to the door before he falls out. A mortifying thought to the new standards of parenthood I am now beholden to, but I was a child and nothing appeared unusual. I was sitting in the honor seat, the front, wedged between my grandma and my cousin. My cousin being the oldest, and the one with the dead parents, would always hold the title of ruling grandkid so I always tried to be the best second place. She was the commander of radio and the wind-up crank on the window. I sat in the middle one eye to my grandma’s bright blue clip on earring and one eye watching my...

EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER OF A HOMESCHOOLING MOM-PRENEUR

  Everyone says, “Build your own business, you will have more freedom to enjoy life.” What they don’t say is after your third day at home, with two teens and an adolescent dictator, while working on your business and teaching your kids about life, you forget yet again to get dressed and you just might forget to brush your teeth. No seriously, when building a business from your home and having little ones, or even teens in my case, running around getting into everything or interrupting every conversation, you simply forget to take care of basic needs, such as lunch. Your beloved shower gets pushed aside for those absolutely necessary bouncer moments when everyone seems to be fighting. Your home starts to look like a bomb went off in your living room, and your extended...

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS WORK-LIFE BALANCE

  There is no such thing as work-life balance. There is only life balance. Seeing these two things as opposing forces is part of the problem. Ever feel like going to work is more of a break than being home? Part of the reason for this is that the working environment is a controlled structure in which most people, if not all, are working toward a common goal. The goal: making the company or organization successful or getting a paycheck. Hopefully, you do not have to ask your co-worker for a report you need three times before it gets to your desk, like you have to ask your children to pick up their shoes. This feeling of structure and control can lead you to being at work longer than you have to, or should be, because it’s easier in many ways. If this is the case, ask yourself, how can ...

UNLIKELY MOTHERHOOD: A MISTAKE, A DECISION, AND A RECONCILIATION

I had no plans to become a mother, so when those blue lines showed up—immediately and unmistakably dark on the pregnancy test—I cried. Not tears of joy. Not even tears of surprise, oh, I already knew. They were tears of deep dread, and a what-the-hell-am-I-going-to-do feeling. I broke up with the father the week before, and I was happy to be rid of him after a mediocre two months of trying to will myself into feelings I didn’t have out of loneliness. My first instinct was abortion, but working as a bartender at a failing restaurant wasn’t exactly raking in the bucks. I knew I’d have to ask him to help pay for it. In true Millennial form, I told him I was pregnant via text message. We met up that night to talk about it, and I told him I was leaning toward having an abortion, but hadn’t made...

PROUD MOMMY HAS AN EMPTY NEST

I’m a single over 45-year-old mom, I have raised 2 beautiful daughters, the oldest left home and went away to college at 17 to another state back in 2004, she’s an educated woman, very loving, fun, graceful, a homegirl who has many friends that rely on her opinions, she’s organized, high spirited, and a world traveler, my youngest daughter graduated high school last year in May of 2016 she’s loving, very smart, very nice young woman, caring, happy go lucky, deep thinker, very artistic and I’m still trying to fully figure her out (smile). We have all lived away from my hometown and away from our immediate family together in the same state the past 4 years so that baby girl could have some guidance from her big sister and they could bond while the youngest went to hig...

BITCHES GET OLD

Everyone needs a Mawmaw Lessie. A precious, chubby, short grandma that loves to cook and loves being a grandma. When you visit, you gain three pounds just walking by the kitchen. She hugs you tight when you walk in the door, and you never ever have a doubt of how much you’re loved and treasured when you leave. I had a Mawmaw Lessie for a little while, so I know what I’m talking about. But my other grandmother…. Well. She is the anti-Mawmaw Lessie. When I tell people that my grandmother is a bitch, people are always shocked. She’s a grandmother! How could she possibly be anything but sweet and cute? Short and wrinkled, filled with years of wisdom and advice, surely I must be wrong?! No, I assure you, I am not. People ask, “How can someone that’s a grandmother be a bitch?” ...

HOW A SISTERHOOD HELPED ME FIND MYSELF

Growing up, I was a shy kid. I mainly kept to myself and to my books. Books were my lifeline and my glimpse into different worlds. Through high school, I had the same group of friends in my honors classes and never deviated. However, when I got to college, I thought I should try to get out of my shell. To be honest, freshman year was rough. The transition between home to a city filled with strangers was more than difficult. A month into the first semester, I called my mom and told her that I was going to drop out and move back home. Confusion and dread surrounded all of my thoughts. Luckily, I had a few close friends who let me lean on their shoulder and cry in the stairwell of my dorm (more than once). Sophomore year, I thought everything was going to be different. I thought to myself, “I...

STAY SAFE ON SNOW DAYS

Snow Day. Two words that often mean freedom and fun in the dead of winter, with an agenda that includes building a snowman, sledding on neighborhood hills and playing outside with friends. Nine-year-old Zachary Allen went to a friend’s house to play on a snow day. Zachary and his two friends were sledding in the backyard and walked onto a retention pond near their homes in a Powell neighborhood. Despite previous conversations with his parents about not going near the pond, Zachary’s curiosity got them best of him and he followed the other children onto the ice where it appeared frozen. Tragically, he fell into the frigid water. Zachary was able tread water while he determined the best route out of the water and swim to the side of the pond. He also had the endurance and strength to swim 20...

INVISIBLE MOTHERHOOD

When you are no longer pregnant, the world gets scarier. Grocery stores become your temple to cry in, As strangers walk by with empathy in their eyes unknowingly, why.   Your body will no longer be the center of a miracle, It will become a warzone. A reminder that love was once made here, That society wants to claim it for its own, Adjusting it accordingly. It will never hold this same experience.   When you are no longer pregnant, You will question your God more than you thank Him. You will feel ill prepared for the battle he has just sent you in. Begging for him to take it all back.   When you are no longer pregnant, You change. You will cry for the things that once scared you, Because now this seems scarier.   There will be no more massages, Gentle “we can do this,” ...

MOTHER KNOWS BEST

Seven months ago, I got into a severe car accident that seemed like it should have ended my life, but I walked out with merely a scratch from the glass on my left index finger. I couldn’t believe that it happened, much less that I was barely harmed. I spent six hours in the hospital crying and cracking sadistic jokes to myself in a continuous cycle until I finally got to leave at 2 A.M. That night, I realized just how short and precious life is. I was 21, worked full-time at a job I hated, and lived in a town I had no interest in. My boyfriend lived over 600 miles away and I still hadn’t finished my Bachelor’s degree. If I had died that afternoon, I would have never had the opportunity to really live, achieve my goals, or live my dreams. My boyfriend was coming to visit the next day, ironi...

DISCOVER YOURSELF THROUGH OTHERS

I’m Scottish, German, English, a little bit Irish, and probably a mix of some other things as well.  At some point the side conversation at the gala or event is brought to heritage. Small talk is a universal attempt to connect to strangers. As an American we tend to bring up our heritage, which is both fascinating and identifies a point to connect to others in this melting pot of a country. I’d argue that one shouldn’t just talk about the heritage of one’s past, but discover it instead. I’ve had this heritage conversation with hundreds of people and most of the time they casually mention a Polish grandmother, or how they think they are Irish because some cousin has red hair, or occasionally they pull the cool card of being distantly related to some former president. Most of the stories of ...

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