My boys have spent the whole day building paper guns. Here is how I feel about it.

 

It is late summer, and the days of doing nothing all day will soon be replaced with schedules and stricter bedtimes. But for now, we milk the last few drops of utter lazy freedom. 

It is in this spirit, that my boys somehow woke up today determined to build themselves some paper weaponry. Not just a measly little sword or two. No, instead they are obsessed with building replicas of some vintage (and to me still absolutely terrifying-looking) guns. 

Just the mere mention of the word gun is so - pardon the double entendre - loaded these days.

My mind flashes to headlines and school shootings and ballot boxes. To the bill of rights and what did it all mean way back then? What should it mean now? What is freedom and how do we balance it with responsibility? Why do so many boys like guns anyway? Will my boys know the difference between play guns and real ones? Can I trust them to turn out ok, to never hurt someone?

But these are my adult thoughts....
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The Phone Call I Made That Day

This is a true story. (I hope you will forgive my honesty as I tell it.)

It is the story of how I became a mother - two years AFTER I had my kids. 

Winter, early 2009: I was a new mom. Twice over.

One baby who was almost two years old. The other only two months old. A dream come true.  The only problem: I had children I loved, but I didn’t yet know how to be a parent.

The first few years had been rough. No sleep – ever. My first born needed multiple heart surgeries. My father had just died. My career - and my whole prior life - was over. Not to mention, these kids. They had feelings that I just didn’t know how to handle. Who was handling all MY feelings? 

I wanted so badly to be a good parent. No, a great parent.

I thought love would be enough, but all the love in the world did not prepare me for the frustration I would sometimes feel when the toddler hit the baby, or they would wake up for the 12th time that night, or my husband would...

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Hello Homework!

 
Click PLAY if you want to get to know me. Want to go straight to thoughts on homework? Read below!

It's the beginning of fall, and as surely as leaves will drop, so will the homework. Pages and pages of it. Sometimes whole binders worth. Homework can be the source of many arguments in the home and I wanted to take a look at why, and what we can do about it. 

In order to really understand what's going on, it helps to look at what's happening for both the parents and the kids, because homework is challenging for both of us in ways that are diametrically opposed, and this is how we so often wind up in conflict.

AS PARENTS, we may be feeling:

  • a very understandable desire for our child to "do well." We may even be concerned that if our child can't do homework well, they won't do well in school, and then they won't do well in life.
  • Sometimes our own bad memories about school may be getting unconsciously stirred...
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5 Games You Can Play with Your Kids in 5 Minutes

Let's face it. Some of us feel like we don't have time to play. 

But not our kids. No. It's like they are made for it. 

Well, actually, they are. Play is one of the ways they learn. And they LOVE IT. If KidLand were a country, play would be their currency. And their language. And their national flag. 

So why is it so hard for us?

Well, one of the reasons is that we legitimately have a lot to do. We get sucked up into our lists of important tasks that need to get ticked off. First things first: Look at that list and ask yourself "Does this thing actually need to get done?" And if it does need to get done, does it need to get done now?"

Would it be okay if it waited five minutes? And yeah, I really mean 5 minutes.

WHY? 

Because here are FIVE GAMES YOU CAN PLAY WITH YOUR KIDS, EACH IN FIVE MINUTES OR UNDER:

HOW HARD DO I LOVE YOU: (Good for 2-5 players)

If you think your kiddo would enjoy it, lift them up in the air over your bed, and ask them if they...

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An Unusual Mother's Day Wish

This mother’s day, I’d love to reach out to all the moms out there who maybe didn’t have a mom. Or at least not the kind you’d ever call Mom.

You didn’t have a Mom who would put a band-aid on your knee when you fell skating, or maybe you never even got to skate with her. You didn’t have the kind of Mom you could go to when you broke your ceramic candlestick in second grade, or when your friend didn’t invite you to her sleepover party, or when you got your period. She wasn’t there for you – at least not in the way you needed – when you got married, and she certainly wasn’t there for you when the baby came helping teach you how to nurse, doing the extra laundry and getting some groceries.

And yet, here you are, grown up, with a family all your own. Now YOU are Mom. And maybe sometimes it feels confusing. How do you lead someone down a path on which no one ever led you? It can feel like you are carrying the weight of...

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