• Parenting

    Bullies

    “Mom, some kids in a black car drove past us while we were walking home from the bus stop and called us faggots.” “What? Who? Do you know them?” “No. I don’t know who they are. Just randos.” It’s been a rough year for our baby dragons. And it’s been a rough year for our kiddo that isn’t a dragon, but whose BFFs are. And…she went through a horrible experience at the end of the last school year that involved a classmate. Middle school wasn’t much fun for me either. I was awkward and shy. I had big hair, glasses, and braces and no sense of style. I never was…

  • Parenting

    Whirlwind

    The sound of rain against the glass is my companion all morning. The dog barks, pulling me from my work and reminding me the world exists outside of my den. My phone buzzes with the familiar text: Lunch? I text back: Yup The house is quieter than it’s been in months. All six kiddos are back in school and the cats and dogs are as baffled by the silence as I am. We sit quietly at the table munching on our usual lunch fare. Some combination of a sandwich, chips and a few carrots just to be a little healthy. Nick looks up at me and says, “Want to go…

  • Parenting

    I’m a Mama Dragon

    “We are so glad you felt comfortable talking to us. We love you no matter what!” I wasn’t always an ally. I didn’t grow up that way. My understanding and opinions have changed quite a bit though. As an adult, I’ve often stated that I support the LGBTQ community and thought I would easily support any of my children who felt part of the community. Learning about my baby dragons changed what I thought I knew. It changed how easy I thought it would be to be supportive. Fear set in. What if it’s just a phase? What’s the deal with pronouns? What if I’m supporting them wrong? How do…

  • Parenting

    Eye of the Storm

    “How are you?” “Well, I have a ton of work to do. I broke my daughter because consequences are a thing and I’m exhausted.” “What are you doing to take care of yourself?” “Um. After I work all day, I’ll probably finish the Harry Potter castle with my husband.” The therapist smiles and I send my daughter into her office. Some of us were always meant to be in the eye of the storm. We sit, hunkered down while chaos rages. If I close my eyes, I can hear the roar of tornado strength winds. I know that if I let go, I will be caught up and thrown around…

  • Parenting

    Gratitude

    Matthew 6:1-6 Take heed that ye do not your alms before med, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest [thine] alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. And when thou prayest, thou shalt…

  • Parenting

    The Sound of Silence

    ‘Knock, knock.’ “Mom, Nick. Are you guys awake?” Blurry eyed, I stumble down to the kitchen pulling my ratty house sweater on and I greet each of my overly awake children with a mumbled ‘Good morning.’ I make coffee through sleep infested eyes, then wander the house looking for my slippers. Found, I make my way to the garage to let the pup out to potty. It’s colder than I thought and I stand shivering on the front porch while the pup takes her dear sweet time sniffing the skiff of snow that fell overnight. I wander back inside and hear the cacophony of sound that is our home when…

  • Parenting

    What Nobody Tells You About Raising Teenagers

    When my kids were all little, I looked forward to their teenage years about as much as I looked forward to a root canal. It’s one thing to make a six-year-old eat his broccoli, but it’s quite another to navigate puberty, high-school drama, and the myriad other minefields that are allsthings raising teenagers into contributing members of society. Remember those What to Expect books? There’s a reason they didn’t write one for teenagers. There’s not much of a manual for small humans, but I could impart various wisdoms on topics such as how the hell to get a kid to not completely destroy the house while you shower. I could…

  • Tomatoes in pot
    Parenting

    Mushrooms & Chicken Legs…or the Great Dinner Battle

    “What’s for dinner” is the worst thing a kid can ask. Ever. Moms all over the world hate that question. But what they hate even more is answering it. “Mushrooms in mushroom sauce over chicken legs with broccoli on top,” I say. “Nuh uh! What’s REALLY for dinner?” My favorite way to answer is with all of their least favorite foods mushed into one grotesque sounding meal. Because I’m cool like that. It’s basically the right of every mother to answer as ambiguously as possible, mostly because SOMEONE will object. And when you have 9 kiddos…it’s a good night if ONLY 1 kid objects. One of the biggest hurdles of…

  • Parenting

    Step-parenting 101

    Step 1: Read all the books. Step 2: Worry about how to be a good step-parent. Step 3: Fret. Step 4: Realize that no one really knows. It’s just like regular parenting only with the addition of worrying about both of your ex-spouses too. I’ve never felt as though I’m good with other people’s children. I can be tolerant for a short time, but more often than not, I find them to be annoying. (This is why I have mad respect for teachers.) I have a higher tolerance for my nieces and nephews, but if I’m being honest, they drive me a little crazy too. When becoming a step-mom became…

  • Parenting

    Sticky

    I walk into the kitchen after dropping off the littles at school and go to set down my purse only to realize the bottom is sticky. THIS must be the culprit behind my sticky arm. And my sticky armrest in the car. And the sticky something on my shorts. “Why is everything sticky?” I say out loud to an empty house. I look around at my you-can-tell-the-kids-cleaned-it kitchen and discover the source. Syrup on the kitchen table. I’m hit with a small familiar wave of overwhelm. That anxiety-ridden thought cycle I’ve had to learn to undo. It goes something like this: Everything is ALWAYS a mess Why are the kids…