You’re the Mama. You’re in Charge.


I’m so sick of parenting advice. It can be so harmful. Why do we think we need someone else to tell us how to do this thing called parenting?

I’ve talked to hundreds of parents over the years. Some I’ve come in contact with as their child’s elementary school teacher. Some of them have called the crisis line I coordinate. Some of them were fellow preschool parents. Some are friends. One is a sister. One thing we can all agree on through the hazy fog of parenting is this:

We aren’t sure how to do it.

So we search. We read the books. We read the articles. We read, read, read and try, try, try, to do this right. We are inundated with media images of how to be the happy, balanced family. This searching is crazy-making, both literally and figuratively.

In my case, is was literally. I developed a…

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Meet the Editor: Shame


Sitting on my desktop is a folder titled “writing”. In it contains at least twenty different potential blog posts. A trip to Germany. Trouble at school. The pain of getting your kids to ski lessons. Seemingly harmless topics, but full of my lens of the world.

The folder has been sitting there for months. Unpublished pieces sitting in the dark.

Historically, publishing wasn’t easy. It was difficult to get an audience. Writers had to break through the editor’s wall and hope that their recent musing matched a need or interest. Pieces had polish and proofreaders. Fact checkers and a fine toothed comb. Now anyone can throw thoughts out there. So much work is floating around in the blogosphere. Like pieces of cotton on a spring day. And then, for delight or despair, some of them get caught.

This morning I read an article in the New York Times Magazine about…

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onion analogies

I think it’s because I’m like an onion myself. Full of layers.

056b61dSome layers are regular and easy to peel off. But others are more sticky. Maybe a little bruised or super tasty. Thick. Thin. Irregular. Some make you cry. Some sting your eyes. Others smell like home. Cozy and familiar. Lingering on fingers.

They are my layers. They make me unique.

The reasons I’m starting to blog are foggy. Most of them are still materializing. Here are a few flashlights of clarity though:

1. I wish more of us celebrated our layers. Even the smelly ones. People don’t fit into clean, safe slots. I hope they don’t try. So many do and it makes them sad. Especially women.

2. Embracing our layers helps us discover beliefs and passions.  What lights a fire under your tush? That’s a nice layer you have, dear reader. Shine a little light on it.

3. This takes courage. It takes introspection. We need time, introspection, perspective and debate. We need each other to find ourselves. Since people don’t talk to each other too much these days, blogging seems approachable. Plus, I like the way I feel with my apple computer, black beanie cap and strong ass coffee. Layers…

So, I’ll be posting thoughts on lots of different topics. From my work helping mothers suffering from postpartum mood disorders, to parenting my own two daughters and teaching kindergarten. From adventurous international travel to kid-friendly outings in our own backyard. From old-school homemaking to fierce modern feminism: these are my layers.

I hope you’ll get inspired, offended, and generally worked up in some way. I hope you’ll comment.

Put on your onion glasses. Here we go…