My children are pros at wasting things. One of their favorite nap-time activities is to take sheets of printer paper and cut them into minuscule pieces that I find for days. They don't color on them — they just cut them up, and then throw them away. When school starts, they bring home reams of paper, covered in "art" that will be treasured for approximately five seconds and then cut into tiny pieces. The same is true for toys. They are joyously acquired, and then quickly forgotten about. Water is left running, lights are left on. Don't even get me started on the food I throw out every evening. You get the picture.
All of a sudden, the school year has begun, the leaves are starting to change, and I'm putting on a sweater. This is the time for apple picking, for yard clean up, and for fall soups. Yes, soup! As the days start getting shorter and the temperatures start dipping, I find nothing more comforting than a bowl of soup. And as a mom of two trying to get dinner on the table after a day at the office, there is nothing more comforting than my Instant Pot — my amazing set-and-forget, one-appliance wonder.
Two years ago, when a persistent cough and mild chest pressure turned out to be a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma tumor the size of a dollar bill compressing my husband’s airway, we joined that club. My husband was 31 and I was 32. Our children were 4, 3, and less than 1. Welcome to the cancer club.
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When I think back on summers as a kid, I remember lazy days by the pool, concerts in the park behind my grandparents' house, jars of fireflies with carefully punctured lids. Time was unstructured and seemed to move slower than the rush of the school year. As a mom, this is how I want my son to experience summer. And yet, lately it seems like every news story or social media post about summer is filled with terrifying warnings about ticks, sun poisoning, dehydration, drowning... the list goes on and on. It is almost enough to make me want to hunker down in our apartment all summer (with the air conditioner on, of course).
My toddler loves all things climbing and swinging. For a kid who struggled with sensory issues (and graduated from Early Intervention two months before turning 3), a playground is a welcome wonderland. So while counting down the school days, I've compiled a list of playgrounds to visit on the South Shore. Here are all the great places we'll visit this summer — join us!
It seems so simple, the act of acknowledging LGBTQ families and relationships or reminding others that families come in all forms. But when straight allies do so in authentic, thoughtful ways, it means the world to me and to hundreds of thousands of gay families around the world.
You know one of your son's friends can't eat gluten, dairy, or peanuts, so you buy a box of gluten-free brownie mix. You prepare it according to the 'dairy alternative' recipe. But there's a problem. That sponge you used to wash the mixing bowl? It cleaned peanut butter off a breakfast plate this morning. That wooden spoon you used to mix the batter? It mixed wheat flour last night and might have small traces of gluten (even after washing). Yes, some kids are that sensitive.
Get involved. Be that parent. Parents often apologize for emailing me too often. I tell them to never apologize for advocating on behalf of their child. Open communication is important in all relationships. Whether your child is in preschool, high school, or anywhere in between, remember that you are their advocate, and you should have a relationship with their teacher. You don't have to go out of your way to set up meetings. Emails and phone calls (I prefer emails because I do not have a phone in my classroom) are adequate. As a teacher, I appreciate when a parent is involved in their child's education.
This week we celebrate National Library Week. As a voracious reader and former teacher, I have long appreciated my local library. Once I became a mom, this appreciation reached a whole new level. Love? Devotion? I'm not quite sure the word... all I know is I owe a debt of gratitude to that charming little building around the corner that I will never be able to repay.
I felt lost and alone, despite the fact that I was surrounded by family and friends. So I did what I had always done: I joined things. I longed to make mom friends and connect with them in a way that was not possible with my husband, my friends who are not mothers, or even my friends who are mothers, but of older children. I needed moms in the same 'boat' I was sinking in — that sleep-deprived, drowning-in-love, disoriented-and-dehydrated, struggling-with-breastfeeding, hating-my-post-pregnancy-body boat.
Dinner, bath, and bedtime — the witching hours. The time I am casually watching the clock, anticipating bedtime. The time I am typically on my own. My husband does not work a typical 9 to 5 schedule, like many others. He doesn't have Saturdays and Sundays off. He isn't home every night.
I'm sorry I didn't say anything. Because I've been there too. Next time, I promise to tell you how good of a mom you are. I'll tell you not to worry about everyone else. Your son was so happy to be helping, to be learning from you, and you were both smiling. Those are moments we need to cherish and think about.
After much anticipation and excitement, it's finally here — the 2018 holiday season! Are your kids as excited as mine are to get their merry on and celebrate the magic of this season? If you're looking for some out-of-house entertainment to celebrate the holiday season in and around Boston (that won't add to the already-hefty cost of the holidays), I've culled a list of some free and low-cost family-friendly holiday happenings to check out!
The first time I heard myself using one of my mom's phrases, I cringed a little. But I realize now, why wouldn't I want to be like my mother? I had a great childhood. And my mom is a person I really like today as an adult. I can only hope I'm as good a mother to my children as she was and is. So the next time I put on a sweater and tell my kids to do the same, I'll smile. Because I'm just like my mom.