The Words She Keeps

I was in eighth grade when I overheard a group of boys discussing their female classmates in the library. I sat frozen in a cubby desk hidden from their view. I attempted to finish a make-up vocabulary test, but my focus disappeared as I listened to their words. “The new girl is cute, but a little chubby. Sometimes she is pretty, but other days, I don’t know.” I felt the young man’s words cut through my skin and consume my thoughts. I looked down at my thighs and noticed their…

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#RealityMom Challenge: Being a Good Digital Parent

I’ve written a lot about digital parenting but I was still rather shocked when my daughter opened her first smartphone at Christmas and had a text from Santa’s Twerkshop. The unexpected issues and curveballs of digital parenting became apparent within literally the first five minutes of her possessing a device that essentially gives her access to the entire online world. It’s not like she hadn’t been online before, and she’s had a “dumb” phone, but our family definitely entered new territory when she got a smartphone. In the few weeks that she has…

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The Firsts That Come in the Tween Years

In motherhood, there are so many “firsts” that take your breath away. That first time your baby laughs. The first steps a toddler takes to your outstretched arms. The first time your son takes the school bus or your daughter learns how to ride a bike. When I reflect on these moments my heart feels full. As our kids grow, the “firsts” come less frequently and the time stretched between them lengthen. Instead of celebrating a new milestone, the goal becomes surviving another Monday shuttling your kids to piano, soccer,…

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I Want You in my Village, But Not Too Much

The other day, my tween daughters came home from the park because an older woman informed them they shouldn’t be there unsupervised. “Did you tell her you could practically see our house from the park?” I asked. “Were you roughhousing by the little kids? I told you to watch out for the little kids!” “Mom, it was only one other family and us. We were on the bars, and no one was even near. The woman said if our mom wasn’t here to supervise then we shouldn’t be there, so…

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What I Want My Tweens to Know About Dieting

Earlier this year, I visited my doctor for my annual exam. My lab reports were stellar, but apparently, I put on a few pounds in my middle. According to her, I am in a healthy, normal weight range, but she advised me to be aware that since I am in my forties and perhaps my metabolism is slowing down, I may want to start watching what I eat a little bit more. She mentioned phrases like “hormonal shifts” and “pre-menopausal”, but in the end, she flatly exclaimed:“I don’t want to see…

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