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Finding My Tribe After the Death of My Daughter

    By Suzanne Leigh   The dining area of this mountainside campsite is teaming with families. There are squeals of excitement from the younger kids, who are casing the joint looking for potential adventures, peals of laughter from the adults and frequent hugs and hearty handshakes. Nobody appears to be sick; nobody appears to be sad. It looks “normal,” as in TV- commercial sun-streaming-through-the-windows normal. It seems to be the kind of gathering that I have taken pains to avoid since Natasha’s final decline. My excuse for not showing up at these get-togethers... read more

Get Ready To Read By Playing

By Laura Grace Weldon     To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.  - Victor Hugo   Reading readiness doesn't come from educational toys or programs. It rises from exactly what kids already like to do: moving their bodies, enjoying words, and free play. Why?   Movement helps children develop the necessary brain-body maturation that must be in place before they can make sense of something as abstract as symbols that decode into words. Find out what kinds of movements are essential here.     Reading aloud... read more

Why This Mom Can't Bear Back-to-School Season

  By Suzanne Leigh   “Back-to-School Specials!!!” scream the store placards. They are a reminder that now might be the time to get a discounted backpack for my younger daughter, but more potently they nudge me back to my default: the bereaved mom aching for the child that will always be dead. My elder daughter had loved school and if we had dodged that brain tumor bullet, she would now be eager for eighth grade. At her school, students aren’t allowed to use the “h” word, but I think I am: I hate school. Not because of the curriculum, the students or the... read more

What It's Really Like to Work From Home

By Beth Berry     (Dug up this script from two years ago thinking a few of you might relate...)   My kids are home from school today, unexpectedly. I knew it was a national holiday, it just never registered that school would be out for the rest of the week. It seems appropriate to write about the very circumstances under which I find myself -- working, while tuning out/minimally managing the chaos around me. Over the next hour I will share with you the interruptions and requests from my children and husband, just for kicks. This ought to be... read more

The Myth of Normal

                 It could be argued that the idea of normal is the one of the most psychologically damaging ideas ever to hit modern culture. For lurking just behind the pervasive and negative running commentary that affects most of my clients, “What’s wrong with me?” is the question, “Why can’t I just be normal?” But what is normal?   To me, normal is trying to squeeze yourself into a narrow range of what our society views as acceptable behavior. It’s living life muted because your loud sounds and bright colors don’t fit the mold.  It’s cutting off the flares of who... read more

30 Summer Fun Ideas

  Image: L. Weldon I have the best intentions. I find myself saving articles with activity ideas. I pin tutorials on Pinterest. I buy all sorts of fun project books. But I’ve learned that down time is the most important aspect of summer fun. I think all of us suffer from a daydreaming deficit. So I offer the following ideas in the spirit of balance. Daydreaming + lively fun = summer! 1. Let little ones paint the house, car, driveway, and everything else. All that’s needed are wide paintbrushes and an empty paint can or small bucket of water. Water wiped on with a brush... read more

Wading Our Way Through Mama Guilt

Do you know what I want more than anything in the entire world?     I want to do right by these three.     I want to help them grow up into the confident, intelligent, compassionate, empathetic, ambitious, revolutionary women that I know they have inside of them.  In other words, I don’t want to mess this up.   And like many other mothers out there, I think my main way of dealing with this desire is to worry.   And then worry again.  And then worry some more.   If you can name it, I have worried about it.   Am I giving them enough attention?  Am I spoiling... read more

One Mom's Perspective on Why the New Health Care Reform is Vital

The Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) has undoubtedly been on the minds of many this week, as Republicans angle to defund the newly instituted program with a government shutdown.   In an ultimate display of irony, their latest ploy is using children with cancer who are currently being denied their treatment in clinical trials during the shutdown as a means to get their way. “Their way” being to dismantle the very bill that would ensure that those children with cancer are provided with the health coverage they need in the future. These maneuvers seem to be... read more

Getting Out the Angries

Issue 97, November/December 1999 By Christine Benevuto Even before he could speak, our son knew when he was angry. Gabriel knew because my husband and I told him. "Ooh, that makes you mad," we would groan with enthusiastic empathy. "That really makes you mad." Then we would stand back and watch an amazing transformation take place before our eyes as a fussing, screeching little person grew quiet, thoughtful, interested. As often as not, we parents were responsible for creating his frustration in the first place: As I recall, diaper and clothes changes became... read more

3 Year Old Jealous of New Baby

We have a three-year-old at home and recently had another baby. Prior to our new baby, our three-year-old was our everything. He received lots of attention from both of us and I (mommy) was lucky enough to stay home with him on a full-time basis. Since the birth of our second son, our three-year-old has shown incredible jealousy. We expected some of this and understand it's a normal reaction to a new baby in the family. However, it's been five months now, and he continues to struggle with his interactions with his baby brother. I have to watch him like a hawk as I have... read more

Mothering › Child Articles