8 Things Every Parent Should Know Before Their Child Starts Middle School


In four short days everything will change. My son will walk through the student entrance of his new high school a gawky freshman and emerge a graduating senior in only four short years.

I don’t know how we got here so fast. I didn’t intend to speed through this parenting road trip. It feels as though the moment the gas light came on, elementary school was left in the dust. A quick glance in the rear view mirror and middle school has disappeared from sight.

But just because those middle school miles passed quickly, doesn’t mean the drive was easy. White-knuckling that tricky tween terrain taught us a few valuable secrets of middle school success. So listen up and listen good, because those miles stuck in the middle don’t have to suck — for either of you. [read more…]

100 Thoughts Every Parent Has at the Beach with Kids


“I love the beach!” I exclaimed to my husband while loading up the last of our beach baggage. “Why don’t we go more often?”

“Because you hate the beach,” he quipped.

“No, I don’t! Sun, surf, sand  what’s not to love?”

“At best, you have a love-hate relationship with the beach. Every parent does. It’s just the way it is,” he declared.

No way! I thought. He’s crazy! I told myself. And then we spent a day at the beach …

Whether you love and/or hate the place where the ocean meets the land, every parent has basked in the following thoughts in the sand:

14 Women Share the First Time They Were Shamed as a Mother


The moment my pregnancy test came back positive, I felt uncharacteristically ready. Joining the ranks of strong women who’d brought new life into the world had been a dream of mine. Sharing in the responsibility of raising the next generation felt significant. So when it came to learning everything I could about motherhood, I was […]

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I Am Not the Only Parent In This House


There I was, sick in bed with a fever on a Saturday night, while my perfectly healthy husband and kids watched River Monsters downstairs. “Moooooooooooom!” my youngest shouted to the far reaches of the vaulted ceiling. “Can you get me a glass of milk?” Seriously, child? Your dad is right there. As in, three inches […]

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How My Friendships Changed After Kids


LOL thumbnails. LOL I can’t seem to embed this video. LOL, please click here because we’re friends.

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40 Things 40 Is (and One Thing That It Isn’t)


I’m turning 40 next month. I suppose the idea of bidding final farewell to my thirties ought to furrow my brow a little, but it doesn’t. Maybe it’s because I’ve had 39 years and 11 months to prepare for it. Maybe it’s because I survived my husband’s 40th freak-out earlier this year. Or maybe it’s […]

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Sometimes I Feel Guilty for Being a Stay-at-Home Mom


When I gave up my full-time job to become a stay-at-home mom, part of me felt like I deserved it. I’d been at the same demanding job for 14 years. I’d placed two precious infants in daycare. I’d been a mom for more than a decade with too few precious moments to show for it. […]

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To the Daughter I’ll Never Have


Dearest Daughter, You might not know this, but I’ve spent most of my life wishing for you. From the time I was a child, I diligently cared for my baby girl dolls with all the love and attention a mother could give. As I imagined my life as a wife and a mom, the someday […]

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Dear Kids, It’s Not My Job to Entertain You This Summer


  Three days into summer vacation and my kids are already bored. Apparently 42.8% of one week is all it takes to eat all the “good” food, catch up on the DVR, and tire of video games. Did my kids think I had some kind of not bummer summer in the works? Did they assume […]

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62 Thoughts Parents Have at 8th Grade Graduation


Today I watched my son cross the stage in his 8th grade promotion ceremony. Dressed sharp in a charcoal vest and tie, he took to the field of his new high school seven inches taller and immeasurably wiser than the once-timid kid nearly swallowed whole by 7th grade. Junior high wasn’t easy on any of […]

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