A Reminder to New Moms

Hey Gorgeous,

Yeah you, with greasy hair, hairy armpits, black circles, and a baby crying on your hip.  I know you smell like a milk factory and while you give up your body to feed your baby, you haven’t had a decent meal in a few days.  The healthy new recipes you once pinned, are replaced by takeout menus and you hate yourself for not caring more about yourself.

Yeah, you.  You’re beautiful and amazing.  You are sustaining human life, think about that, creating, molding, nourishing life.  Amazing. While at times you may feel as though you’ve lost yourself in this process, I hope you realize you’re only sharing your gifts with your child for a little while.  One day, when you have your body back (your waistline and your sanity), you will watch them use your gifts to take on the world.

YOU look at your baby as a miracle of life, but she’s looking at you as her miracle.  Your bond with her is forever and it started the day of her birth.  Nobody can replace you.  You are her entire world but don’t let that responsibility crush you, let it carry you. Through the endless, sleepless nights.  Through the feelings of guilt.  When you feel like you’re not doing enough and when you feel you can’t give anything more. 

Hey you, please remember that even when you feel weak, when you’re crying about everything and on the brink of insanity due to lack of sleep, know that you are strong.  Mothers are the closest form of super heroes we will ever know on Earth.  Your super power is not only in nourishing and sustaining her life, but in nourishing yourself.

One day, you will get a full nights sleep again.  One day, your body will not be constantly on loan to a hungry baby.  One day you will look in the mirror and see a clean, well groomed woman. 

… but today, look at that messy mom in the mirror and appreciate the power, beauty and strength in your reflection. Tell that mama she’s amazing, a miracle, a freakin’ super hero.

Because she is.

Dear Dad, A Letter From A New Mom

Dear Dad,

Congrats on your beautiful baby!  

You watched your wife give birth and were probably awestruck by the miracle of life.  You admired her strength as she brought life into the world.  You probably cried the first time you saw your baby, a living, breathing reflection of you.  You searched his features looking for signs of you or your wife and thanked God he was healthy.  You feel in love with your wife all over again, and that baby only made your love stronger.

Bringing Home Baby

You may have felt helpless as you watched your wife care for your infant like a trained professional.  Maybe you even felt inadequate because she seemed to know so much, and you didn’t know where to begin.

What I hope you see is that she is learning, just like you.  She’s learning her baby’s cues and reacting to them.  She’s reading about babies, she’s talking about babies, everything is babies, babies, babies!  She’s giving herself every minute of the day to the needs of her child.  She’s not a professional, she’s definitely not competing for the best parent award, she’s a new parent, just like you, and she needs you by her side.

Providing for Baby

I’m sure it didn’t take long before you felt the pressure of having to provide for a family now.  That support is obviously important, especially now that your wife is recovering from childbirth and nourishing your child.  She may not return to work for a while or you may have decided to become a one income family.  Whatever the reason, your role as a provider is appreciated and vital to your family.  

I hope that in addition to providing for your family financially, you are able to see the demands of your wife’s new “job”.  Her hours are 24/7 and the job requirements are innumerable.  She’s constantly in training and feeling like she could be doing a better “job”, her boss is rarely satisfied, and her work is NEVER done.  

It takes a tremendous about of physical and emotional strength to be a mom and while she may make it look easy, it’s not.  IF she is forced to do this job alone, after 6 months of 24 hour days where she is always on call and often up all night, she will break down.  You will barely recognize her as the woman you married, because she can barely remember who that woman was.  

A diaper a day, keeps wifezilla away!

I hope that you will recognize that you are a team and equally responsible for the well-being of your baby.  Keep mom mentally healthy by letting her sleep through the night once a week.  Help with one feeding a day or agree to change the diapers after 6pm.  Don’t make her ask, because she won’t, and it will just add to her mental frustration.  Listen to your instincts as a dad, and respond to your baby’s needs as your wife does.

This Too Shall Pass

Having a baby is probably the largest sudden change your relationship will ever see.  It will test your patience and your love.  At first, you may have felt closer to your wife than ever, but soon, the baby’s needs trump everything and mom and dad are left feeling like the neglected ones.  

There will be times, Dad, when you resent your baby.  You’ll want your wife back.  You’ll miss her wild side, when she was fun and let her hair down.  Now it’s always in a pony tail covered in baby spit, smelling like regurgitated milk.

I hope you know that she misses that girl too.  She probably doesn’t even recognize herself in the mirror anymore.  She’ll need your gentle reminders of her strength and beauty, and your understanding if at the end of the day, she just can’t find it in herself to give anymore.  She LOVES that you still find her sexy, smelling like old milk, lookin’ a hot mess.

Dad, your role as a new parent is just as important as your role in caring for your wife during this time.  It’s not about being equal, but your actions can be monumental, and in return, you will receive more love that your giant heart can handle.

Sincerely,

A once overwhelmed, stressed, insane new mom who is now happily in the school-age phase and loving it!


This letter does not apply to all dads and all situations.  Many dads are primary care givers of their infant and deserve the same care during this time.  I feel it’s important to talk about the beauty and the obstacles of life so we can relate to one another and feel less alone during tough times.  Having a baby is life’s greatest gift and understanding how dynamics change can make us appreciate the first year even more.

Ditch The Dolls, Girls Deserve Better Toys

As I was in the middle of a rough Tabata session today, the instructor brought up dolls, and I realized, our girls deserve better toys.  She said she never let her mother buy her daughter those American Girl dolls… and then I was too busy doing kegel exercises in between jumping jacks to hear the rest.  As I was surrounded by women, of all shapes and sizes, lots of mothers, college students, young and old, I realized that the dolls of my youth, did a terrible job of representing my worth as a woman.

As I left Tabata, red faced and drenched with sweat, I felt like a strong, sexy woman.  I didn’t care if my makeup was running, because I didn’t have any on.  I didn’t care that I had armpit stubble every time I went up for an extension. I didn’t care that my chub roll showed each time I sat down, or that my sports bra did a terrible job of hiding my back fat.  I didn’t even care that through the smell of sweat, I detected a faint smell of urine (must do more kegels).

I was the complete opposite of any perfect little girly, girl doll of my youth and yet I felt strong, empowered, and beautiful.  Fuck you, Barbie.  Thanks to you, (and other pink plastic toys) it took me 36 years to get over the definition of feminine in my own head.  In that moment, walking out of the gym in all my glory, I was the definition of woman.  

It’s no wonder that my daughters have never played with Barbie dolls or owned any doll that eats, pees, poops, cries, farts, or whines.  A relative bought them each an American Girls Dolls and they sat in a stuffed animal bin until their blonde silky hair got matted and I gave them away.  Rag dolls and porcelain dolls creep me out, almost as much as a Barbie Doll with a 3 inch thigh gap. These types of dolls serve no purpose in raising self sufficient girls.  

I’d rather my daughters have a doll with dirt on her face.  One who drives her own truck, rather than ride shotgun in a convertible.  I want the dirt to come from fixing her own flat tire and thick, beautiful thighs to show she lifted that truck tire into her flatbed by herself.

A girl needs a set of weights in addition to a kitchen set so she can not only learn to cook her own healthy meals, but build the muscle to become strong.

Instead of a princess castle, she needs a tool set.  The pallet crafts of today, will be tomorrow’s home repairs, making her more independent and empowered.

If you still need to get her dolls, ditch the high fashion outfits and tutus, and buy female dolls dressed like professionals, doctors or scientists.  These are positive images that will inspire them into these careers as they get older.

Pretend play is important, just make sure your kids have a lot of options.  We had a dress up bin that contained princess dresses, but it also had everyday hero costumes like a firefighter, super heroes and professional costumes, like a veterinarian.

Whether you subconsciously buy the same toys you played with as a kid, or you think you’re doing what every other parent does, stop and think of it’s purpose and most importantly, it’s message. Paint the image you want your children to see, don’t let others control that.  


Holiday time is coming! Please consider buying purposeful gifts this year.  If you need toy ideas, click on the red hyper links in the text.  It will bring you to samples through my Amazon account.

How The Me, Too Movement Can Lead To Equality

Me, too

The Me, Too Movement is sweeping Facebook, bringing the realization of sexual harassment to the surface. 

  • According to a survey done by Cosmopolitan, 1 in 3 women have been sexually harassed at work while 1 in 6 have been victims of sexual assault.  These numbers are terrifying for a mom of 3 girls, and should move everyone in this country to make changes that protect our daughters.  

Women do not have the same freedoms as men (PERIOD)

  • Men, do you fear being sexually assaulted when you walk through a parking lot alone?
  • Do you rethink the message an outfit sends a dozen times before leaving the house?
  • Has anyone made you feel like your abilities are solely based on your sex appeal?
  • Has a fun night out turned into terror because you didn’t watch your drink carefully?
  • Have you ever been verbally threatened on the street and then feared for your safety?
  • Have you repeatedly been treated like a sexual object, rather than a human being?

As a girl, my parents taught me:

  • How to dress so I didn’t invite “the wrong kind of attention”
  • Not to drink too much because, “date rape is a thing”
  • Never to walk alone, or leave a friend behind
  • How to “brush off” unwanted attention from boys

These lessons send the wrong messages because when something does happen, (and they have happened to me, as they have to the majority of women) we blame ourselves for not protecting ourselves enough.  We shouldn’t have worn that. We shouldn’t go out for drinks.  We shouldn’t have been walking by ourselves.  We should have said something.  Because of these lessons, we bare the brunt of HIS actions, out of fear we are at fault, fear nobody will believe us and somewhere along the way, we accept that it doesn’t matter.

So, how do we stop sexual harassment?

We have to change the way we teach our sons and our daughters about the opposite sex.  

We have to stop replaying the sexist phrases, shut off the music that promotes violence toward women, and silence the voices that promote discrimination.

It’s no secret men and women are biologically different, but that doesn’t mean we both shouldn’t be granted equal freedoms and mutual respect.  

Daughters

We all need to show our girls that they are not responsible for the actions of her assailant. If a man rapes her, assaults her, or harasses her, it has nothing to do with the fact that she was walking by herself, or that she got dressed up to go out with her friends. It is HIS fault, and she can do something about it by speaking up.  Never make excuses for a boy or man, who makes your daughter feel unsafe.  She deserves to have control over her body at all times.  Foster a relationship of trust so that she can come to you if something happens.  Then, don’t make excuses, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

Sons

We need to show our sons that respecting a woman makes him stronger, not weaker.  Moms and dads have the responsibility to show their boys that women are just as STONG as they are beautiful and just as SMART as they are sexy.  When women are appreciated for the qualities that make them HUMAN; their MIND, their ABILITIES, and their IMPORTANCE in this world, the relationship between men and women will be stronger, and most importantly, more equal.

It’s a long process and unfortunately to some, sexual discrimination is so embedded in their psyche that they may never look at it as a problem.  This is not “just the way it is,”  it can change if we take action.  When our daughters can walk down the street, alone, at dusk without fear of being raped, we can stop talking about this.  Until then, get used to the conversation.

It’s Time To Change The American Dream

When my kids grow up, I want their hearts to be free, their souls to be nourished, and their burdens to be few.  

Part III: It’s time to change the American Dream

College grads with more debt than job opportunity.  Jobs that take us away from our families while barely paying us enough to make repairs on our home.  Happy marriages that are statistically more likely to end in divorce.  Entitled kids that can’t see beyond their tiny phone screen.  16 million people suffering from depression in America.  Food that is literally killing us.  These are all things that are “normal” in American society.  All things that are part of the American Dream, we are unconsciously living.

This version of the American Dream is soul crushing and has to be changed.  Recently, my husband and I tried to make some drastic changes to our American Dream.

We put our 2000 square foot home on the market to live in a 700 square foot camper for one year.  We were only going to keep the essentials (clothes, sentimental items, etc), pack them into the truck and travel with our 3 girls across the country (and back).  I had a writing gig for money and of course, we would have some money from the sale of our home.  We were going to document our travels and share with the world our new version of the American Dream.

More importantly, we were going to fulfill our dream of spending a year together as a family, seeing things none of us had ever seen before.  As a teacher, I could teach the kids their online school work to ensure they met the “standards” but in traveling, they would be learning through experience, and there’s no greater lesson than that.  Exploring caverns, and writing about adventures.  Meeting Native Americans and learning about their sacred land. Camping under the stars and learning about science in our true environment.  These lessons would be truly unforgettable.

However, this didn’t happen.  We expected to sell our house in days, it sat on the market for weeks.  We started to get pressure from family regarding our parenting and whether we were thinking of our own children in all this.  It turned nasty, because some were too stuck in their selfish feelings that they were not able to see the amazing experience this would have been.

What I’ve learned is that the majority of people are afraid of change.  They’ll work a dead end job where they spend more time at work than with their family, because they’re afraid to take a risk to try something different.  They’ll listen to their kids complain about countless tests and an epidemic of bullying, because they don’t understand the endless school options now available.

I’ve also learned that many of the people who judge us, are the same people who discriminate against others.  Their fear of the unknown motivates them to have a very closed-minded, one-sided view of the world, and they’re not afraid to give their very judgmental, biased opinion.

While these people are driven by fear, my husband and I are driven by purpose.  Our purpose is to expose our girls to things in life beyond their current understanding.  To bring experience and passion into their lives so when it’s time, they will make decisions based on experience, rather than someone else’s belief.  They will be strengthened through our ability to take a risk without fear of failure and given the confidence to follow through on their dreams.  Most importantly, we’ll give them the freedom to choose because we realize the importance of never telling someone who or what they can be.

Our dream is on hold right now, but it’s not dead.  This year holds a lot of changes and we are very excited to embrace them and share them with all of you.

To be continued…

Want to see how these views were shaped?  See About a Boy and About a Girl.

One Simple Wish for My Children: About a Girl

When my kids grow up, I want their hearts to be free, their souls to be nourished, and their burdens to be few. 

Part II:  About A Girl

Her parents didn’t have money to send her to college, they didn’t even have the means to make sure she finished high school.  She was determined to go to college because there she would have freedom.  All she ever wanted was a happy heart and a soul mate.

She thought she’d be a Sports Broadcaster, do something many women weren’t doing at the time.  She loved football and imaged herself on the sidelines calling the game and talking to athletes.  She was a dreamer.

Unfortunately, without any money, she had to work full time just to pay for part time credits in college.  She was really good at her sales job, so much so that she made more money than her mom did that year.  Her dad, who wasn’t in the picture much, was also in sales and applauded her choice to choose work over school.  She had approval, money, and a boyfriend, but she was unfulfilled.

She worked at that company for 5 years before transferring to another city to follow her boyfriend.  He had his degree, there was never any question that he was going to be in business.  She found sales to drain her and went in search of something more.

She ended up getting married and having babies.  Her heart was full as a stay-at-home mom.  At night, she attended college classes and eventually earned her degree in education.  She loved learning, it fed her soul.

Unfortunately, once she found herself, she lost her husband.

She could have sacrificed herself, forgiven him and moved on, like she had before, but this time even though her heart was breaking her soul was full.  She chose to muster her strength and seek her happiness again.  She found it, within another, but most importantly, within herself.

She never lost faith in herself.  She was given the power of making her own decisions.  She was given the trust to fall, knowing she would have to pick herself up again.  She was given the confidence of unconditional love.

She has a free soul; Society resents her.  She refuses to fit in a mold; Baby boomers judge her.  Her heart can be a bit of a kamikaze; Realists laugh at her.  She doesn’t care.  Her mind is as open as her heart and she refuses to let anyone tell her how or what to think.

How do I use experiences like these to teach my girls how to be happy and empower them to make their own decisions?  Read more below:

Part I:   About a Boy

Part III: Guiding our kids to be happy, healthy, and nourished within.

About a Boy: The American Dream

I have one simple wish for when my children grow up; I want their hearts to be free, their souls to be nourished, and their burdens to be few. 

Part I:  About a boy

It was Senior year, he had taken all the classes his parents told him to take and ended up with a very high GPA as well as a partial scholarship.  When asked what college he was going to, he answered with the same college his mother went to.  When asked what he wanted to major in, he answered with the program his dad guided him toward.

He chose finance because, well, money makes the world go ‘round.  His parents assured him he would have no trouble finding a job after college and that his salary would be along the lines of what he had been raised on.  His parents had money, and their spending whether it be on the design of their beautiful home, or extravagant trips, was never a secret.    

He graduated with a Business Degree in Finance and got a job with a local branch of a Wall Street giant.  Less than a year later, when the greed and corruption of floating money hit the fan, he was let go.  He moved to Tampa to follow his fiancé, and has been crunching numbers with the same company for over 10 years.

He eventually married his high school sweetheart, bought a nice house in the suburbs, and had a couple of kids, but he wasn’t happy.  Why wasn’t all of it enough?

It wasn’t enough because he was living someone else’s dream.

He sacrificed his love of art, and his dreams of living in a big city.  He never took his musical talent seriously, even though music is what nourishes his soul.  He liked the attention of exotic girls, and imaged himself dancing with them until the wee hours of the night at an underground nightclub in London.  The image of himself in his heart and in his soul, were unrealistic compared to who he had to be in the eyes of others, so he killed them.

He stopped dancing.  He stopped making art.  He stopped making music.  He hated his job.  He got divorced.  He felt like he sacrificed it all, for what?

His soul was lost in an American Dream he didn’t create.  It’s like a version of the Truman Show where everyone is controlling your life without you realizing it.  One day you wake up, and go “who’s life I this?  Who am I?”

He lives without true freedom, without a happy soul, and with more burdens than he can carry. 

Want to read more?

Read Part II Here

Read Part III Here

How To Answer Questions About Sexuality

“Mom, is being gay cool?”

Heck yeah, and why shouldn’t it be?  The right to love who we want to love and sacrifice it all is a story as old as Adam and Eve.  Aside from Adam, nobody has given up more for love than our beloved gays.  They’ve redefined the word PRIDE and continue to fight.  That’s really fucking cool!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t explain it like that.  I had to explain the dark, ugly side where people still discriminate against those who are different.  I had to explain that our society only embraces what it can understand, but give her hope that the positive changes will continue because of people like her.

The new normal

American culture tells us that normal relationships include a man and a woman with approximately 2 kids, who are 50% likely to get divorced.  The debt and destruction from these types of normal relationships are part of our views of “normal.”  I’ve lived this version of normal, and yet still managed to open myself up to love again.

As a privileged straight female I am free to marry again and again and again and again.  I can have babies, adopt babies, even give up my babies.  I can kiss my husband in public, I can hold his hand and sit on his lap without getting any disgusted looks from people passing by.  I can abuse the privilege of love given to me because I’m straight.

Our gay friends do not have the same privilege.  One friend who has given his life to help those with intellectual disabilities can’t be given the peace his partner brings him when in the hospital.  He’s dying of cancer and spends weeks at a time alone in the hospital without the love of his life.

Another friend and I have had numerous talks about his struggle to come out and his tremulous past.  After ending a 10 year relationship, he talked to me about how difficult it is for a gay man to find love when there is still so much unease in society.  If he gets a mixed signal and flirts with a straight man he could be assaulted.  We’ve talked about Tinder and oversexualization and STD’s, the list goes on.

These men, my friends, are over 50 years old and have lived a life in fear of expressing their God given right to love.

I like to think that the millennials are changing this.  That we are embracing love as love and opening our minds to a world where gender and sexuality are less black and white.

What’s really cool is having an open dialog with our kids when it comes to sexuality.

As a mom, I don’t worry whether my children will be gay.  I worry that they will not be equipped to handle the heaviness of sexuality.  It is my job to make sure they are educated in all aspects of sexuality including their own bodies and choices when it comes to sex.   

From breasts to bodily fluids, I’m the kind of mom who isn’t afraid to talk about sex.  While I don’t make it a point to do it in front of other people’s kids, my daughter asked me a question in front of one of her friends, and when I answered her friend said, “oh my gosh!  My mom never talks about periods.  She says it’s gross and tells me to be quiet.”  It seems, some adults even have trouble talking bout “normal” things.

If our kids can’t turn to their parents for answers, they will turn somewhere else.  Their confusion could lead them to misunderstandings about themselves and about other people.    

Here are 3 ways I approach questions regarding sexuality:

1. Listen

I listen to the stories of people who cross my path.  I share their stories and sometimes make changes to my approach because of their experiences.  I am constantly evolving because I recognize that as long as we have differences, I have more to learn.

I also listen to my daughter’s stories about what happening in their world and help them navigate the rocky waters of adolescents.

My oldest came home from school telling me about a friend, Arianna who cut all his hair off and is now Ari.  I didn’t offer any judgement or assumptions, I simply talked to her about it.  I asked her whether it changed their friendship, she said it didn’t.  We talked about whether his parents were supportive.  They have him in counseling to help his transition.  Finally, we talked about how hard this must be for him and why it’s so important to treat every person with kindness and respect.  When I listen, I don’t judge.

2. Avoid labels

During middle and high school students feel the need to label their sexuality; gay, straight, bisexual, asexual, gender neutral.    I had a 7th grade student who came in to talk to me during lunch to tell me she thought she was asexual.  When I asked why, she said, “because so many of the girls here like boys or are having sex and I don’t want anything to do with that.”  I smiled and told her she’s perfect just the way she is.  She, of course, rolled her eyes, but her teeth showed through her lips as she realized she didn’t need to label herself according to her peers.

Make sure kids know that there is a wide range of maturity at this age.  If they are not having sexual desires, that is definitely okay.  If they are, make sure they know about personal responsibility and the power of their choices.

3. Share many stories of different kinds of love

To a sexually mature adult, it is obvious that loving your best friend is different than the romantic, sexual desire you feel for your husband, but kids don’t always know there are different kinds of love.  As a result, they may think that their love for their best friend means they are gay or bisexual.

One way to make this distinction is to share the story of how you developed feelings for their mom or dad.  Talk about romantic love through the butterflies in the stomach, the tingling feeling you get when you hold hands.  Romantic love can also mean being so nervous you sweat or fantasizing about the other person.

After meeting my friend Sam for coffee, my daughter who was with us, asked if he was gay.  I said yes and she smiled like she already knew.  She asked if he was married and I had to explain to my 8 year old that gay people couldn’t marry in our state.  She was shocked and said, “nobody should be able to tell you who you can love forever.”  Even she knew that love is not a tangible thing to be controlled, but a feeling.  If you tell someone not to love, you will be met with confusion, anger or resentment.

Instead, of telling our kids who they can love, we should teach them how to love.

Talking about sexuality with your kids is not an easy thing to do.  If you are having trouble, seek help.  If your child is really struggling with an issue that is beyond your understanding, get them someone to talk to.  Counseling or online support groups are a great place to start.

Back to School

5 Things Teachers Want Parents To Know

This is the first year, I did not spend the first day of school greeting 120 new students into my classroom, but instead was able to take my own children to school on the first day.

As a high school teacher, I spent my nights grading rather than helping my own kids with their homework. On the weekends I was planning lessons rather than playing at the park. Summers were spent in unpaid trainings to help keep my professional certificates current. While every job has it’s demands, there is no greater responsibility that being in charge of the growth and development of hundreds of children, other than my own.

I left teaching last year for many reasons, and lack of support is a big one. Here are 5 things I wish I could have told my student’s parents:

Back to School

1. Teachers need your help at home

They need you to be there for your kids, in regard to learning, as they are every day. For an hour a day, provide time and attention at home as a teacher would (no phones, TV, etc.). Make a space at home that feels safe and welcoming so they can focus. Take an interest in what your child is learning in school. Look at their grades online, talk to them about the obstacles they are facing, and if you can’t help with school work, don’t be ashamed. Reach out to you child’s teacher for resources such as tutoring, counseling, or online help. Most of the time, an hour a day of parental involvement will stop issues at school.

2. Teachers are NOT your enemy

They want your child to succeed, not just because they care (and they really do), but because many times your child’s progress impacts their pay and school funding. Teachers begin fitting the standards to your unique child on Day 1. If you feel a teacher “has it out” for your child, listen to his/her concerns and find out what interventions or accommodations have been made. Come up with some solutions as a team and work together to help your child.

3. Teachers hold professional degrees 

While the pay is much different, earning a teaching degree can be compared to a degree in law or in the medical field.  In addition to a college degree, teachers must complete 6 months of an unpaid internship and pass two very lengthy, difficult exams in order to be granted a teaching license.  They must earn professional certificates in addition to their degree. These certificates include teaching students with learning disabilities and English Language Learners.  Once hired, all teachers must take classes every year in order to keep up with the current trends and to keep their teaching license current.

4. Busy is an understatement

Think of what it’s like at the worst possible hour in your house and then multiply it by 100. This is what teacher’s endure every day. From planning lessons, to executing them properly for each individual child, to managing behavior, grading papers, lunch room or bus duty, your child’s teacher has an enormous amount of responsibility. A secondary public school teacher interacts with over 200 teenagers everyday, have a little mercy on them when it comes to returning an email right away.

5. There are times your child’s teacher has no control

I have never met a teacher who isn’t teaching BECAUSE of his/her students. While they continue to put their student’s needs first, people of power are trying to fit every child into one single mold and capitalize off education.  New standards, lack of textbooks and resources, mandated state testing, new teacher accountability requirements, all mean added paperwork for our teachers and less time with students.

One parent at open house started yelling at the teacher because her textbook was online.  She didn’t tell the parent the state cut school funds and stopped providing books, instead she defended the accessibility of an online resource.  Most times, teachers cannot speak out and must teach within the perimeters they are given.   Concerns regarding funding, standards, testing, etc. should be dealt with in voting booths, not classrooms.

Teachers and parents both want our children to succeed. We want our kids to go on to be caring, smart, productive members of society, but in order for this to happen, we must start working together.

I have never stopped referring to my former students as my kids, even though some of them have graduated from college and are now my peers. They will forever be in my heart and that is the reward of teaching that I will miss the most.

How to Co Parent Teens After Divorce

Earlier this month I was asked to write a guest post for StopMedicineAbuse.org, a website that educates parents on the dangers of over the counter medicine abuse as well as important topics regarding teens.  

JUNE 06, 2017 – published on stopmedicineabuse.org

 Co-parenting teens can present some unique challenges. As a parent to three girls soon entering their teens, I worry about whether I will be able to give them all the guidance they need to become self-confident, independent women. For 320 days a year, I try to parent selflessly and place them at the center of my world, while the remaining 44 days a year, they are with their dad whose parenting (and lifestyle) is very different than mine.

My daughters ask me many of the same questions I have to answer as a high school teacher. Students come to me with fear and confusion because their lives are changing so much at the hands of their parents, and they feel like they have no control. I often ask myself how I can create a soft place for them to land when I have no control over what they’re going through outside my classroom.

When my kids, be it my daughters or my students, aren’t with me I want them to have the tools needed to navigate through any situation and still feel a sense of safety and control. Here are some things parents can do to help their teen through divorce:

Read more here: http://stopmedicineabuse.org/blog/details/how-to-co-parent-teens-after-divorce