Admit it! No matter how much you love your kids, it’s not healthy to concentrate on them every moment of every day. I can already hear the groans of some of you. “Why have kids if you don’t devote your life to them?” And, I agree – one hundred percent. I also think that some time devoted to your own interests makes for a much more interesting and able parent.
Thanksgiving and Survival
These days everything’s political, including Thanksgiving. It doesn’t take much research or study to know that there’s more to the Thanksgiving story than we were taught as children. A condensed history would suggest that the Pilgrims were terrible guests in a new land, stealing from and even slaughtering the Native Americans whose lands the Pilgrims claimed for themselves. As such, modern day Thanksgiving can bring with it an icky sense of guilt that makes some wonder if we should still be celebrating a holiday with such a sordid past.
Dealing with Severe Mental Illness
The majority of parents are lucky. Most of us never know what it’s like to live with a mentally ill child. Even among those who have family members who suffer from mental illness, most of those cases are not severe.
Project T407 and Tori Amos I spend a lot of time and energy avoiding risky situations. I always look both ways before crossing the street; I don’t drive fast; I wear sensible shoes. Maybe this makes me boring, but it also keeps me safe and, for the most part, happy. I think a lot of us fall into this pattern as we get older, which is why when we do anything out of the ordinary it’s a cause for celebration. On these occasions we remember that in trying to keep things consistent by avoiding lows, we also sometimes miss out […]
‘Me Too’ and the Tipping Point
When the allegations of sexual abuse against Harvey Weinstein made headlines, part of me wanted to be shocked and surprised. When the “Me Too” campaign took off shortly after, with countless survivors of sexual harassment, abuse, and violence posting “me too” on social media, I again wished that I was shocked, either by the number of posts or the fact that I personally know so many survivors. But the truth is, I wasn’t.
I will admit it. I’m an overachiever. I grew up in a home where excellence was expected and I worked hard to meet those expectations. These days, I’m in charge of my own schedule, but old habits die hard. I work hard at my job and often balance different types of jobs. Even when I’m home, I’m doing something. I always have a project of some sort brewing.
Seeking the Snallygaster
Maryland’s Infamous Monster For as long as I can remember I’ve been a collector of stories. I like learning new things about people, places, and things (ok, just nouns in general), and it’s rare that I hear a story that I deem completely insignificant or unworthy of remembering. That said, my love of stories is much like an addiction: each story ups my tolerance, leaving me wanting more. I’ve harvested and collected hundreds, thousands, of stories over the years, always in search of a new favorite. That’s why I was surprised to learn that a centuries-old story has been quietly […]
Upside Down Parenting
I realize this is supposed to be a column about parenting. And, I realize that I’m generally supposed to write about parenting children. Normally, that’s my topic. Today is different, however. Today, I’m going to talk about parenting our parents.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. Many people think of domestic violence as physical brutality but it is much more than that. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence defines domestic violence as “the willful intimidation, physical assault, battery, sexual assault, and/or other abusive behavior as part of a systematic pattern of power and control perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It includes physical violence, sexual violence, threats, and emotional abuse.”
The Tears of Defeat
I was an overscheduled child. By the time I hit high school, I was on the cheerleading squad, swim team, in the marching band, pep band, pit band, jazz band, drama club, concert choir, women’s chorus, auditioned choir, youth in government, all kinds of school committees, and half a dozen other activities. I was a busy kid, to say the least.