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Parenting Experiences

A decade ago I was pregnant with my first child. I remember being asked, "So what's your birth plan?" Some women choose to have very detailed birth plans. I thought having a baby and both of us coming out alive...
Middle schoolers are emotional, moody and sometimes hard to read. Parenting a middle-schooler almost requires a specialized degree!   As a veteran middle school counselor, there were so many things I learned about this age that challenged and encouraged me....
With school back in session after break, you might be breathing a sigh of relief. Having the kids home for two weeks straight is hard! Although, admittedly, I miss them the second they’re gone. But what’s even harder for me after...
January can be a dreary month. Some parts of the country experience a lovely month of weather after the holidays, but most of the country is in a weather rut. Here in West Michigan, January, February and March are...
One recent Sunday afternoon, after a particularly disgusting diaper change for our 2.5YO son, my husband made the decision that we would be potty training. That day. No going back. I laughed at him and started quoting all my...
As we enter the holiday season, I always like to take stock in the love and gifts we are lucky enough to have in our life. I don’t specifically mean material things, although I do like to give thanks...
Like most parents, I teach my kids manners, but recently I've been really intentional about teaching my kids to be more grateful. And that's no easy feat. Growing up, my dad was in the Air Force and my mom stayed...
Distracted driving is something that impacts all of us, and with the integration of technology it’s become an epidemic. The National Safety Council website states that every day at least 9 Americans die due to distracted driving and 100...
Do you steal your kids’ candy on Halloween? Don’t be shy about admitting it. According to a survey conducted by Crest, 86 percent of parents admit to stealing their children’s candy. I’m guilty of it. My husband is guilty of...
It can be tough for parents to accept because it makes us feel like we have failed our child. It makes us feel like our child's failure is a reflection on our parenting, and we often either get upset...
October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Today is a day I honor my son who was stillborn June 20, 2011.  When we moved last year, I went through my closet piece by piece, deciding what I would...
While many experts continue to debate the topic of kids and screen time, the world hasn’t stopped moving toward an increasingly digital age. Our children are growing up in a digital space, whether you agree with it or not. My...
This was a summer of traveling for my family. We visited our beach condo in North Carolina twice, once in the spring and once in the fall. We also traveled to Gatlinburg, Tennessee and stayed in a mountain cabin...
Parents, take a break. It’s not only good for your mental health, but it’s also good for your kids. According to research published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, the daily stress of parenting...
I get a lot of compliments on my children's curly hair (which they got from me by the way). And while I appreciate all the kind words about their curls, strangers, please stop touching my kid's hair. In a world of...
Every now and then – generally when I feel like my parenting game is strong – my daughter will ask me a question that throws me for a loop. It usually revolves around something that’s an issue or idea that...
We’re a road trip kind-of-family. We’ve been up and down both coasts and we’ve driven to Texas, Alabama and South Carolina from the Chicagoland area. We do this for a few reasons. The kids and I aren’t fans of...

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My Successful VBAC Birth Plan

A decade ago I was pregnant with my first child. I remember being asked, "So what's your birth plan?" Some women choose to have very...

Cilka’s Journey Book Review – 2020 Book Club Pick

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Middle schoolers are emotional, moody and sometimes hard to read. Parenting a middle-schooler almost requires a specialized degree!   As a veteran middle school counselor,...