Friday, August 28, 2015

"No!" to make room for "Yes!"

Our son, like most toddlers, loves the word, "no." He loves to shout, whisper, repeat and sing, "NOOOO!"

We Woman Mother Writers should probably say, "no" more often ourselves. We can't do everything. None of us wears a cape (at least not to work), we can't fly nor can we stop or otherwise manipulate time. That's all to say that we aren't superheroes and we have limits.

Sometimes we shouldn't take on that extra job (looking at you freelancers and adjuncts.) Sometimes we need to stay home to catch up on laundry and wash our hair. And "wash our hair" is not a euphemism; you know how hard it can be to find time to shower sometimes.

Saying, "no," will give us space to regroup and say, "yes" to ourselves and our kids. In the new children's book Wait by Antoinette Portis, a busy mom trying to hurry her child is reminded to "wait" by her curious son. By slowing down, essentially saying, "no" to her busy go-go-go life, they are rewarded by experiencing their surroundings.

Read more about Wait's author, Antoinette Portis, on her author page and a review of the book on Publisher's Weekly.

I first read about Wait and other children's books in Jessica Ralli's piece, Stories that Help Us Stop For a Minute. Click through to read all of her recommendations.

Monday, August 24, 2015

New Daycare Success!

Our son has been at a new daycare for about a month and a half. Its been a relief that he's (usually) excited to go in the morning and wants to stay in the late afternoon. We've found ourselves immediately able to trust the new teachers and learn from them, too.

I was worried about packing his lunch for the first time and remembering the new, seemingly complicated routine. We quickly got acclimated and we're happy to report that he's been eating the packed lunches. Of course I still worry about everything (like, if he eats 100% of his lunch, does that mean I didn't pack enough?)

The first few weeks were a little tricky as our son became comfortable with the new people and environment. And then the daycare was closed for a week for cleaning, which made the return yet another transition.  But now we're there for good, or at least a few years. It is a relief to know that he's safe and the teachers there are taking good care of him.

Phew. Onto the next transition(s).

Monday, August 17, 2015

Advice, Advice, Advice

A few friends have recently shared their news of their pregnancies. I'm excited for them and their growing family's journey. 

And I want to offer each family this advice: Read as much as you can, ask every question you have, and think about what you've learned. And then, with the guidance of experts, make your own decisions. Don't ignore your gut, science or emotions, but try to weigh them appropriately. 

You will receive endless advice about everything, from what fabric swaddling blanket to use to ... well, everything. Choose what to focus on and try to tune the other things out. It is easy to get swept up into everything, but it can't all be important. 

I found pregnancy and early parenthood to be a whirling storm of advice, but it doesn't need to be. Forza, friends! And Auguri! 

Monday, August 3, 2015


You can offer encouragement in Italian by enthusiastically shouting, "Forza!"

And that's what I say to you, dear reader knee deep in pool laundry, art projects, low-humidty day outings, ice pop clean up and everything else summer:


"Forza" literally means, "strength." I know that's what I often need, especially with the extra distractions of summer. You can do it, writer. Block off some time, even just ten minutes a day, to write something. Anything.

Well, not anything. Let's not count those back-to-school lists and to-do lists. Try something else. You might find some inspiration in some of my writing coach blog writing prompts