mama moments 101

Are you concerned about flunking parenting?  That you’re scraping by with a C- simply by clothing and feeding your offspring?  Do you have the nagging feeling that you, and only you, are missing the genetic code explaining Garanimals, Lunchables, and Pokémon cards?

Fear not, brave reader.  You Are Not Alone.

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sex, abstinence, and the health class dilemma

Ah, the beauty of middle school.

Social drama and texting.  Girls and P.E. class.  Low man on the totem pole, switching classes, and brand new lunch options.

Plus graduation from a fifth grade puberty discussion to the health class that spans a range of topics including – wait for it – sex education.

Let the good times roll.

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because so many of us have postgraduate degrees lying around

For people who whine about having their privacy invaded, teens know remarkably little about their privacy rights on social media.  Though, to be fair, the same could be said for many adults since those terms of use agreements read like Sanskrit.

One lawyer decided to break down Instagram into plain English for us.

“Afterward, the teenagers said they understood very little about privacy rights on Instagram, despite getting through the terms and conditions.

‘I don’t know due to the sheer amount of writing and lack of clarity within the document,’ a 15-year-old said, according to the report.

The group ran Instagram’s terms and conditions through a readability study and found that it registered at a postgraduate reading level, Afia said.”

A lawyer rewrote Instagram’s terms of use ‘in plain English’ so kids would know their privacy rights – The Washington Post

eight years of classroom cupid

Valentines Musings for My Munchkins

We've survived many a ♥ day,
you and I...
There were years 
I was certain
we'd never survive.
Addressing endless valentines,
fumbled shoebox crafts,
scouring ingredients for peanut allergies
lest we send a classmate
into anaphylactic shock.

"Bee Mine", "You Rock",
"you're the purr-fect friend!"
Huddled around the kitchen table,
enduring the angst of picking
which card goes to whom.
Then there's always the mom
whose kid does those damn
Pinterest valentines
when we all know 
you only want
the sugar
anyway.

Elementary socialism
demands a valentine
for each boy, each girl -
no exceptions.
For years we've 
faithfully followed 
the rule,
candy for everyone,
no child left behind,
until the straw that broke 
the camel's back.
Now one's on strike,
refusing to take Valentines
at all
if it means putting on
a false face.

Middle school's shark tank
throws our kids in
to sink or swim
as they tread the
social waters
of tween hierarchy.
Suddenly a normal Tuesday
is rife with angst -
girls and guys
tiptoeing around each other,
painfully anxious,
parents helpless
through it all.

I do not envy you today,
my loves.

 

Forever Family: beauty’s in the eye of the beholder

It’s been years since I watched Whoopi Goldberg’s “long blond hair” segment in her stand up routine, but it’s something I’ve never forgotten.  Whoopi plays a young black girl who dreams of being white.  She drapes an old white skirt over her head, smoothing it as if stroking her luxurious hair.  The character wistfully hopes to become white with long, blond hair so she can appear on The Love Boat.

The implications are clear: beauty is measured by a white world’s standards, and those standards are what you aspire to if you want the American Dream.

While we talk a good game about diversity in American culture – models of all shapes, sizes, and colors; movie roles for minorities; increased visibility for people of color on television – you can’t expect the tide to recede just like that.  It took a long time to shape our culture, and it won’t change back overnight.

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thank you, Jesus, we have a plan

As far as I’m concerned, this is the 12-step program they ought to offer at middle school open house.  Bless.

“Step 1:  Admit that you are now powerless to control your tween’s emotions and their moods are now unmanageable.  During this step, just repeat as often as necessary, ‘My baby is still in there somewhere.  I just know it.’ “

A 12-Step Program For Parents Entering The Tween Years – Scary Mommy

parenthood, survival, and the clothing conundrum

This too shall pass.

The phrase passed from generation to generation, words meant to soothe souls and convince adults that they will indeed survive parenthood without killing their offspring.

It’s used to dull the pain of countless nerve stripping phases of your brood.  The screaming-through-the-night phase.  The unending-diaper-changing years.  The YOU-CAN’T-MAKE-ME, foot-stomping chapter.

But-everybody-else-has-it…If-you-loved-me…What’s-wrong-with-$120-sneakers?…Who-cares-that-it’s-30-degrees-I’m-fine-in-shorts…

One simple phrase intended to keep us from tearing our hair out or running wild in the streets.  So far, so good.

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anyone else up for social media limits?

I am this mom.  (Well, maybe not with the pink boa and countertop dancing, but I’m solidly on board with minors and social media.)  It’s remarkably hard to be the mom who says no when so many parents around me are saying yes.  To hold my own against request after request, seeing the disappointment in the kids’ eyes each time, knowing they think I’m a shrew.

Parenting.  Sheesh.

“Sorry, Charlie, but I don’t believe any child under 13 has any business on social media.

There.  I said it…

As much as I know I can lock down my kids’ accounts and keep their internet sharing private, here’s the thing: I know what I post on my social media accounts, and I don’t want them seeing what I do in my grown-up space on the internet.  And I don’t want your 11-year-old to see what I post either, thank you very much.”

Why I’m Not Accepting Your Kid’s Social Media Request – Scary Mommy