Daily Living

Love, Acceptance and Stepchildren

StepfamiliesI watched Andrew Solomon’s Ted talk, “Love, No Matter What,” recently. And, it got me thinking about its relevance to stepfamilies and creating a stepfamily you love.

If you haven’t already seen it or it’s been awhile since you last watched Andrew’s talk, here it is:

http://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_solomon_love_no_matter_what?language=en [Read More…]

New Beginnings in the Workforce (A Tale of the Modern Midlife Woman/Mother)

Melanie unmarriedEver since I was a little girl I wanted to be an actress.  I did plays in my youth with high school, community theatre and even in college.  Then, in the early 90s, I moved to Chicago and got an MFA in acting.

In 2000 I started the new millennium in Los Angeles with the hopes of using my degree to succeed as an actor.  I had some good auditions, did a bit of theatre, but suffice it to say, making a living as an actor in Los Angeles was not my path.  I often say the best part about my LA acting career was meeting me husband.  We met at an audition in 2000, got cast in the play together, our showmance became a romance, and we’ve been married a little over 11 years now. [Read More…]

My Father’s Hand (A Love Poem)

               I

I look up to see my father,
towering above me.
He takes my hand, and as we go
through the turnstile,  I am excited
by my first ride with him on the subway. [Read More…]

By |March 23rd, 2015|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living|Tags: , |0 Comments

Smile and Be Happier

smiley faceThis year, March 20th is the first day of spring. And if that’s not enough to please you, the third annual International Day of Happiness falls on the same day. The United Nations General Assembly made it official by recognizing wellbeing as a fundamental right of people throughout the world.

Remember when Grammy Award winning musician Pharrell Williams teamed up with the UN Foundation to put some synergy in motion? The focus of the online happening was his infectious song “Happy.” You can watch funky videos from all over the world or listen to a jazz rendition.

[Read More…]

By |March 20th, 2015|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

12 Tips For Positive Parenting Your Tween

Dr. Laura MarkhamParenting preteens, or tweens, can be a challenge. Discipline, school, homework, time with family — everything is renegotiated.  Hormones kick in as puberty approaches, and the pressures of the peer group magnify. Many moms and dads react to their tween’s moodiness, focus outside the family, increasing independence and maturing physical body by distancing somewhat from their child.

But, tweens need to feel they have a secure nest as they launch themselves into the exciting but scary world. Kids who feel disconnected from their parents lose their anchor and look for it in their peer group.

[Read More…]

To V(accinate) or Not to V(accinate) – That is the Question

I am, by nature, a realist. With a propensity to be pessimistic.
(I think my California “village” can overwhelmingly attest to that.)

About a week ago I found out my son had Chickenpox (Varicella virus). My first thought was how could this happen? My subsequent thoughts involved more hits on Google than a Kardashian.

After too much wine and online research (and a visit to our pediatrician), I realized my son would be fine. My worries, however, continued to swirl. As newer parents with children born after the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine debate, we did spread out our son’s vaccines when he was younger. (Our daughter, however, is on schedule.)

This time around, our concern is about what our school aged son may bring home with him each day. My seven-month-old daughter, who is contently and constantly on the receiving end of kisses and squeezes from my 6 year old son, was extremely vulnerable to contracting the virus.

[Read More…]

Spare Some Change? (An Ode to Midlife Mothering)

springSpring Ahead

There is something magical about hearing that first bird tweeting somewhere off in the distance when the snow is still on the ground and you can still see your breath as soon as you walk outside.   I think however it is the annual changing of the clocks that sets our bodies into motion, no matter how long we have sat stagnant, and hibernating.

So while most of us take the change of seasons in stride, what is it about change in general that makes many of us go into either a paralyzed or manic state, dependent upon our primitive reaction to trauma? [Read More…]

The Older New Parent’s Three Main Food Groups: Caffeine, Ibuprofen, & Wine

Tracy in TokyoI know we got insanely lucky with the mini, lucky I was able to conceive naturally after my 45th birthday, lucky that she was born totally healthy and amazing. So god knows I’m not complaining here. But let me complain for a second.

It seems she’s hitting her terrible two’s a year early. I suppose I could be grateful for her advanced development, like some parents are when their kids walk early. (“She’s only one! And she’s already in her terrible two’s!”)

Instead, I feel like my head has been blown off and I’m walking around with shards on top of my neck. [Read More…]

Have the Winter Blues? 8 Tips for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Winter 4 (pines)Winter weather is often cold, dark and dreary – with little chance of a break for months. The transition back from the holiday season with its increased activity and social engagement – parties, gift giving, family time, vacations – can be an emotional letdown, bringing on the January blues. For 10% of Americans, this is exacerbated by “SAD,” Seasonal Affective Disorder, triggered by the brain’s response to the reduction in sunlight.

“Sandwiched Boomers” may feel an even greater strain, with extra pressures of caring for growing children and aging parents. If you think you might have SAD, consult your physician for an evaluation. A diagnosis can be made when your mood, energy level and motivation are all down during the winter months. You may be sleeping and eating more than usual, craving carbohydrates – this can lead to weight gain, which is depressing in itself. [Read More…]

Mindful Return: Returning to Work After Becoming a Mom

mindfulreturnMindful Mama Lori Mihalich Levin is the mother of 2 children and a regulatory lawyer in Washington, DC.  She is also guiding dozens of women as they navigate their way out of and back to work when their lives are transformed by motherhood.  We sat down recently to talk about the origins of her 4-week online course Mindful Return.

After her own maternity leave, Lori noticed how other new moms at work rarely spoke about the changes in their lives, the intensity of their feelings towards their children, and how they coped.  On one hand, her colleagues were undergoing a major transformation, but there was little outward acknowledgement at work that anything was happening.  On the other, fearful of criticism or loss of professional status, the returning mothers dodged necessary conversations about pumping at work, child care hours, or poor sleep. [Read More…]

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