What’s a Touring Punk-Rocker Midlife-Mother To Do? (Part I of II – Touring with Thorazine)

by Jo-Ann Rogan

Jo-Ann in CATouring with your twelve-year-old and with your punk band sure turns heads.

Everywhere we went, people stared and then thought, who gave them a kid? Driving across the country with my on-the-spectrum, ADHD-boy (Ryan) was a joy. The road was a novel place and every time he looked up things were different. He was joyful all the way across the USA. He didn’t sleep a wink and more times than not, he was staring out the window just taking it all in.

Ryan was so excited as we arrived in Los Angeles. The band would join us there and was thrilled to be somewhere for more than one night. He and I swam in the pool that afternoon and by evening were joking that we were poolside in LA. It was grand. The next day, a friend picked Ryan up. She is someone he knows well and her daughter is a few years younger.

Although (in California) they start school in August, Ryan was able to play Mindcraft with her and swim in the pool at their apartment. When we got to the show, the promoter said it would be fine if he showed up and it was the only show  he was allowed to watch. (Of course, Ryan did not change after swimming and showed up to our punk show in his bathing suit.) [Read More…]

Six Tips for Helping Stepparents Deal With Jealousy

by Rachel Ruby

green-eyed monsterWithin families and stepfamilies that have experienced separation and divorce, horror stories are often shared and retold (to people within the family circle and outside of it) about who did what to whom; of alleged wickedness and “evil” behaviour; and of “monsters” real and imagined.

Whatever the situation (or the story), there is one monster in particular that often rears its ugly head causing tension and havoc in families and stepfamilies alike – that “green-eyed monster,” also known as jealousy.

Jealousy is typically an emotion rooted in a fear. Fear that something belonging to you will be taken away or of a loss in status of something of great personal value, particularly in reference to a human connection. Within stepfamilies, jealousies typically originate as a protective reaction to a perceived threat to a valued relationship and the anticipated loss of something that is important to the person in question. It typically co-exists alongside thoughts and feelings of envy (the desire to have something that is possessed by another), hurt, hostility, insecurity, fear, concern and anxiety. It is expressed through a myriad of different behaviours (as opposed to a single behaviour) and it doesn’t always look pretty. [Read More…]

By |October 24th, 2015|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Stepparents|Tags: , , , |1 Comment

Seasons Change and So Do WE!

by Wendy Sue Noah

Autumn foliage path

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”

Stephen Hawking

Happy Autumn! Though it is still a bit too hot here in too sunny Los Angeles, I can still feel the change in the air, and in my heart.

Seasons are Mother Nature’s way of revealing how change is a natural part of life, and so very necessary, as well. Then, why is it that so many of us are afraid of change, especially since change usually equals growth?

For me, the only constant, amidst constant change, is my faith. With faith in my heart, all the changes around me don’t affect me on any level. That, I find, is the best way to deal with the fact that everything changes, and that I have no control over external change – only my inner self. [Read More…]

When Kids Sabotage Themselves

by Barbara DiGangi

Sabotage[sabuh-tahzh, sab-uhtahzh] /ˈsæb əˌtɑʒ, ˌsæb əˈtɑʒ/

noun: 1. any underhand interference with production, work, etc., in a plant, factory, etc., as by enemy agents during wartime or by employees during a trade dispute. 2. any undermining of a cause. verb (used with object), sabotaged, sabotaging. 3. to injure or attack by sabotage.

Have you ever been so close to a goal with your child only to be disappointed?

What about finding that new toy or electronic completely broken hours or days later? A privilege at home or school taken away?

You may be finding yourself thinking – is this a joke? Why does everything seem to result in FAILURE?! [Read More…]

The Delicate (And Sometimes Painful But Growth-Producing) Art of Co-Parenting

by Lynn Reilly

co-parentingOn the eve of what would have been my 15th wedding anniversary, I’m thinking about how I felt on the night before my wedding.

I remember vividly how excited I was to marry my long-time friend. It felt completely right to be laughing with him, eating dinner surrounded by our family and friends, ready to cheer us on as we began our new life. Not only was I in love, but I was full of hope for the promise of what was before us. There was no hint of the idea that this type of love would not last forever.

Fast forward to this afternoon – leaving work in a hurry to meet the bus at my house to pick up my son at drop off and race to my daughter’s soccer game. I was looking forward to it as it was the first I’d been able to attend in two weeks. On the ride there my son asked, “Will Daddy be there?”

“I don’t know Buddy,” I replied not giving it much thought. We hadn’t discussed it during our hurried text conversation of who was picking up who within the last couple days and at that particular moment, he was on my nerves. We’d had a disagreement only days before, so his presence at the game was not on my mind. [Read More…]

By |October 12th, 2015|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Motherhood, Mothers Over 40, Reinventing Ourselves|Tags: , |0 Comments

I Need Movie Theatre Seating (A Commentary By the Mid-Life Mr. Mom)

by Marc Parsont

movie theatre seatingAs parents, we’re spending all this time worrying about not keeping score at our kid’s games; being supportive, not yelling, having fun at sporting events, etc. – so much so that we have ignored our most basic needs—of us, the parents.

Why do we watch the games on television rather than go to the game? It’s not just because some of us need to be near the restroom. It’s more basic than that. We’re sitting on bleachers, wood, metal, itchy grass. We’re subject to searing cold and blazing hot days. Even the ides of any month would be bearable if we just had movie-theater seating at all the games.

At this point in my (mid) life, give me a cushy seat, a Dolby stereo surround sound speaker system, basic food stuffs, a little petit cru and some Brie, for example. I can watch any game, no matter how long, cold or wet it is. We could add a lightning rod, a wet bar and cheer our kids on until dark or the booze ran dry. (I’d prefer to keep it inside, I must admit, but it all works.) [Read More…]

Why Are Our Children’s Issues Held With Such Secrecy and Shame?

by Nicholas D'Ambra

Nicholas son in winter

“I hate myself. I can’t do it. I’m no good at it. Everyone else can do it and I can’t.”

When I picked my son up from kindergarten many months ago, he uttered those first four sentences. I was driving, so I pulled over to try to understand what he was talking about and find out why he was so upset.

With tears streaming down his face and my heart sinking fast, he told me that the other kids in his class could write words and he could not. I told him we would work on it together and he would be able to write words, too. I took a piece of paper from my glovebox and wrote ‘I Love You’ on it and I brought it to him in the backseat. I went over each word with him. Over and over. And over. [Read More…]

Life in Reverse – Entering the Work Force at 60

by Lydia Chiappetti

IMG_1292Next year’s birthday will be the Big One – 60! While everyone at this age is winding down, I’m revving up. I’m planning on going back to work after being unemployed for…forever. Let’s just say that big hair and suits with shoulder pads were in fashion the last time I was steadily employed.

There have been numerous paying jobs and volunteer activities over the last twenty-five years, but nothing that would indicate a career path. My resume looks like a schizophrenic on steroids: Parent Association President, Campaign Assistant for Gubernatorial Election, Associate Editor for Poetry Press, ESL Teacher. Is there a pattern there? No, just jack of all trades, master of none.

Why didn’t I work steadily all those years? I had my excuses: Monday through Friday, I had the sole responsibility of caring for the children. In addition to long distance trips, my husband worked in the World Trade Center – two hours round trip from home. After 9/11, he commuted weekly to another state for almost a decade.

My plan to find a full or part-time job was thwarted by the twenty-mile round trip drive to a school in another town. Instead of seeking out a paying job, I filled any free hours with volunteer activities, all very fulfilling at the time. [Read More…]

Autumn Musings

by Nancy LaMar-Rodgers

leafIn Love With Death

Fifteen years ago, I was talking to a woman at a party who told me she absolutely hated the Fall season.  No bones about it – she loathed it and would never feel any different, no matter how many picture perfect postcards you could wave of New England’s vibrant color change.

To this day, this mystifies me. My favorite month of the year is October.  I am invigorated from October 1st till well after the Christmas holidays.  The month of October rejuvenates my spirit and I believe that the air I breathe in during that month sustains me for the rest of the year.

This same woman told me that the only thing she felt during the fall was the impending notion of winter.  It was as if on exactly September 21st, her bones began to brace themselves for all things cold.  At the time she had two small children and I asked her if the kids liked jumping in piles of leaves, apple picking, or of course, the thrill of Halloween.  She told me that she didn’t do leaf piles(there might be ticks) and yes she did Halloween but it was generally in a safe place like the mall.  [Read More…]

Teens and Hate – A Scientific Life Lesson

by Christy Stansell

Stansell Daughter - Scientific Life LessonYou know what I HATE the most?  I hate hate. And, I REALLY hate it when my children say they hate something.  In fact, I hate it so much that I hate to even write this.

I hate it when people say, “Don’t you hate it when….”  I hate that there is hate in the world that causes me to have to write about hate to help people see why it doesn’t even make sense to hate anything.  OK. Enough.  Blech!  I think you get the point.

Here’s what has me riled up:

The other day, my 8th grade daughter was getting herself ready for school.  I’m proud of her because, until now, I’d have to get up early to make sure she’s out of bed in time.

[Read More…]

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