Midlife Mothers

Limbo! Limbo, Limbo

Carmel Harrington's kidsThis was the song I was rudely awoken to at 6.30 am this morning, folks. My 3 year old son, Nate, had crept into our bed, natch’, along with the complete cast of Toy Story.

Trying to hold my reluctant leg a few inches up off our bed, Nate had decided to fashion it into a limbo stick for Woody, Buzz, Jessie and Rex. They were having a right old time. Slinky was sitting this one out. Lucky Slinky.

A version of this happens every morning. Mr H and I have now become accustomed to Nate’s unique, loud and sometimes painful method of waking us up. Yesterday, there was no limbo dancing under covers, but there was a plastic truck being driven over my body, with Woody in the driving seat.

Alongside the ‘beep beeps, oh no, I’m stuck, quick lets go before the monster gets us,’ he told us both over and over, ‘I hungry. It’s morning time. GETUPPPPP mama and dada!’ [Read More…]

I Shout, Therefore I Am

Surviving life as a mother of a preteen girl is not for the faint of heart. Most days, I feel like a robot mechanically repeating the same tired phrases over and over, only to be met with dramatic sighs and eye rolls. These slogans feel like rites of passage every matriarch must pass down to her offspring, sure to be met with the same indifference as the generation before.

While it is frightening to watch how effortlessly my daughter tells me EXACTLY how she is feeling every second she feels it, it got me thinking. What if I was brave enough to say what I really mean? I decided to give it a shot. [Read More…]

Hormones, My Son, and Me

Jo-Ann Rogan and oldest sonThere are a ton of hormones swirling around in my house.  Suddenly what was once my tiny sweet smelling baby is now a 11-year-old young man with very decidedly offensive odors.  The changes are coming slowly.

He is still devoid of a manly voice and beard and although the changes are subtle, they are happening. I notice he is quicker to anger than he was a year ago.

He craves more independence and I find myself constantly pulling on the reigns of the boundaries I have created at home.

One of the biggest fights we struggle with is about him wanting to be out with friends after dark.  Although we live in a lovely neighborhood, we live in the city, and being a former wild child I know that nothing positive happens hanging out after dark as a preteen. [Read More…]

Phone Folly (Three Short Parenting-A-College-Kid Stories)

telephone#1 – A phone call in the middle of the night is never a good thing.  On a mid-September night, I fall into an easy sleep, secure in the thought that my daughter Catherine is settling into college life.   A rude ring rouses me.    Mother’s intuition, fueled by my overactive, overprotective gene, shoots into overdrive.   I brace for bad news as my husband, Mr. Don’t Worry Be Happy, picks up the phone.

DWBH: “Hey, Catherine, how ya doing?  Good.  Yeah Mom’s right here.”

It’s midnight. Where did she think I’d be? At the mall?  Out for cocktails? [Read More…]

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…]

10 Toddler-Tested Careers for Moms

Julie Scagell's kidAs my youngest turned 3, I was reminded that living with a toddler automatically qualifies a person for a myriad of possible career options. Whether you are a stay at home parent looking for entry back into the workforce, or a working parent looking for a career change, I am positive any brave soul who has survived toddlerhood will excel in one of the professions below.

Think of me as your underqualified high school guidance counselor, nudging you into the working world where you will be under stimulated and marginally compensated. You are welcome. [Read More…]

Sweatpantgiving

SweatpantsWe are quickly approaching the stimulus overload, food holidays. These holidays clash completely with my kids and their special needs.

In the short time my kids have been alive we have spent three holidays in an emergency room. Three.  The first one came as my youngest was just being diagnosed with his five anaphylactic food allergies. We were at the playground over a long holiday weekend.

My son, then a toddler, decided to sample a peanut butter sandwich that was on the tray of a stroller. He wound up having an anaphylaxis and I used his Epi-pen on him to save his life. Every single professional I encountered at the hospital told me over and over that I had saved my son’s life that day. It is something I can never forget. [Read More…]

My Letter To You – Dear Stressed Out Over-40 Mom

Dear Stressed Out Over-40 Mom,

I see you.

I know who you are, because I am just like you.
I became a Mom for the first time at 41, and then again, at 44.

I know you think you’re the only Mom who is ‘older’, but you’re not.
I know you think that you’re the only one who struggled with infertility, but you are also not alone when it comes to this issue. [Read More…]

By |November 12th, 2014|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

What To Do If Your Teen Has An Eating Disorder (Part III)

99 tips

Natalie is 16 years old, a straight-A student. She is looking into colleges and excited about leaving home. Six months ago, she began dieting: “I want to look good when I go to college and for the prom.” Natalie loses weight and at first, she seems happy. “I feel so grown up with my new clothes,” she beams!

One day, her boyfriend negatively comments on the looks of a girlfriend saying to Natalie, “ I hope you don’t gain the freshman 15.”  Natalie freezes inside and reaffirms her efforts not to ever gain weight … by vowing to pursue dieting as it consumes her entire day. [Read More…]

My Letter To Ryan

Jo-Ann Rogan's son IIDearest Ryan,

I have been writing you letters on your birthday since you were four years old. Wish I thought to do this when you were younger.  This year was about you blossoming.

You have grown so much this year. In early June you were on the tall side but had a little kid look to you with a roundness.  Suddenly in July you were what seems like four inches taller, broad shouldered, and had a decidedly young-man-look.  Your face is changing and you are wearing men’s sized clothing and shoes.  You have become a strong young man. You often volunteer to carry heavy things for me.

You started this summer as a little boy.  In July, your rapid growth had your brain chemistry thrown off and your behavior was hard to manage and you were just hard to reach.  August brought a new found calm.  When your Dad was away working on his big project you stepped in to be my right hand man.  Often when Aaron was melting down you were the one to take the higher road in your arguments. I was so thankful for your calm head. I enjoyed the time we had together in August and I adored our “summer bucket list,” which was a list of things we wanted to do this summer.  Last week, we crossed everything off the list with the time we spent at the beach. [Read More…]

Featured In