Tired parents, rejoice!

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Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

“It all started innocently enough,” says new entrepreneur Michelle Stepanic. “One day I just couldn’t keep my eyes open. Five cups of coffee and I was still falling asleep while pretending to be Sven from Frozen. My kids were getting increasingly frustrated and I was getting whiplash from them shaking me so hard.”

Smiling at the memory, Stepanic continues her story. “I was getting desperate for a nap. The kids were getting desperate for a conscious Sven. So I had to be creative.”

The young mom, whose kids range in age from ten months to five years, describes how her addled brain came up with a way to keep the kids entertained while still giving her a chance to lie down and close her eyes. …

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Photo by Marco Zuppone on Unsplash

I hate to be petty, but exactly four years ago I was in a car with friends on our way to Washington DC for the 2016 Women’s March. We were angry. We were scared. We had on our pink hats.

We didn’t break anything or smash any windows or try to kill anyone. We marched.

And, folks, we told you what was going to happen. And we were right.

So this morning I’m feeling just a wee bit snarky.

This is what I have to say today.

1.“If you lie down with dogs, you wake up with fleas.”

This is to you, Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, Mike Pence, Marco Rubio. You’ve been sleeping with the dirtiest of dogs for four years. You’ve enabled him. You’ve coddled him. You’ve fed him treats. And every one of his bloodsucking, disease-ridden fleas is crawling all over you. …

I’m kind of glad I didn’t read this before I had my kids

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Photo by Isaac Quesada on Unsplash

Dear Hopeful, Excited Young Me,


You are about to fulfill your deepest, most precious dream. At long last, you are about to become a MOTHER!

Tonight, the night before the birth of your first sweet little munchkin, you will wake up at midnight with simultaneous thoughts. “Why does my back feel like a rabid monkey is trying to claw his way out?” and “Holy shit….there is only ONE way this giant lump of human is going to get out of me!”

The reality of new motherhood will strike you, and you will lumber upright, grab your husband by the hair, and shout, “What the HELL have you done to me??????” …

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I’m sitting here looking out my window. It’s cold and gray, and the woods look depressingly empty of life. The news is on, but I’m not paying full attention. I’m sad. I’m scared for the next few days in my country. I’m sad about the past four years. And actually the four before that. And going back even further.

I’m remembering the days of Occupy Wall Street, when thousands of people felt so cheated by the economic and governmental systems of the US that they took to the streets to protest. There were huge crowds of angry people blocking banks and businesses, demanding a fair chance. …

So you can keep on loving them back

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Image by Jen Theodore via Unsplash

Every parent knows that if you want to raise a healthy, happy kid, you must provide said kid with unconditional love. We all know that we are supposed to love the little tyrants no matter what they do. But it’s hard to love unconditionally during the 28th tantrum of the day when we start to wonder if deep down the kid secretly hates us. They seem a bit less lovable when they’re screaming, “I hate you so much my head hurts!” Still, difficult or not, we know we have to love them. …

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It’s late. The moon is just past full, and stars are peeking between the branches of the leafless trees. It’s cold, but not as cold as it should be in Massachusetts on the last day of the year.

My husband has gone to bed, but I am restless. I haven’t stayed up to see the New Year in for a few years. But this year is different.

Everything is different.

This year the ending of the calendar count feels momentous. It feels like rebirth, like renewal. …

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It’s almost here! Huzzah!!!

Woot!! Woot!! Woot!!!

It is almost time to mark ourselves “Safe from 2020”!!

Such a festive and exciting evening! I just love New Year, with all it’s hope and happiness and all that other upbeat crap.

Of course, this year we won’t be going out for the usual midnight revelry with friends and family. We won’t be crowding into the city streets to sing and clap and watch the fireworks.

Instead, we’ll have a Happy New Year’s Hunker.

I’m going to make egg rolls!

I’m also going to try out a few quainte olde traditions of the past to increase the fun. And to increase the chances that I’ll make it safely through 2021. …

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I know. Believe me, I know.

Twenty-twenty will go down in history as the worst year EVAH. Wildfires, street violence, poverty, war, a global pandemic and Mike Pence being attacked by a fly.

It was awful.

But it is finally, painfully, slowly inching to a close. Twenty-twenty is drawing its last rattling breath and we are all more than ready to send it off into the burn pits of eternity.

I have my bubbly in the fridge, my jar of organic caviar at the ready, a set of bells to ring at midnight, and a cute guy to kiss while I do it. Buh-bye, you hellacious year of endless Trumpian noise and confusion. Off to the dump with you, you wasted months of binge-watched movies and Zoom violin lessons. …

Now take off those rose-colored glasses.

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After everything we’ve been through in the past year, it sure is tempting to feel sorry for ourselves. Christmas without family is just plain sad. No family parties. No traditional family foods. No swap gifts or big family photos. For the first time in 35 years, we don’t have even one of our children under our roof of Christmas morning.

Not one measly kid.

Boo-hoo, poor us!

In the face of our pitiful pandemic celebrations, it’s easy to look back at every Christmas of the past through the lens of perfection. …

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I’m thinking about America’s teachers this evening. I was a teacher for more than 30 years, so I know what our teachers are doing tonight.

They’re planning, organizing, writing out lessons for tomorrow and the days after. They’re thinking about certain kids right now, wondering how last night went for them, or worrying about the best way to teach them that tricky math concept.

I know how hard teachers work.

Twelve years ago tonight, I was at my dining room table, working on lessons for the next day. I remember grouping my students to make a fun cooperative science lesson. …


Karen Shiebler

A Mother, a grandmother, a progressive voter. I write because it’s getting harder to march and because words are my only weapon. I blog at momshieb.blog

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