Skipping the Field Trip

Dawn Michaelguilt, our book, School issues, self care5 Comments

I love a good field trip just as much as the next gal!  Shopping, yoga retreat, tastings (wine or food)!  School field trips, not so much.  And so it was with reluctance that I told my daughter to add my name to the chaperone list to Slater Mill in Pawtucket, RI.  Just what I wanted to do with a day off from work- spend it with 31 fifth graders!  I did get a little excited when my daughter said there might be ghosts at the mill!  Would these spirits channel my energy and offer me some supernatural advice?  Perhaps this trip wouldn’t be so bad?! Alas, I wasn’t chosen as a chaperone.  Two other moms got their names in before me.  What if I had told my daughter upfront that I didn’t want to go on the field trip?  Would that have hurt her feelings?  Would she have thought I didn’t care enough?  Part of being a parent is to make sacrifices for your children.  So even though the thought of making small talk with other chaperones and keeping all those children in line wouldn’t have been my thing, I owe it to my daughter to support her.  Yet, as a believer in conscious unparenting, I need to put my needs at least on par with my child’s. I decided … Read More

The “I Wish I Was Invisible” Woman

Kim Kinzieaging, humor, older parents6 Comments

This is the second in a three-part series on aging and motherhood. It all started the day my first son was born. I felt the urge to pee so I stood up to walk to the bathroom. Upon my foot hitting the floor, my bladder released – completely – as I had absolutely no control.   Since no one told me this could happen, I felt no remorse at the large puddle of urine the nurse came in to clean up (a warning would have been nice!) I truly hoped this would not be my new normal. My body has fortunately bounced back in many ways since that day, but the former steel-like control I held over my bladder is gone, and it’ s not coming back. Why just the other day I took my boys to an indoor bounce place.   The urge came upon me, so I made my way to the ladies’ room. Midway I had to sneeze but, since it was the Friday of April vacation, I was slightly exhausted and spacey so I forgot to stop and close my legs. Achoo goes the nose; Swooosh goes the urethra.  Ugh. Time to go, kids! I constantly wet myself. Any cough, sneeze or extreme laughter unaccompanied by a hearty leg cross will result in, at the very least, a large … Read More

Life’s Paths: Respecting the Choice to Not Have Children

Dawn Michaelfriendship, non-judgmentLeave a Comment

I remember the quote, “You’ll never regret having children, but you may regret not having them.”  I thought of that when I read an article in the March issue of Bazaar magazine called “Opting Out of Motherhood.”  The author, Meghan Daum, had concluded that children were not something she pined for.  She preferred the calmness of drinking her coffee while listening to the birds chirp.  How come I hadn’t foreseen that my coffee moments would be in the car driving my children here, there, and everywhere?  Had I not given thought to what I’d someday sacrifice?  We are fortunate to have the choice whether to reproduce or not.  The author remarked how there were many times to doubt herself for not having children, but at her present age, she no longer had an option. Do I think she’s missed out?  I’m not sure.  Having children is a very personal decision.  I don’t look down upon women who don’t have children as “selfish.”  Rather, I see them as selfless.  It takes a lot of courage to say no to societal pressure.  Imagine having so much conviction in your belief that you won’t have a child “just to make sure you haven’t missed out on anything.”  Kudos to those who knew their limitations and opted out of procreating. For me, I’m thankful … Read More

Taking Back Mother’s Day: Time to Start Some New Traditions

Kim Kinziehumor, self care8 Comments

I wrote this piece last year for Motif Magazine and it stirred a bit of controversy.  I’m reposting it because I still think the message is important. It’s slightly different (i.e. less offensive) than my original post, but I think I’ve made my point. Hope you like it: Invariably when I ask my fellow moms what they’re doing for Mother’s Day, I receive one of two responses: (1) we’re spending the day with my mother/mother-in-law or (2) we’re going out to brunch/lunch/dinner as a family.  Correct me if I’m wrong but Mother’s Day is supposed to be a celebration of women who are mothering children; to honor their hard work and give them a break. It is not a day to torture these women, right?   Then why, oh why, are they engaging in such dreadful activities? Don’t argue with me here. Please don’t try to tell me that going out for brunch with your family is “fun.” It’s not.   “But” you insist, “my partner made a reservation at my favorite brunch spot. Of course it will be a great day!” Perhaps you’re picturing yourself, dressed in grown-up, party clothes, enjoying a mimosa as you dine on delectable food. You glance over at your partner with a smile of appreciation on your face. You don’t have to cook or clean a thing. He feels smugly satisfied … Read More