On the aspirational effect of watching these pre-teens today

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Source: Netflix

Awkward, angsty, and anxiety-ridden, middle school gets a well-deserved bad rap. Those years seem to be especially unforgiving to girls, a sobering fact to which I can personally attest. The period of 1992–1994 is the time I don’t wanna talk about ever. But reading books about middle school babysitters always gave me a fictional reprieve from the turmoil of my tween years.

When I heard about Netflix’s reboot of “The Baby-Sitters Club,” I was skeptical. I never watched the film version, convinced it would never live up to my beloved series. I was horrified when the books were turned into…

Ever really think of how our kids will remember us?

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Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

When it comes to how we raise our kids, there are certain beliefs we hold dear to guide (or even justify) our parenting. Some of us are helicopter-ing, tiger mom-ing, or hands off-ing.

We also reassure ourselves of a lot of things.

My kids are going to thank me for this one day.

My kids are going to understand one day.

But for me, it’s something else.

My kids are going to remember this one day.

By “this,” I mean all of it. The good and the bad.

I have become acutely, almost obsessively aware of the concept of memory…

The emotional benefits of encouraging my kids to “put it in writing”

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Image by free stock photos from www.picjumbo.com from Pixabay

Let’s admit that we all have agendas when it comes to parenting our kids.

We have the best intentions, of course. We all have our personal and specific hopes on the type of people we want to raise. Maybe we hope they’ll similarly develop a love of history or become environmentally-conscious future citizens. Or maybe we hope our kids will take easily to our natural athleticism.

I personally hope I can raise my kids to practice gratitude in the form of aggressively affectionate bear hugs and handwritten thank you notes. …

On why I don’t practice what I preach to my kids

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As parents, there’s a certain level of hypocrisy we get to exercise (lord?) over our kids. “Do as I say, not as I do” applies to numerous situations. We compel our kids to go to college even though we never did. We direct them to not engage with certain extracurricular activities even though we totally did with our teenage friends in the basement that one time.

Other instances can be pretty harmless. No, you don’t get another cupcake, I declare as I shamelessly inhale another one.

Expecting certain things from our kids when we don’t even do it ourselves leaves…

The double-take, name dropping, and the “give it to me straight”

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Photo by Matthew Guay on Unsplash

When it comes to headlines, we’ve all heard about the tried-and-true standards and best practices. Throwing in a number (e.g. “4 Things You Need to Buy This Christmas”) is always a sure thing for our time-sensitive, rapidly scrolling, “tell-me-what-my commitment-is-going-to-be-upfront” sensibility. The same goes for how-to headlines because we all suffer from crippling inadequacy and want to know how to feel/eat/sleep/do everything better.

It’s been an adjustment for me to get into this headline game. …

You probably have the wrong ideas about us

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Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

For my entire life, my naturally quiet nature has been characterized as many things. In both personal and professional settings, I’ve been labeled as standoffish and aloof. In more racially-tinged assumptions, I’ve heard people wonder and whisper that maybe I can’t speak English.

It’s been concluded that I may, in fact, just be a bitch.

“She’s quiet, but she’s nice” is a funny assessment. There’s this bizarre need to qualify my reticence with an assurance that I’m not mean or hateful. There’s also a tendency to conflate wordiness with a good time. People often tell me they want to see…

We’re not here to see a man about a horse

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Photo by Juan Marin on Unsplash

The trip to the women’s restroom is an enigma.

Why do women go together? Why do they take so long? What, pray tell, is happening in there? These are the essential questions we face.

It certainly doesn’t help that our trips to the restroom are couched in polite, archaic euphemisms, such as “freshening up” or “powdering our nose.”

Yes, there is your garden-variety tampon exchange and sincere apologies to various body parts for death-by-Spanx-suffocation. But there’s other stuff, people.

So let’s pull back the curtain because this is what’s really going down during our bathroom sojourns.

Here’s what we’re doing

Someone brought a water…

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Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

Marital platitudes abound in our culture. Your hear it from therapists, counselors, and your mother-in-law. There’s an aspirational, calligraphy-heavy culture, as advice for couples is earnestly Etsy’ed and pinned on “Marital Bliss” Pinterest boards.

But it’s time we re-think some of the most common advice for couples.

Because a lot of it is wrong.

My husband and I are closing in on fifteen years of marriage. We are not the paradigm of marriage by any means. We’ve had highs and lows. I’m not anyone’s idea of a wifely saint when it comes to making our auto insurance premiums rise and…

You’re overlooking 5 random, but rewarding possibilities.

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Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Writer’s block isn’t just an occupational hazard that shows up sometimes. We’re always trying to figure out ways to get inspired and start writing.

Invariably, however, we tap into the standard well of ideas and can still come up dry.

But there are some possibilities for writing inspiration that you may not have considered.

Your Annoyances

To be clear, I’m not specifically advocating for a rambling rant, chest-thumping diatribe or indefinite stay on a soapbox. There’s only so much content I could get out of venting about drivers who seem to think using their turn signal is a polite suggestion. …

Bet you didn’t expect to feel these emotions

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Photo by Dingzeyu Li on Unsplash

There are some typical emotions associated with mourning the loss of a loved one. Sadness. Anger. Depression. Regret. Guilt. These are predictable feelings that we cycle through with regularity.

But then there are some other emotions we may feel — the kind we don’t expect and might make us feel guilty for even feeling them.

But it’s normal. And it certainly doesn’t make you a bad person.

Relief that it’s over

Feeling any sense of relief in death isn’t because your loved one is gone, of course. But there is relief that the “in between period” is over. We exist in a state of…

M Gleeson

College writing prof. Essayist on parenting, womanhood, race, grief. Corner brownie piece apologist. Published bylines/selected clips at www.anindeliblelife.com

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