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The Terrible, Wonderful Summer Vacation: How This Mom Learned to Not Just Survive Having Her Kids Home Over the Summer, But to Love It!

Submitted by Rita Brhel on 20 July 2023

Summer vacation will have both terrible and wonderful moments. When we know that both will happen, and that we can lead our children by responding thoughtfully to the circumstances that present themselves to us, we can look forward to this season.

When did your child have an opportunity to release his pent-up frustrations? What quick list of expectations can you offer your child the next time you are about to enter a stressful situation?

It’s Been 5 Years: A Mom Processes Her Son’s Birth Story

Submitted by Rita Brhel on 31 May 2023

This morning, it snowed in Seattle. It reminded me of the night Max was born, almost exactly five years ago, when it was sunny and rainy and windy and then, in the middle of the night when we were upside-down with time and date, we looked out the window and saw snow swirling around.

How long has it been since your child's birth? How many times have you shared your birth story with others? How do you continue to celebrate the good and work through the challenges?

This Birth Would’ve Been This Mom’s Worst Nightmare! It Didn’t Stop Her From Loving It

Submitted by Rita Brhel on 26 April 2023

My partner and I had asked all the big questions as we got ready for the birth of our son. We'd prepared ourselves both physically and spiritually for what we expected to be a smooth, beautiful childbirth assisted by our midwife.  It just never occurred to me that we would need anything besides each other to welcome our child into this world.

How do you feel about your childbirth experience? In which ways, did your experience help you to bond with your baby?

Growing Up Different is OK! What Autism Has Taught This Mom About Raising Her Daughter

Submitted by Rita Brhel on 16 March 2023

One of the hardest challenges with raising a special needs child is trying to keep people, including us as her parents, from attempting to force her into being a "typical" child. Jackie is different. She will always be different, and I celebrate that difference.

How do you allow your child to be different? How do you allow yourself to be different from other parents?

I Love You When You're Angry

Submitted by Rita Brhel on 7 March 2023

I never felt like I could get angry as a child. My parents sure did, but I got the message loud and clear that I was supposed to keep the peace, be good, and above all, never ever lose my cool. As a parent, I found myself getting angry at my child for being angry.

What if I let my daughter be angry? What if I just listened and empathized but didn't try to fix it?

Falling in Love with Our Children is Scary: 3 Tips to Make It Easier

Submitted by Rita Brhel on 14 February 2023

Falling in love with our kids is a daring thing to do. Love opens us up, wide open: no armor, no defenses. We're naked and vulnerable when we're in love. Love is powerful. It's not just cupids and chocolates and diamonds. Love is raw, open, vulnerable, crazy, courageous, light that shines on every dark corner, every unmet need, and everything we don't want to look at.

When can you practice bravely allowing yourself to fully love your child?

New Year: A Time to Pause and Reflect

Submitted by Rita Brhel on 10 January 2023

Like cooking turkey on Thanksgiving or giving flowers on Valentine's Day, I cannot help feeling the tug of this time of year to pause and reflect. Yes, January 1 is just the next day after December 31. But it feels like a beginning, and the part of me that loves rituals and traditions always comes forward with thoughts and questions.

What are your questions?

Give Your Child (and Yourself!) Rest From Being Compared to Others

Submitted by Rita Brhel on 27 December 2022

Comparing seems to be part of human nature. We compare ourselves to others. We compare our children to each other and to other children. Practicing how to refocus from comparing to appreciating makes it easier to see our children, and ourselves, as lovingly unique individuals!

What are your child's strengths? What are your strengths?