Author: Elise Schreier

Why Paid Family Leave is Important to Me

I recently came across Scary Mommy’s article 6 Reasons The Family Medical Leave Act is Bullshit and, man, did it resonate.  I’m a happy mom of 3 thriving children.  Life is crazy, but manageable. I’ve never really resented being a working mom…that is, except for when it comes to the few first precious months of my children’s lives.  I harbor quite a bit of anger and resentment over that time.  You see, despite having had 2 newborns dropped on my doorstep (literally), I haven’t had a single day of “maternity leave”.  That precious time designated for bonding with your child and figuring out how life works in this strange new world of Motherhood – I didn’t even get ONE DAY. Neither did my wife. I’ve previously shared the story about how my family was created (here and here) via foster care and adoption, but what I haven’t talked about are the days and weeks that followed.  What I haven’t shared is how exactly a dual income household manages getting children dropped into their laps out of the blue.  Spoiler alert: no matter how well you plan, it never goes smoothly, but we did live to tell the tale. December 2009 We’ve been licensed to be foster parents for many months now and had basically given up on getting placements this year. My company doesn’t allow you to roll over many days off so...

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Top 10 Reasons Having a Puppy is Better Than Having Children 

10.  My puppy has never, not once, even considered talking back. In fact, he rarely even barks, and if he does bark, it is only for the purpose of communicating very important information such as: “I have to pee”, “I’m hungry”, or “I must protect you from that popcorn maker that is going to cause you great harm at any moment.” 9. When I’m reaching my patience and just.need.a.break from the pup, it is socially acceptable to put him in a crate and walk away. They frown on doing this with children. 8. Puppy doesn’t care if little sister follows him around all day long, gives about 67 too many hugs, or wants him to play dress up. He’s even 100% cool with her “exuberant” attention in front of his buddies at the dog park. In fact, he loves it! There isn’t one thing that little sis could do to him to annoy him (trust me, she’s tried it all)! 7. Dog years work to your benefit for the baby stage. I thought my kids grew up fast, but holy crap do puppies grow up fast! While this is somewhat heartbreaking, it is also awesome for all of those less pleasant milestones (he was sleeping through the night after 1 week! Potty training was all of 2 weeks!) 6. On a related note: he will never be a teenager.  I...

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What You Need to Know About Lyme Disease

I don’t know about you, but ticks, and specifically the diseases they carry, scare the crap out of me.  With 3 kids and 3 dogs, who all love to go for long romps in the woods and field behind our house, I feel like I’m constantly on high alert for those tiny little bastards.  Just this weekend I pulled 2 ticks off of my 4 year old.  Gah! Panic mode! My awareness of the seriousness of this issue is highlighted by having people in my life with Lyme Disease, including my dear friend Brit, who has been blogging about her experience. Seeing what they have gone through makes me pray that my children never have to experience the same. But, as they say, knowledge is power.  So here are a few facts that you need to know about Lyme Disease: Perhaps the most important thing to know about Lyme Disease is how to reduce your changes of getting it in the first place.  Unfortunately, tick-borne illnesses are often spread on teeny tiny, nearly microscopically small ticks, but following these steps will help limit your chance of exposure: Avoid tick-infested areas, walk in the middle of trails, treat skin, clothing and gear with repellents and tuck pants into socks. Perform tick checks anytime you are outdoors, even if your only exposure is in your own yard.  Ticks can be as small as...

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I’m a Good Mom #unfiltered

Confident mommy shouldn’t be an oxymoron. I’m self-conscious about a lot of things.  My weight, my frequently messy house, my 401k, my complete inability to make small-talk or a good cup of coffee.  But one thing I’m not self-conscious about is my ability to be a good mom.  I’m good at this gig damnit. And I’m willing to bet that you are too. But why don’t all the good moms know how good they are?  One of my friends on Facebook recently made a comment along the lines of“Does any mother ever feel good enough?!”  What I wanted to reply was: “Yes! And you should too!”, but I was intimidated by the chorus of “Of course not”s and “No mother ever feels good enough for her kids”. What is with this epidemic of self-doubt in motherhood? I know that self-consciousness, insecurity, and doubt are nothing new to women in our society.  In fact, it’s a multi-million dollar industry. But it’s so sad to me the number of women in my life who spend more time questioning themselves than they do admiring their happy and healthy children. Listen, I know motherhood is scary, overwhelming, and shitloads of pressure (oh, just creating a human here, no big).  There are days when I screw up, I don’t know what to say or do, I lose every shred of patience and poise, but I know that all of that...

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What I Want My Children to Know About Bullying

One of the hardest things for me to tackle in parenting, as a self-admitted over protective mother, is bullying.  I raise my children to be kind and open people.  I teach them their letters and how to tie their shoes.  Then, I send them off to this wonderful place called school where they will be nurtured, taught amazing things, and blossom into a great person with a bright future.  But of course we know that it isn’t all sunshine and roses.  No matter how inclusive and proactive at tackling bullying your school is, I’m sorry to say that your child will encounter it in some form along the way.  Even that good-natured teasing among friends can carry a sting.  Some of the stories my children have come home with have been enough to break my heart (and get me marching straight to the principal’s office).  But children are children (I know even mine are not always innocent in these encounters) and learning to navigate rough social waters is equally as important as learning to read. As I collect my children off the school bus and wrap them in my love and support – hoping it fills their tanks enough to face it all again tomorrow – there are a few things I want them to know about bullying. 1. It gets better. Social approval and the opinion of your peers seems...

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