Posts in Parenthood
#OnOurSleeves: Celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month!

Riley has always had to work hard to focus on what was happening in front of him, and has often struggled to stay in a positive mindset. When he was seven, we had him assessed so we would have a better sense of what he might need from us in terms of supports. I thought I was ready for whatever might come up during those assessments, but when the pediatric psychologist gently told us that Riley met all the criteria for ADHD, I was shocked. How had I missed this? Was he going to need medication? Do we really know the long-term effects of that medication on tiny bodies? Weren’t there other options for treating it?

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Nosy Nellies: How to endure unsolicited pregnancy/parenting advice

When you’re pregnant (and even after you give birth), everyone has opinions for you. And for some reason, most of these advice-givers don’t seem able to simply share what worked for them... instead, they all seem convinced that their way is The Right Way and all other ways will inevitably lead to Doom and Gloom for you, your partner (if you have one), and your baby.

This turns out to be true whether you’re transgender or not, so I thought I’d share my tips for surviving Nagging Nancies during pregnancy and early parenthood.

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"Is that a boy or a girl?" Gender and Parenting, part 2

“Why did you decide to gender your baby at birth?”

Every once in awhile, a stranger (usually online) will ask us this question.

In most cases, it’s intended as a “gotcha.” People who don’t want the best for us will ask it in jest, attempting to poke holes in our argument that perhaps gender is less rigid and fixed than we’ve been led to believe. Other times it’s asked by a trans or non-binary person who imagines that we are upholding the gender binary by assuming what gender our baby is.

It is rarely asked with good intention, but for the sake of this blog post… let’s assume it IS being asked that way (and then I’ll discuss why the first two ways of asking it are harmful).

I guess I have to explain my beliefs on gender to begin with.

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Managing Kids' Digital Lives

We put a lot of time and energy into thinking about ways to moderate our kids’ digital intake. They would do screentime all day every day if we let them, and we would rather they have literally NO screentime. How do we compromise? By finding educational and fun ways to engage them in tablet play. The Fire HD 8 Kids Edition tablet and FreeTime parental controls help us do just that!!!

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Traditions

This year, we’ve been able to accomplish a couple of our holiday traditions with ease using the new Fire HD 8 Kids Edition. Hailey got hers just a couple of weeks ago and it couldn’t have come at a better time for her development. As it turns out, the Parent Dashboard allows me to pick and choose exactly what games, movies, and apps she’s allowed to access, AND I can see what she’s played, watched, and read at any time. I’ve already been able to pull a, “Tell me about that game!” so she could explain the strategy behind one of her new favorite apps, a problem-solving puzzle based on Beauty and the Beast.

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The Small Stuff

When you have a crappy stroller... you know it. It doesn’t open up easily, so you’re always trying to somehow balance your cup of coffee and your baby while pleading with the stroller to JUST UNLATCH ALREADY. There’s this little tiny space underneath where somehow you’re supposed to fit your diaper bag but in reality, only one kid-sized sweatshirt can be stored there. And when you have to put it away, it somehow always manages to collapse in the closet, pushing the hallway door open so guests can see all of last year’s Christmas decorations sitting there. 

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Into the Wild

I laid everything out the night before (Biff chuckling away in the kitchen watching me) and piled the heavy-ass packs into the car and set my alarm. “Tomorrow is backpacking, buddy! Go to sleep early because I’m gonna be waking you up at 6am!” He fell asleep with a giddy smile on his face, so stoked to be alone in the wilderness with just his dad.

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Trump, Politics, and Parenthood

We white people have failed our fellow white people. In our efforts to advance racial justice, we chose to leave our fellow white people behind. And these are the very people who have come to resent “political correctness.” These are the people who feel like no one cares about the ways in which they also face oppression. This is how they found a friend in Donald Trump. 

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ParenthoodBiff Chaplow
Man and Mother Are Not Mutually Exclusive

Honestly, I’ve never really felt like a dad. The things that I do for my family and my kids on a daily basis don’t seem to encompass how dads are portrayed in the media or in our culture. I suppose I could set out to redefine what it means to be a dad, but there is already a word that feels more appropriate to me: mom. 

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On Sex and Parenthood

Suddenly, my nights were spent soothing my crying baby. I was constantly flustered and scrambling to get my shit together. My once clean and tidy house became a whirlwind of shoes, toys, and an embarrassing amount of food crumbs. The same things began to happen to my personal appearance (including the crumbs). Bathing my children and making breakfast became a bit more important than fixing my hair. I started to find that the jeans that made my ass look good weren't the pants I wanted to wear to curl up on the couch and read children's books. I stopped noticing myself and so did everyone else. I stopped feeling sexy.

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Trauma and Parenting

This is the second blog in my series on parenting with a social justice focus. In each post, I start with a specific parenting situation that I found a way to bungle through. Then I cover what my big-picture parenting goals were, in that scenario. Finally, I'll give a few tips and tricks for how to navigate similar situations in your own parenting life. Hopefully, others will learn from my mistakes.

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And then... I had Kids.

Parenting is hard. It involves managing so many priorities and the stakes are high. One of the more annoying parts about parenting is the culture around it.  Everyone thinks THEY know what YOU should do with your child. It tends to include an endless barrage of blog posts, articles, books, even full movements... all centered around the idea that parenting is some static practice that should function in the same way, regardless of the parent or child. 

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"What made Donald Trump mean?"

This is the first in my series on parenting with a social justice focus. In each post, I’ll start with a specific parenting situation that I found a way to bungle through. Then I’ll cover what my big-picture parenting goals were, in that scenario. Finally, I'll give a few tips and tricks for how to navigate similar situations in your own parenting life. Hopefully, others will learn from my mistakes.

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