Articles


Can we unpack our body-image baggage?

By Maggie Lamond Simone

We have three generations of some pretty amazing women in my family.

 

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Passing on what I learned from my dad

By Maggie Lamond Simone

When I tell stories about my father from the old days, one of the most popular is about the time I broke a milk bottle in the sink and decided to stick my hand in to pull out the glass.

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Eventually, our kids become responsible for their own safety

By Maggie Lamond Simone

It seems like we spend our kids’ childhoods preparing them for the dangers of the world.

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Teens must struggle to reach their own epiphanies

By Maggie Lamond Simone

“Remember when my school supplies consisted of some folders, pencils and crayons?” my daughter said, laughing, as we laid out our cart full of this year’s supplies. “I sure miss those days!”

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Remove mental illness’ stigma, and let the conversation begin

By Maggie Lamond Simone

When I first started having migraines, people were concerned. I was concerned.

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When adolescence and menopause collide

By Maggie Lamond Simone

Watching my teenage daughter and her friends as they navigate the world of changing bodies, fluctuating hormones, short tempers and self-esteem crises, I am suddenly met with an emotional reaction heretofore relegated to her age group:

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Finally finding the real meaning of Christmas

By Maggie Lamond Simone

It starts the day after Halloween now: 24/7 Christmas carols, holiday displays and decorations in the stores, toy and gift ads at every turn, catalogs in the mailbox, cookie recipes on Pinterest, and the holiday specials on television.

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As I teen, I didn’t listen to my mom either

By Maggie Lamond Simone

When my kids were babies, I related to them as a mother; it was the only frame of reference I had. I didn’t remember being a baby, and so I couldn’t necessarily empathize with, say, the frustration of not being able to verbalize thoughts or change the channel. I was their mother, doing what I thought was best for them. And they always listened.

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But it took me a while to figure it out

By Maggie Lamond Samone

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Mothers deserve a little self-love

By Maggie Lamond Simone

All of my adult life, when I’ve visited my parents, I’ve reverted to being  
 a kid. I expect to be fussed over, for my mom to continue to mother me as she has all these years. Recently, though, it seems the dynamic has been shifting; it’s as though I finally feel like an adult with them—maybe even an adult who wants to tend to her parents, rather than the other way around. And while it feels completely natural to me, if a tad overdue, I sense that my mother doesn’t quite believe she’s worthy of the fuss.

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When your kid thinks you’re weird

By maggie Lamond Simone

Picking my daughter up at cross-country today, I thought I’d get out of the car and say hello to a few of the girls. My daughter met me midway and, as I took her hand, she pulled it back and said—a little hysterically, I thought—“What are you doing?!”

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A mother sees her babies in her children’s faces

By Maggie Lamond Simone

Every time I see a baby these days, I can’t help thinking of my own.

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A day in the life of a hormonally addled woman

By Maggie Lamond Simone

“So what’s it like,” asked a younger friend, “going through menopause while your kids are going through puberty?”

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Others are going through what you are

By Maggie Lamond Simone

Dear Kids:
I know this may come as a shock to you, but I was once a teenager.

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Celebrating the acceptance of same-sex valentines

By Maggie Lamond Simone

All you need is love. That song’s been in my head lately. February, the season of valentines, is either the most-loved or most-hated month of the year. . . depending how you feel about love at the moment. I’ve decided to embrace February and its associations this year, because I’ve seen—and continue to see—what love can do.

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Being a mother doesn’t have to determine who your buddies are

By Linda Lowen

Some women tend their friendships like master gardeners tend award-winning roses, cultivating them with lavish care and constant nurturing. You see these women in Facebook photos with a slew of BFFs at GNO (girls night out), arms slung around each other, smiles broadened by glasses of wine.

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A gift list full of gadgets signals missed connections

By Maggie Lamond Simone

Perusing my children’s Christmas list this year, I noticed an emerging theme: laptop computer, video games, cell phone apps, headphones, iPods. Electronics. I could probably do all of my shopping in one store. It could be the easiest Christmas of my parental life.

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Even bad stuff in life gives us reasons to be grateful

By Maggie Lamond Simone

This has long been my favorite time of year: changing seasons, sweater weather and Thanksgiving. I’ve always tried to teach my children to be grateful for the good in their lives, and while we try to appreciate it every day, Thanksgiving is the one time of year when we don’t need reminding.

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As her children grow up, a mother considers her next step

By Maggie Lamond Simone

“What do you want to do with your life?” It’s a question I ask my college students this time of year to help them define their goals, and I’m beginning to realize the silliness of the question. It’s almost like asking acquaintances seen at the grocery store what they did over summer break—expecting them to sum up 10 weeks of their lives in a sentence. Not an easy task.

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Parting gets easier the more often you do it

By Linda Lowen

When asked about our most vivid memories, we often recall a first kiss, wedding day or birth of a child. Not me. For much of my life my sharpest memories centered not on unions and beginnings but on separations and endings.

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Moms must learn to retire from part of their jobs

By Linda Lowen

If motherhood had a job description, the hours would be 24/7, the pay nothing you could take to the bank, and the vacation/sick time nonexistent.

 

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Another kid, another milestone

By Maggie Lamond Simone

A friend and I were standing outside recently when a neighbor’s son drove by. “No way!” I cried. “That can’t be him: He’s only 6!”

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What a difference a decade makes

By Maggie Lamond Simone

When I first began writing for Family Times, my son was a 3-year-old in preschool and my daughter, a 1-year-old on my hip. The photographer for one of my early features captured a picture of me standing in the family room of my new home, my two children running around me so fast that in the photo, they are a blur.

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Having OCD isn’t shameful

By Maggie Lamond Simone

In a recent episode of Glee, Will asked Emma’s parents for her hand in marriage. Emma struggles with OCD, obsessive-compulsive disorder. Fearing germs and contamination, her quirks include washing fruit for a certain amount of time and wearing plastic gloves when handling food. Her parents would not give their blessing to the marriage because, as they put it, “As you know, life is messy. And Emma doesn’t do messy.”

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By Maggie Lamond Simone

I’m saying the same stuff my own parents did

While lamenting her daughter’s latest eye-roll over something or other, a friend said, “The problem is, I remember this. I remember having this attitude and talking back to my mom, and I remember what my mom used to say. I can’t quite reconcile that I’m now the mom saying the things I used to hate to hear as a child.”

 

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When anticipation was part of the fun

By Maggie Lamond Simone

Love is never easy.

Anybody can tell you that, from the person wondering if he’ll ever find his soul mate, to the long-married couples still facing the daily challenges of living with someone who may or may not share their love of clutter. Technology has made it much easier in many cases, increasing the opportunities for communication. Gone are the days of kissing your spouse goodbye before heading off on a business trip and not speaking for possibly days at a time.

 

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What does it mean to be a half-century old?

By Maggie Lamond Simone

They say 50 is the new 40.

I’ve been hearing that more and more lately as my half-century mark approaches this month. Most of my friends are saying it with a kind of trepidation in their eyes, a hopeful “please don’t freak about this—you’re not going to freak about this, are you?” sense of panic lingering just behind their encouraging smiles. Most of my friends are younger than me.

 

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Surely St. Nick can put the hot flashes on ice

By Maggie Lamond Simone

Dear Santa:
It’s that time of year again already, huh? Time sure flies when you’re having . . . well, menopause, spelling bees and student council meetings. You’ll have to take my word on all counts, I’m guessing, but trust me. The times—and the moms—they are a-changin’. Heck, I could light up a Christmas tree without even plugging myself in! But that’s not why we’re here, is it? Let’s get down to business.

 

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Believing in yourself starts in fifth grade

By Maggie Lamond Simone

As I listened to my daughter singing with a friend in her room the other day, I couldn’t help popping my head in and smiling. Of course I got the eye roll and the “Mom! Please!” but as I ducked out, I suddenly flashed back to one of my own such moments.

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Blood—and other kinds of—lust

By Maggie Lamond Simone

When my kids were younger, Halloween brought out their desires. Whether the costumes represented a superhero, a butterfly, or a Star Wars character, they typically chose embodiments that might not be quite possible in real life . . . and which made them all the more desirable.

 

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Back-to-school advice that will save your sanity

By Maggie Lamond Simone

Another school year has arrived, with the attendant drama of new
teachers, friends scattered across teams, new schedules that need to be committed to memory, and parents who feel they just need to be committed. Every grade is a new challenge, and it seems that as soon as you have some sense of what to expect, a new one begins.

 

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Forgive the advice givers, we can’t help ourselves

By Maggie Lamond Simone

A good friend and her family recently adopted a dog, their first. When she came over to introduce us, I was so happy for her I could burst. I love dogs. I’ve had dogs for many years. As we stood there watching the “baby” frolic in the yard, I said, “If you need anything, let me know. I don’t know much, but I know dogs.”

 

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Parents can help kids value themselves and others

By Maggie Lamond Simone

I remember watching my daughter and her friends interact on the playground when she was 2, 3 and 4 years old. Boys or girls, quiet or rambunctious, it didn’t matter; everyone was a possible new friend. Everyone had potential. After she started school, a shift began to evolve that was so subtle, it could have been missed. It was a power shift, of sorts. When I subbed in the elementary schools during those years, I saw it almost everywhere, the divisions forming. The playground cliques. The pitting of one child against another: “If you include her, I won’t play.”

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We can’t tell them what we don’t know

By Maggie Lamond Simone

I got my first “smart phone” last month. Let me start by clearing up a common misperception about such a phone: It really is the phone that is smart. It is not just for smart people, as evidenced by the fact that I own one. However, it certainly does help to be smart to be able to use one. Or to turn it on.

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Growing up knowing too much about too much

By Maggie Lamond Simone

Typically when things change, I grudgingly keep up. Yes, it took me five years to purchase a DVD player. And I only recently began texting. I’m on Facebook, and I contemplate Twitter occasionally. I know how to use the coffee pot that makes one cup at a time, but we did finally figure out how to make the husband’s iPhone ring.

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