Mama J on October 30th, 2008

When Amy was about three or four (she’s now nine) I thought of starting a website called Mama Jo’s Travel Tips.  I had a fantasy that Amy and I would travel the country and post reviews on the activities we did and the places we stayed.  Of course, that would have required unlimited time and […]

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Mama J on October 29th, 2008

I think I picked up this term, zigzag evolution, from Patricia Papernow’s foundational book, Becoming a Stepfamily.  The meat of this concept is that stepfamilies do not evolve in a straight, predictable, line.  Rather, they zigzag, more along the lines of the one-step- forward, two-steps-back analogy.  While it’s true that all families zigzag to some […]

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Don’t fret. Your college girls will search once more for connectedness and roots. They just need a little time to spread their wings. Even if you daughter never actually said, “I can’t wait to get out of this house!” she probably thought it once or twice during the high school years.  And unless she’s either […]

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Mama J on October 23rd, 2008

If we ride gracefully away from the election battlefield to view the election from a higher hilltop, we may realize what an opportunity any presidential election presents for the young women in our lives. It’s an exciting time, one that provokes a lot of questions about who is voting for whom and why.  Elementary and […]

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Mama J on October 22nd, 2008

Your Turn:  Where do you turn when stepfamily dynamics have you in a mood?  “…this angst brings me to what I call my ‘swing point:’ the point at which my thoughts and feelings cross to the dark side.”  As much as I try to stay positive, every once in a while I go into a […]

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Mama J on October 21st, 2008

I went horseback riding this weekend, catching what is possibly the last of the blazing gold aspen on our Northern Colorado ridges before the trees turn and the snow starts to fall.  On the ride, I enjoyed the company of several teenagers, all of whom fell into a respectful silence as we journeyed across meadows and through […]

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Mama J on October 16th, 2008

Today I want to share with you two great resources to aid your parenting or stepparenting efforts. First, check out this organization I’ve just learned about called The Mother Daughter Project:  a community of women and girls dedicated to discovering and sharing ways mothers and daughters can stay close and thrive together through adolescence and […]

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Mama J on October 15th, 2008

I like to think of myself as a compassionate person, but sometimes my compassion allowance runs low.  I become too tired or too wrapped up in my own work and life issues to show compassion to my kids.  That’s when I lose sight of what I call “the good.” Before my stepchildren became young adults, […]

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Mama J on October 14th, 2008

In rare form today, I’m stating my conclusion first: I don’t think there is any one right time or age for your daughter to get the first holes in her precious earlobes.  However, these considerations and stories might help you make or refine your plan about what is probably the most common request from daughters […]

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Mama J on October 9th, 2008

Several readers who know me wanted the history of Mama J.  You asked, I’m telling. My daughter Amy’s middle name begins with a J.  Somewhere along the way, when Amy was about three, I started calling her Amy J for a nickname.  She actually didn’t like it at first, but by the time she was […]

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