Pick of the Clicks 6/24/2016

Hi friends and happy weekend to you. I’ve spent most of the week dressed as a mermaid (here’s why), but in the few minutes of quiet time in my underwater cove here are some fabulous things from the internet to share with you:

Molly deFrank’s hilarious What It’s Like to Have Four Kids: so funny and so true (even as a mom of three!)

Kasey Edwards’ When Your Mother Says She’s Fat (and in a similar vein, check out this week’s podcast of This American Life Tell Me I’m Fat – lots to think about there)

I LOVE this infographic on the Benefits of Reading

This was fascinating: research proves that having kids makes you significantly less happy. In the USA, that is. And why it doesn’t have to be that way.

Brittany from the BamBlog has great words for parents… and everyone, really… in this one: I love you… but I can’t read your mind.

And a standing ovation to Tanya Marlow for her essay When God is Silent:

I want to say it loudly: the claim that you will always feel God’s peace during suffering is a myth. No matter how mature a Christian you are, sometimes you suffer and God feels desperately absent. Sometimes there’s an explanation in hindsight. Sometimes there’s a lesson learned from it. But sometimes there’s just silence and mystery.

From me? This blog has been quite quiet, but I’ve had a couple of pieces–and my first podcast!—up elsewhere on the web recently.

I got to talk with George Penk over at LifeFM Radio in New Zealand: On Women (and Wives, in particular) finding their place in Ministry (interview from 1:28 to 11mins)

Who knew this was such a Smoking Hot Topic… but here are some thoughts up at RELEVANT mag this week on sex, marriage, and that steamy phrase from Talladega Nights: OK, Let’s Stop All The Talk About Smoking Hot Wives

Writing for one of my favorite places on the internet, for Christianity Today’s Hermeneutics: on how Timehop Helps Me To See God’s Providence (why yes, scrolling through Facebook memories CAN be a sort of spiritual discipline!)

And then for Start Marriage Right, on What Marriage Is—And What It Isn’t

And your final moment of fun for the week, this final video… because sometimes in the middle of teaching kids manners and gratitude and arithmetic, we also need to teach them the coping skills of silliness:

Thanks for reading, friends, and happy clicking!

I’ll be a Mermaid for Jesus

The cashier was bagging the final groceries before she asked me the question: “So, how come you have glitter all over you? Are you a preschool teacher? Did a craft go wrong?”

MermaidBron

Darling it’s better down where it’s wetter, take it from me…

Nope.

Not a preschool teacher (oh the horror!) Not doing crafts. The real reason for my high state of sparkle this week is that, together with two friends, I am spending this week dressed as a mermaid.

With a tail.

And long, impossibly-bright-colored hair.

And a whole lotta glitter.

My two mermaid friends (who are GORGEOUS, but cropped from the picture because they’re very private sea-people) and I have the task of teaching the Bible story at our church’s annual Vacation Bible Camp, and since the theme is “Deepsea Discovery” and the whole plaice is decked out with underwater decor, we decided to suit up for the task. Fintastic.

[Apologies for the puns, friends, but lame jokes are my coping mechanism and I. am. tired.]

We have 252 kids (and 80 junior and adult kelpers) swimming around campus this week (they’re in school…) learning that God is with them wherever they go. The theme of the days are that God knows us (like he knew Noah!), he hears us (like he heard Jonah in the belly of a big fish), he strengthens us (like he helped Peter walk on water), and he loves and sends us (as he did his disciples). Five days. Five lessons. Five days of brightly colored-themed-and-still-nutritious snacks.

It’s a high energy week, and even though I’m an extrovert, this week still leaves me flounder-ing. Working with kids is not my strong suit, but as I’ve written before, I keep signing up because I know what a difference it made in my own life to have adult volunteers tell me about Jesus at VBS and in Sunday School. It changed my life.

And so here I am: standing on campus in a highly-glittered state, wearing a thick wig in triple-digit heat, with a lycra suit outlining EVERY contour of the lower half of my body…. and in this moment I am so grateful for the words the Apostle Paul penned in 1 Corinthians 4:10: We are fools for Christ. We are madmen. (or mermen, as the case may be). And just a few paragraphs later in 1 Corinthians 9:22: To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.

Or, as the case may be: to the little fish, I become a fish, in order to win the fishies for Christ.

For one week, I’m one of a sea of volunteers who are laying aside our preferences: singing louder than we’re comfortable with, doing dance moves that make the Macarena look choreographed by comparison, playing water games and wearing outfits. Why? Because there are 252 little people here who are DEEPLY loved by Jesus and need to know that. And if I keep my eye on them—rather than the itch of the wig or the sweat of the suit—it makes all the difference. For if they find and keep the treasure this week—the truth that they are known, heard, helped and wildly loved by God—they are rich beyond all counting of it.

Pray with us that they’ll find it 🙂

 

On Anger, Stanford Justice, and Calling a Spade a Spade

I have things to do this week, and other things I wanted to write, but I’m slamming dishes and cutlery so hard in my kitchen right now that the children are looking nervous. Yes, Mommy is angry. Mommy is more than angry. Mommy is FURIOUS.

195629063_2226295908_zI’m angry because in the last two days I have read a handful of articles on what happened when star Stanford swimmer, Brock Allen Turner, was on trial for sexual assault. A woman was at a party with her sister. Like everyone else at the party, they drank too much. But for this one woman, she landed up unconscious behind a dumpster while young Mister Turner shoved his fingers and various other objects (like pine needles. PINE NEEDLES, people!) into her vaginal cavity. The woman’s statement is here (Read it. And make your teens and college age kids read it, too.)

This is why I went to law school, friends. Because when I was sixteen I was already furious about harm done to women and children, and how justice was so inaccessible in so many situations. Women are disbelieved, and abused, and it should not be so. That the law had the ability and the mandate to protect the weakest called to my inner core. I wanted to be on the side of justice. I wanted young women who were pulled behind dumpsters in the dark of night to be able to see their perpetrators punished.

The judge handed down his verdict in the Turner trial: six months for sexual assault, including probation. Sexual assault, even though his offense meets the FBI’s updated definition of rape, and no one has EVER contested that he did in fact do it. The judge didn’t want the perpetrator to have to suffer “too severe” consequences for his actions….

… and this, friends, is where I start to slam dishes in the kitchen. And this is why I quit law: because for all the good that the law can do, in the hands of persuasive lawyers and evidential sleights of hand and spin-in-arguments, justice is so often not done. The victim’s character landed up being on trial. And the perpetrator, after all was said and done, “regretted his night of drinking.”

Not, “regretted his actions in sexually assaulting a woman”.

No, “regretted his night of drinking”.

Just to be clear: drinking is not a crime. Sexual Assault is. Let’s call a spade a spade, folks. But why are we surprised? The perpetrator’s father issued his own statement in which he expresses regret that his son got the harsh sentence he did: “this is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action.”

Not, “this is a steep price to pay for sexually assaulting a woman.”

No, “for 20 minutes of action.”

(you need to picture the sound track in my kitchen. slam. crash. slam.)

As if rape were a quick game of tennis. Or a couple minutes of pick-up basketball with a mate. Not STRIPPING AN UNCONSCIOUS WOMAN and dry humping her in the dark while you shove things up her. By that definition, “twenty minutes of action” could be a shooting spree at a high school, or dicing your friend on the highway at 130 miles per hour while you wind down from your evening of draining a keg. No effing way. Nope.

I wonder what that Father would have called it if it had been his daughter who had gone to a party at college, had too much to drink, and been pulled behind a dumpster? Do you think he would have dismissed it as “twenty minutes of action” and told his daughter to just get over it? I’m willing to bet he would have been crying for blood. Because what you CALL a thing says a great deal about what you believe about a thing. And “sexual action” isn’t the same as “sexual assault.” Being drunk is not the same as being a rapist.

Sin is sin. Rape is rape. Assault is assault. Trauma is trauma.

And Justice should be justice.

Maybe there’s a time for euphemisms: like when we tell our little kids that someone is “sick” instead of “terminally ill”, or “people hurting each other” instead of “genocide”. But there comes a time when we need to grow up and call a spade a spade. We need to name assault (or racism! or misogyny!) for what it is, because failure to do so perpetuates rape culture and myriad other injustices.

I’m not usually a fan of people filing civil claims for punitive damages, but as in the case of OJ Simpson, I hope this woman sues the pants off Brock Turner. Or at least, sues the smarmy smile off his face.

Pick of the Clicks 06/03/2016

If you live where we live, and you don’t have access to a swimming pool, then you’ll be spending the weekend indoors with the air conditioning cranked to piggy-bank-emptying-levels. Yes, it’s that hot.

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But here’s the good news: while you’re indoors, here are some great things to read (and, if you need such things – language warning on links 1 and 3):

Best freaking thing I’ve read about parenting, the internet and the whole tragedy at the Cincinnati zoo: Hey America, do accidents happen anymore? Especially when a kid is involved? (Thank you, Kimberley Harrington!)

Nailed it: Alain de Botton with Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person˚. (and on that note, this week’s “Ask me anything” question was Am I too young to get married, and how can I know if he’s the One?)

Brilliant advice which I’m planning to implement even though I’m not yet 50: What Not to Wear After Age 50 – the Final Say in Very Adult Language (Christine Crosby)

11-year old and disabled, Ella French drops the mic with her critique of the soon to be released Me Before You: Dear Hollywood, Why Do You Want Me Dead?

Adopting all 9 of these INSTANTLY: Perelandra Beedles’ 9 Body Positive Terms You Need To Teach Your Daughter

From me: the story I didn’t think I’d tell about how everything went wrong on our recent trip and how I couldn’t shake the feeling I was “supposed” to be grateful and happy as a Christian, but mostly I was just frustrated and mad at how things had worked out: When Gratitude Doesn’t Mean a Finished Story.

Perhaps just the words you need to hear today: from Thomas G. Fiffer: Indulgeo Vestri.

Two EXCELLENT book recommendations: Chris Cleave’s Everyone Brave is Forgiven (set in world war two – so tragic – but with laugh out loud dialog), and Jonathan Grant’s Divine Sex – a compelling vision for Christian relationships in a hyper sexualized age (it is SO GOOD friends – you can read an excellent summary and review here. And it’s currently only $2.99 on kindle!)

and your final piece of AWESOME: 20+ Passive Aggressive Office Notes That Are So Good You Can’t Even Be Mad.

This week also saw the third bloggity birthday of this little corner of the internet, and so with that I wanted to say thank you for following along on this journey, for reading and sharing and leaving comments. When I first started this blog I had no idea that anyone would read it…. what a wonderful surprise it has been to open up this corner of my virtual living room and have you all come to visit. Thanks 🙂

And with that: happy clicking!

Ask Me: How can I know if he’s the one? And are we too young to get married?

Am I too young to get married? How can I know if he's the one?

Dear Bronwyn,

My boyfriend and I are both 20, and have been dating for 4 years. We have been talking about getting married for a few months and I’m getting scared. I’m scared that he’s not the one for me because I don’t have that gut feeling and part of me is saying run away and that were both pretty young. I really want to be with him and wake up next to him. I’m worried I’m just in love with the idea of getting married and he’s convenient so I should just marry him. But we have a fuzzy electrical feeling when we kiss or touch and I don’t want to let that go. He says he knows I’m the one for him, but I just wish I had that feeling too. He’s everything I didn’t know I wanted in a husband. I’ve prayed and asked God for a sign to let me know if hes the one for me. The first time He sent a shooting star. The second time I felt like He was telling me through particular songs that kept coming up on the radio. After that second time you would think “Okay, God, I get the message,” but I still can’t shake the gut feeling of wanting to run. Is that the devil at work? Does the Bible say anything about this? Please help.

From,

Dating but Doubting

Dear DbD,

I hear three questions in your letter: Are we too young to get married? How can I know if he’s the one? And, will God give me a sign that I’m making the right decision? I’ll try to touch on each of these:

Firstly, on the question of “how old is old enough to marry?”: A hundred years ago (and probably for centuries before that), a couple who were twenty and had been together for four years may well already have been married! It is a strange feature of our modern world that it has become normal to delay marriage for ten, even fifteen, years later than our ancestors did.

But there is still much to be said for marrying young. In her excellent article The Case for Getting Married Young, Karen Swallow Prior talks about the difference between seeing marriage as the cornerstone, rather than the capstone, of your adult life. I was one who married a little later, but am now in a position where I have a group of friends who are my age but many of them have been married ten years longer than we have (and have kids going to college already!!), because they married in their late teens and early twenties. When these friends of mine talk about their marriages, they talk about how they and their husbands had to grow up together: they figured out how to “adult” (as it now seems to be a verb) as a team… and they are the better for it.

But this is not the norm with most people in their early twenties. I hear more people talk about first wanting to reach certain career and financial milestones before thinking about marriage, and while this is the conventional wisdom of our age, I don’t think the Bible has anything to say about seeking first career and financial stability, and then marriage being added unto you. Certainly, those who delay marriage and land up making poor sexual choices as a result have not chosen well. (In fact, did you know that in the Westminster Catechism, in the discussion of ways in which the seventh commandment is infringed, they list “undue delay of marriage” as one? Qu 139 over here.)

The health and maturity of your relationship matters so much more than your age. I would encourage you to try to rely less on your feelings and more on the wisdom of your community in taking stock of whether you and your boyfriend’s relationship is healthy and mature enough to move towards marriage. Ask your parents, leaders around you at church, trusted friends, and people who have been married a while: ask them about their experiences, ask them what advice they’d have, and then ask them if they would help you to identify any red flags they might see: do you have patterns of co-dependency that you might not be aware of? how do you handle anger, disappointment, and conflicts of interest etc? Also, if you are seriously thinking about marriage, I would strongly encourage you to do pre-marital counseling. Take your time and take it seriously: pre-marital counseling doesn’t “solve” any issues up front, but it really does a lot to help you walk into marriage with your eyes wide open and your expectations adjusted towards reality. If you can—and this is gold—stay in relationship with those counselor’s and ask if you can check in with them every couple of months after you are married. That kind of mentoring makes the world of difference.

As to the question: “how can I know if he’s the one?” I’ve written about the idea of finding the “one” and how much we can trust the tingly feelings of dating chemistry here, so I won’t go into too much about that more. I do want to add this, though: that you are dating in a millennial climate where we all like to keep our options open, but the downside of that is that sometimes keeping all our options open means also watching them all go by without having taken any. The desire to optimize all our experiences—to find the best deal, or the perfect vacation destination,  or the dream school, or the perfect mate—leads us to the deluded belief that if we just do enough internet research, we will make the perfect decision and then life will be easy. But it is a delusion. And sometimes, wisdom says that we would be happiest if we picked the GOOD option and worked with that, rather than indefinitely delaying deciding because we’re waiting for the best.

I mention this just to express some sympathy for the cultural climate we live in: the fear we have of “making the wrong decision” and “settling for second best” is horribly amplified by the world around us; and it is undergirded by the false premise that the “best” decision (or “the one”) really is out there, and that if we would just find that one then we will all live happily ever after. But life is not like that, and no matter how wonderful you and your partner may be (or how long you wait), marriage is still one between sinners and you will have seasons of deep challenge and mutual refining… and in the process, grow together.

Now that’s not to say we should go to a dance and “take a partner by the hand and doh-se-doh into happily ever after” with the first available single guy. Obviously, we need more wisdom than that: finding someone who loves God, who loves you, with whom you can grow and serve together, and (I think this is a deal breaker), with whom you can laugh at both triumphs and disappointments, goes a long way towards making marriage smoother. You say in your letter “he’s everything I didn’t know I wanted in a husband.” I think that’s a really encouraging start 🙂

Finally: will God give me a sign so I can be sure? Probably not. Will he give you wisdom if you ask? Yes. Will he give you guidance as you prayerfully try to figure this out? Yes. Will he make the decision for you? Usually no. Not unless you’re Gideon. But take heart, dear friend: just because God hasn’t put an appendix at the back of the Bible with the list of who you will marry (wouldn’t that be a trip?) doesn’t mean he isn’t leading, guiding, and providing, or that he won’t work in good and amazing ways through this process of questioning you’re going through. If I think back on the discernment process through my own dating and deciding-to-marry relationships: I felt so unsure at the time, and really wished God would just TELL ME WHAT TO DO ALREADY, but as I look back I can see his faithfulness in answering every one of my prayers, for being with me through the breakups, and in landing up where I have. I have ever confidence He has no less than abundant plans for flourishing for you, too.

All the best,

Bronwyn

Got a question you want to send my way? You can ask me anything here…

Pick of the Clicks 5/29/2016

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It’s a quiet weekend at our house: my husband and my eldest are on a backpacking trip, and our boys are exhausted after a day of swimming and an extended-dance-party-with-light-sabers (because, BOYS). So, that leaves time for a little weekend curating. Here are some of my favorite things from the interwebz of late:

My favorite read this week is from Nicole Cliffe. But before I tell you about this piece, I should say I had read another piece of hers two days before: In Which I Freely Endorse THINX Period Underwear, which had me rolling with laughter as I read. And then, from this same author, 48 hours later I read this—How God Messed Up My Happy Atheist Life—a STARK contrast in subject matter, but the combination of humor and realness and All The Things makes me want to be her BFF right away. This is a must read, friends:

I had started to meet more people of faith, having moved to Utah from Manhattan, and thought them frequently charming in their sweet delusion. I did not wish to believe. I had no untapped, unanswered yearnings. All was well in the state of Denmark. And then it wasn’t.

This was heartbreaking, from Zhaniah – What I want you to know about growing up in Foster Care and subsequently aging out:

I have spent most of my life in foster care and I can tell you, it is like drowning… repeatedly. You are swallowed–wholly, all at once, by something so other, so absolute that you cannot even make sense of it. Each time you fight your way to the top, reaching your hand out for anyone to save you; yet again you sink. Maybe next time. Occasionally, you make it to the top. You are so close to the shore that you begin to think you are in the clear, that you have found some semblance of safety; just to have a wave knock into you, and drag you below. After a while you give in—allowing your body to be swept under; accepting your fate as a sinking ship. You refuse to give the sea a chance to force your body into collapsing, yet again. You give into this immense nothingness because really this is the home you know. You realize the darkness, your quiet and lone purgatory is the only place you have ever belonged-thus the only place you can ever belong. And then, you are under so long that the ground seems like it was never meant for you at all; it is a fairy-tale, gifted to boys and girls nothing like you. Children who are so much more than you. Maybe you were fighting this void for no reason. Maybe no one ever intended to save you anyway.

Really thought-provoking insights on time and whether we have enough of it from Jen Pollock Michel in There’s Never Enough Time:

(T)o suggest that I “do it all” by waving my time management wand over life’s unruliness is to ignore a glaring distinction between me and many other busy mothers: material privilege.

I LOVE Addie Zierman’s answer to a young woman who has been so hurt by her church experience and is now wondering whether any of the spiritual stuff she sees around her is, as Peeta asks in the Hunger Games, “Real or Not Real?

The truth is, every single person gets a mixed bag of messages; half-truths mixed with lies mixed with truth. No matter how genuinely good their family or their youth group or their church or their friends are. No matter how theologically sound their upbringing might have been. Everyone ends up with a bunch of lies mixed in, whether they know it or not. What makes us lucky, you and me, is we know it. 

I LOVE this post from Melanie Dale, and would have included it in this week’s roundup even if it hadn’t been a guest post on this here blog: Cheer Mom. (And, if you click on the link, you still have a couple of days to enter to win a copy of her fabulous book, Women are Scary):

If you are a cheer mom or a cheerleader, forgive me. It’s not you it’s me. I will adjust and be as awesome as possible. I will bring snacks and learn to tie bows and be the sports bra of supportiveness. Don’t give up on me. Please be my friend.

(I mean COME ON: “I will be the sports bra of supportiveness” 🙂 I giggled for a good couple of minutes over that one.)

Then—sound the trumpets!—this week Anne at Modern Mrs Darcy released her annual Summer Reading Guide, and I have instantly queued up a whole host of titles on request on my Kindle. Wondering what to read next? Take a look at the Summer Reading Guide: I’ve read many of her suggestions over the last 2 years and EAGERLY look forward to this each year.

And then this ad, featuring 52 year old ballet dancer Alessandra Ferri, is just AWESOME:

From me this week: To the Brave Volunteers at Vacation Bible School.

And, since it’s Memorial Day, here’s a Letter To My Children on Memorial Day.

Happy Clicking, friends!

 

Cheer Mom

M-E-L-A-N-I-E!!! Who have we for company?

It’s MELANIE! Go-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o Melanie!

(Please welcome Melanie Dale to the blog today. Better than that: cheer for her, because this is fantastic)

I’m not even sure I’m capable of woohooing unsarcastically, although I’ll do anything to try to support my daughter.

 

I am the world’s worst soccer mom. I hate grass. I hate sports. I hate being outside and sweating. I stand on the sidelines griping about mosquitos and armpits while the other parents cheer supportively.

I know. I sound super fun. I think when God made me he had in mind more of an indoor, bookish sort who could read about other people experiencing the outdoors from the comfort of a nice sofa.

After years of schlepping folding chairs to fields and trying to make small talk with other moms on the sidelines while my kids attempted to remember which goal was theirs, I finally got to give it a rest. First one, then another child tried and quit soccer and my third and final child decided against giving it a go. I breathed a sigh of relief. It was finished.

And then something happened that made me long for the days of soccer. My youngest, a wee kindergartner, has decided she desperately needs to try cheerleading.

What.

There’s something about parenting that makes us confront our deepest, darkest fears, and I have the fear of athletics AND ginormous girly bows and here is a sport that combines both. We are now facing a childhood filled with grosgrain ribbon and herkies and pyramids.

As I filled out the online form, I felt my insides shrivel. This sport comes with more enthusiasm than any other. Cheerleading is the choice of perky people who love their teams and feel things like loyalty and school spirit and such.

Clearly I am doomed. I’m not even sure I’m capable of woohooing unsarcastically, although I’ll do anything to try to support my daughter. (Though I’m secretly nursing some healthy vengeance against her for putting me through this. How. Dare. She.)

Cheerleaders: R-O-W-D-I-E THAT’S THE WAY WE SPELL ROWDY, ROWDY, LET’S GET ROWDY WOO-WOO-WOO!

Me: But it’s not. That’s not how you spell it. Do they not know? DO THEY NOT KNOW?!?

I had it on good authority that I was going to raise nerds. My husband was the president of the chess club at his little private school where I picture them all in matching argyle and knee pants. (This is probably not true but let me have my fantasy. The chess part was real and he is so hot to me in my mind. Take my pawn again, Nerd King. You’re the man.)

I had glasses, braces, zits, and a varsity letter in showchoir. So, you know, the nerd thing for my kids seemed like a reasonable assumption. I was hoping to throw in some kind of woodwind instrument and a band uniform involving a ruffled dickie to seal the deal, but no. Now I’m looking at pom poms and spankies. (My husband just informed me that cheering seems awfully similar to showchoir and jazz hands. Now I’m questioning everything and need chocolate and a fuzzy blanket and some tap shoes.)

My child is going to be a cheerleader. faints, stands back up, watches Bring It On, faints again

Just as the shaking in my hands from signing her up ebbed a bit, I got an email in my inbox about…football. That’s dumb. Nobody here does that thing. Football? Please. I’ve spent 38 years trying lackadaisically to understand that game and I never will. I watch the Superbowl for Beyonce and Beyonce alone. Why was I getting an email welcoming my child to the world of football OH MY GOSH CHEERLEADERS CHEER FOR FOOTBALL GAMES HOT DAMN.

Cheering doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The girls are cheering FOR something. For boys. I will be spending every Saturday on a football field watching my daughter shake her booty for a bunch of padded up peewee players.

I’m wondering if she’ll forgive me for screaming random epithets about THE PATRIARCHY!

Me: GIRLS! YOU DON’T HAVE TO CHEER FOR BOYS! CHEER FOR YOURSELVES! WHO’S CHEERING FOR YOU, GIRLS!?!

My daughter: I don’t know that crazy woman over there whipping her bra through the air. Weird.

This is what’s going through my head as I prepare for cheer season, I mean football season. I didn’t even watch Friday Night Lights or Varsity Blues. (I thought Friday Night Lights was about theatre openings and marquees. True story.)

I’m completely intimidated because this is not my lane.

But. It’s my daughter’s lane, and even though I can’t be in the lane, I’m going to be at the end of the lane cheering wildly for my little cheerleader. Melanie Dale, Cheer Mom.

If you are a cheer mom or a cheerleader, forgive me. It’s not you it’s me. I will adjust and be as awesome as possible. I will bring snacks and learn to tie bows and be the sports bra of supportiveness. Don’t give up on me. Please be my friend.

This is what we do as moms, isn’t it? We support our kids and consequently end up thrown into new situations with other moms who intimidate the heck out of us as we act like we know what we’re doing. So let me be the first to say, “Hi. I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m intimidated and a total dork and scared of blowing it with all of you.”

This is the First Base of mom dating. We didn’t choose to be together, but our kids are in this activity and we’re here so we might as well get to know each other. Wanna know about the other bases and what I’ve learned about momlationships? I wrote it all down for you in a book, Women Are Scary: The Totally Awkward Adventure of Finding Mom Friends, and Bronwyn’s giving away a copy! Enter below! Woo-hoo! (I’m practicing my cheering yay!)

 

61SMJJdFuqL._UX250_Melanie Dale is a minivan mama and total weirdo who stinks at small talk. Her laugh is a combination honk-snort, and it’s so bad that people have moved away from her in the movie theater. She adores sci-fi and superheroes and is terrified of Pinterest. Author of Women Are Scary: The Totally Awkward Adventure of Finding Mom Friends and It’s Not Fair: Learning to Love the Life You Didn’t Choose (August 2016), she’s also a contributor for Coffee+Crumbs and an advocate for Children’s HopeChest. She’s been featured on Parenting.com, Scary Mommy, Working Mother Magazine, Deadspin’s Adequate Man, and Today’s Christian Woman. Living in the Atlanta area, she blogs at Unexpected.org about motherhood, orphan care, infertility, and sometimes poo. You can find her on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@unexpectedmel)

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Image Credit: Cheerleader/ThaQeLa (Flickr Creative Commons), edited using Canva by moi.