Back to Normal

There’s something different about the back-to-school pictures this year. Anxious mothers write words like, “Finally,” and, “Not quite the start we expected;” but that’s not it. Children smile with some trepidation, but they always have. Is it those cloth pieces masking half of everyone’s smile?

Photo by August de Richelieu on

No, what’s different is what the masks represent: fear.

We are all of us, afraid. Behind the smiles and sighs of relief and happy waves is a great nervousness of what we do not know. Will my sweet, little, smiling kindergartener get sick? Will her teacher? Will I? Even those who claim conspiracy or good sense feel it. It’s written on their faces and in the doubts behind their eyes.

But, as the old adage says, time marches on. Children march the quickest, passing from babe to school-age to teenage in the time an adult might renew a mortgage or move jobs.

Photo by Pixabay on

Yes, we fear what the future might hold. We don’t know. What we do know is that the future belongs to the children -those same sweet, little, smiling children already anxious for what First Day of School might hold.

Hug yours; give them hope as well as fear. Their future will be bright again before we know it.

©2020 Chel Owens

Unintentional One-Armed Typing

I’m typing with one hand,
With one arm,
And half a brain.

I don’t know which half-brain,
I know which one arm;
Which one hand.

I’m typing, with one arm,
And one hand
(And some brain).

I’m holding, with one arm,
And one hand
And my heart.

I’m typing, holding, living
With what I’m able to;
I’m thinking, trying, loving
Giving all of me to you.


©2020 Chelsea Owens, including photo

You Just Can’t Win

When your toddler whines
So you say, “Speak nice;”
Then his brother mocks
Your good advice:
You just can’t win.

When they’re given jobs,
Then they scowl and say,
“You want a slave of me!”
You just can’t win.

When you stand, mid-pile
And lament the clothes
So you ask, “Whose socks?”
But, then no one knows:
You just can’t win.

When you’re up all night
With not one, but three
And your best friend says,
“You should get more sleep:”
You just can’t win.

When you read of logic,
But mostly love
Then they dodge your arms;
Give a return shove:
You just can’t win.


When you tuck them in
And they’re still and sweet
Then you stare and sigh;
They’re so cute, asleep…

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Photo Credit: Zach Vessels

©2019 Chelsea Owens

Parents, Put the Phone Away!!!

I have few pet peeves. Most involve people being jerks, driving, or people being jerks while driving.

Whenever I’m out at a park or store or sitting across from someone at the breakfast table, however, I want to scream!!

Put the phone away!

What is it with this new, technological generation? Since unplugging phones from walls entirely, people and their screens can never be apart. I’m guilty, too: I left my phone at my sister’s on accident and didn’t discover the mishap till we arrived home. I felt a panic set in. All that night and the next morning I experienced pocket-reaching sensations and phantom notification-beeping.


Face it: we’ve become compulsive. If you have any games on your phone, the game creators have ensured you are compulsive -but that’s a topic for another day.

For those who think the phone addiction thing is no big deal, I’ve got some thoughts for you:

  1. What if you don’t have yours on you and are trying to maintain a conversation with your phone-happy friend, or your mom? What do you feel if that person keeps diverting attention to his/her screen?
  2. Try, if you can, to put yourself in your child’s shoes. Try to put yourself into his or her developing mind. Does your son feel that you love that electronic object more than you love him? Is he learning to treat the ones he loves that way?
  3. What, exactly, are you looking at on your screen? Social media? Is it more important than your daughter learning to swing? Can it wait?

Parenting is difficult. It’s tiring, boring, repetitive, and can feel unrewarding when our Little Darlings hop up and down and yell, “You don’t LOVE ME!!” We need breaks, especially when our patience level is bubbling up to bum-spanking levels of annoyance.


By all means, take a quick breather. Consider it a parenting smoking break. -BUT not in front of the kids. Not all morning. Not instead of never facing your feelings.

Constant turning to a slightly-entertaining distraction is just as mentally damaging as other addictive substances. In small, controlled doses it’s not so detrimental. In large, limitless amounts it’s bad.

However do we expect to learn patience, love, and tolerance for 100x of hearing “Baby Shark” if we haven’t faced a bit of parenting? However do we expect to demonstrate patience, love, and tolerance if we aren’t even looking at our children? However do we expect to teach patience, love, and tolerance if we’re not actively engaging with our kids?

We can’t. Seriously; put the phone away. Pick up life, instead.


Sunday, September 1: “It’s My OCD,” a serious discussion about mental illness and behavioral issues with children.

Monday, September 2: Poem time! “Where Are Your Shoes??

Tuesday, September 3: Discussed reusable sandwich containers.

Wednesday, September 4: “Get Out the Door!,” a sweet snippet about the black hole of “time to go.”

Thursday, September 5: Shared L. Tom Perry‘s quote on parenting.

Friday, September 6: Lamented my inability to be productive with “‘Work at Home,’ They Said.

Saturday, September 7: Erin reminded us all of the joys of parenting at night.

Sunday, September 8: That’s today!


Photo Credits:
Photo by Thallen Merlin from Pexels
Photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels
Photo by Porapak Apichodilok from Pexels


©2019 Chelsea Owens

Five Minutes Later

Why did I run the load today
When, five minutes later
They’ve come in from play?

Why did I put their cup in the sink
When, five minutes later
They want more to drink?

Why did I have them brush for bed
When, five minutes later
They’re eating some bread?

Why did I make them? I sigh and shrug.
Five minutes later,
One gives me a hug.


Photo Credit:
Magdalena Smolnicka


©2019 Chelsea Owens