Tag Archives: parenting

Dear Internet

Dear Internet,

Most of the time, I adore you. When my kids come home with common core math worksheets and I don’t know how to help them, I’m utterly grateful to you. When there’s one line of a song stuck in my head and I don’t know the rest (nor the title or artist) you come to my rescue. And Netflix! Do I need to say more, or just catch up on every single episode of Star Trek ever?


But there are times I can’t help but despise you. You who brought my kids the opportunity to say, “Hey, Mom! Watch this YouTube video!” You, who wasn’t happy enough being on a computer, but who had to be a part of every phone, TV, and every other electronic device so that people can never just disconnect from the world. You, who makes life hard for old people even though they just want to make a call, dammit! You, who makes it impossible for a kid in junior high to fit in unless she has all the social media apps even though her mom is mean and horrible and won’t let her have them because there are Bad People out there.

eye roll

But you did bring me cat videos, so I guess that’s okay.


Love and kisses,



Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keeping and The Graveside Detective.  Her short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Paradox, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.


Interested in having your book reviewed?  Contact me.





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Filed under Family, Parenting, Random Things

The Meaning of Life

Life as a parent can be tough. There are many nights when you don’t get enough sleep. There are too many mornings when they just won’t get ready for school. There are numerous afternoons when you don’t think you’ll ever get through their homework and their sibling rivalries.

A friend asked me recently if I could imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t have kids. I could have dreamed of days spent lying on the couch with a book in my hand and never having to get up to help someone go potty or put toothpaste on their toothbrush. I might have thought of the numerous vacations I could have gone on since I wasn’t spending all my money on clothes, diapers, toys, and school fundraisers. I might have imagined a world where I could sleep all night if I wanted to, or stay up all night if I wanted to, and the only person that would have to deal with it would be me.

Instead, I found myself in a world where there were no little people to hug me and tell me I’m the best mommy in the whole wide world. There were no drawings on the fridge and no juice boxes inside it. There was nobody’s room to sneak in at night before I go to bed just to watch them sleep and know they were okay. It was a sad world full of loneliness, and I had no purpose in it.

Yes, life as a parent can be tough. But I couldn’t ever give it back.

The girls and I having a pink pajama pants party.

The girls and I having a pink pajama pants party.


Filed under Family

Mom’s the Rotten Egg

“Last one in is a rotten egg!” one of my kids screams as they all scramble into the backseat of the Subaru.  Then the debate begins on which one is truly the rotten egg.  Is it the last one physically in the car?  Or the last one to get buckled?  I settle the debate: “Mom’s the rotten egg.”

“No! You can’t be the rotten egg!  I love you!”  My littlest one can be sweet to a fault.

But, being Mom, I really am the rotten egg.  I’m first one up in the morning, but I’m the last one to bed.  I’m the last one to sit down at the breakfast/lunch/dinner table.  I’m the last one to be ready to go when we’re on our way out the door because I’ve been busy getting everyone else ready.

I’m okay with being the rotten egg though.  Parenting is tiresome, frustrating, and sometimes even confusing, but I can’t imagine not doing it.  So when the kids are racing across the yard, I’ll gladly stand back and be the rotten egg.


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Filed under Family

The Progression of Public Pottying

As a mother of three, I feel like every time we go out in public I spend a great percentage of the time in the bathroom.  No, I don’t mean for myself.  It doesn’t matter that we make the kids try to go potty before we leave the house, or that they had just gone at the last store we were at.  There is always at least one child that absolutely must go to the bathroom, and take their sweet time.  Public pottying with children comes in stages:

Stage 1:  Babies in diapers present an entire bathroom problem of their own.  This is the stage when you realize that you frequent stores and restaurants that DO NOT have baby changing tables in the restroom.

Stage 2:  Toddlers in Pullups are an interesting challenge.  Sometimes they let you know they need to go to the bathroom, and you’re so excited that you don’t mind your steak is getting cold.  Other times, they don’t tell you, and you are stuck trying to figure out how to get them changed when they refuse to lay down on a changing table that they barely fit on anyway.

Stage 3:  Once fully potty trained, a young child is obligated to visit every single public restroom within throwing distance.  Every.  Single.  One.

Stage 4:  The widely-traveled tot decides they don’t want you coming in the stall with them anymore.  This leaves you standing outside the stall and wondering just what the hell is going on in there that takes so long.

So new parents beware!  Ditching the diapers is only a gateway into future bathroom hell.


photo courtesty of freedigitalphotos.net, by nuttakit


February 10, 2014 · 8:26 pm

“I just need you.”

My attention was split between my laptop and a late night cable showing of Ghostbusters 2 when I heard the squeak of the door. At first I thought it was the cats, because they like to play around the bathroom door, but a few short seconds later I could see the figure of Violet stumbling toward me in the dimness.
“What’s the matter, baby?”
She said nothing, with her bleary not-really-awake eyes and a good size frown on her face. She just kept walking towards me.
“What do you need? What’s wrong?”
“I just need you.”
She piled herself on my lap, curling up and burying her face in my neck. She said she hadn’t had any nightmares, she was feeling okay, nothing was wrong.
“I just need you.”
My work was calling to me (I can’t ever seem to get caught up) but the weight of this child on my lap was calling me more. My mind drifted to beautiful spring days seven years ago, when a newborn baby girl and I would snuggle up on the couch. She would lay on my legs and we would play and watch TV. Sometimes she would fall asleep and I would read a book with the weight of the sleeping baby on my legs, warm and soft and perfect.
That was my paradise, in days when everything was happy and wonderful. The random and necessary course of life took a lot of that paradise away from me, but I got a little bit of it back tonight.

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Filed under Family, Parenting

The Biggest issue

This week’s blog is going to spark debate.  It is going to incite many emotions, such as rage, fear, and disbelief.  It is more important than the government shutdown.  It is more critical than Obamacare or which NFL players have been injured (and believe me, I love football).

It is parenting.

There is no bigger issue than making sure our children grow up to be happy, healthy, functional parts of society.  Everyone has a different method for this madness of child-rearing, and there isn’t a single thing wrong with that.  But what I want to know is if you don’t care enough about your children to make sure they are warm and fed, then why do you have them?

And don’t give me that, “Oh, well we didn’t really mean to have children” crap.  There are plenty of “accidents” out there that are well cared for.

What started all of this was a field-trip for my second grader.  The week building up to the trip, I received at least three flyers from the teacher reminding parents to send a jacket and a sack lunch with their children, and make sure they wear tennis shoes.  It was an outdoor trip, so at least two of those requirements should be a given.  And yet parents needed constant reminders from the teacher to do their job.

I believe most of the kids had their jackets and proper foot attire, but there were at least a couple that had no lunch.  Okay, now let’s pause real quick and take the other side.  Surely the kid ran off for the bus and left their prepared-with-love sack lunch on the kitchen table right?  Or left it on the bus?  If that were true, then why was the teacher prepared with extra lunches for those who forgot theirs?  How many times does this happen?

I can honestly tell you I would have given up my lunch if one of those kids didn’t have anything to eat.  They might not have appreciated my almond butter and honey sandwich, but it’s better than nothing, right?

Society as a whole is relying on teachers to raise our children.  I think my daughter’s teacher is fabulous, but nobody can raise 25 children all by herself.

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Filed under Parenting

A Special Child – Prologue

A sparkle floated through the air, riding the currents of the wind.  Its path might have been as random as that of dandelion fluff, or perhaps not.  It floated over rivers and lakes, past valleys and mountains, and slowly, slowly, began to descend.

The sparkle may have been a fleck of shiny paint, or glitter from a child’s grand masterpiece.  Or it may have been leftover magic from a wizard’s enchantment, cast to bring his withering garden back to life.

The breeze stalled, sending the sparkle down between the trees and the bushes, over the grass and the flowers.  Gently, gently, it pushed the sparkle in through the open window where it settled comfortably in the cake batter.

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Filed under Writing Excerpts