Last December I got to interview Rep. Ilhan Omar for about two hours. It was incredible. If you want to read that interview, you can here.
But I was originally asked to create a narrative from the interview. I loved that more than just posting a Q & A, but MN Monthly wanted to do it the other way, so the article has just been sitting in my files.
Now that Ilhan Omar is running for Congress, I want to share it with you. It's a narrative of Omar's answers to my questions, but without the questions included.
Below is a brief excerpt from my article, Serving Up Connection, published in the September 2017 issue of StepMom Magazine.
It’s no surprise that quality time with your stepkids will help foster a closer relationship.We all dream of being able to spend genuine, meaningful and, of course, conflict-free time together. But reality can and does get in the way. The parenting schedule is often changing and complicated. Life gets busy with work, running kids to lessons, cleaning the house and cooking dinner. If the relationship is tense, the thought of setting aside time to try and connect can feel like volunteering for an hour of emotional punishment. Thankfully there is hope. Laura Markham, PhD, is a mom, clinical psychologist and author of the Peaceful Parent series, which includes titles like “Peaceful Parent, Happy Stepkids” and “Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings.” She hosts AhaParenting.com, writes for publications like “Psychology Today” and offers us profound yet simple advice. “In relationships,” Markham notes, “without quantity there’s no quality.” In other words, small but frequent moments of connection will make it possible to have the quality time we desire. Instead of striving for an
entire evening of laughter and soul-baring connection with your stepkids (and then feeling guilty if it doesn’t happen), focus that energy into small, frequent attempts to connect.
Want to read more? Check out stepmommag.com
Originally published on Rover.whoistheo.com
Below is a brief excerpt from my article, Game On! published in the August 2017 issue of StepMom Magazine.
His look was so determined.
“Stacie, you’re not invited to my birthday party,” my stepson said. “Just mommy is.”
I hid the pain but it wasn’t entirely surprising. He also didn’t want me to look at him, ask him questions or do things as simple as bring him a napkin when he had a bloody nose. In other words, my 5-year-old stepson was having a hard time attaching to me.
His parents divorced when he was 1 year old and custody is split 50/50 between them. Being separated from his mom at a time when babies are most attached to their mothers caused anxiety that surfaced fairly often. I understood that it wasn’t about me personally.
I responded that, of course, he could decide who was at his party. I smiled and walked into the house. Then I called my mom and cried—a routine that repeated itself often in the early days. He’s 11 now and the other day he told me I am one of his “best friends.” Obviously much has changed. But how?
to read more, go to www.StepMomMag.com
At thirteen, my stepdaughter is becoming more and more aware of the importance placed on beauty. At bedtime, she told me that she felt her body didn’t live up to the standard of beauty and wondered how to not feel self-conscious about her body in a bathing suit. I generally prefer easier questions at bedtime like “what’s for dinner tomorrow night?” so it took me a second (or 60) to come up with an answer. I thought about saying “beauty is only skin deep” and “some day looks won’t matter to you” or “just stop caring.” But I didn’t.
In time for Valentine's Day, here's my Flashback Friday contribution, circa 2007.
Buy lots of cats or personal ads: these are the options of singleness. I choose neither. I don’t recoil when love is mentioned, but the hope of marriage isn’t what wakes me. I want to desire marriage without being labeled desperate; I want to enjoy singleness without being labeled bitter. At the same time.
So I’m declaring a third option. I’m still working on a cool name (it’s not a legit group unless it’s named—preferably an acronym) for Individuals Who Desire Marriage—But Aren’t Desperate, and Who Enjoy Singleness—But Aren’t Bitter (or IWDMADWESAB). I’m open to suggestions because not only is it impossible to pronounce IWDMADWESAB, it doesn’t fit on t-shirts.
Sometimes the more articles I read on how to increase happiness the less happy I am. Most of these articles consist of things that I should be doing — which I'm not — or a list of things I shouldn't be doing — which I definitely am. At the end, I’m usually feeling like a failure at life. I have a higher chance of increasing my happiness by not reading an article on how to be happier.
But I found something that works. And you don’t have to change a single thing about your day.
Dear Rural, White Americans:
I’ve been reading a lot about your struggle – and boy does it sound terrible. The good news is, there’s plenty of advice available if you just take the time to listen.
It’s pretty simple: America is a land of opportunity. There is free education for anyone who is willing to take advantage of it. There’s plenty of financial aid for a college degree if you’re motivated enough. There’s no such thing as systemic inequity and it’s not the government’s responsibility to fix your problems. Stop doing drugs. Get a job. Take responsibility for your life and stop blaming other people for your drug use and poverty. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Stop whining and start working.
Every other demographic who is given this advice when concern for their community is raised
I’ve frequently heard that Democrats lost because they didn’t do a good job of explaining how the Democratic platform was good for rural and working-class voters. I think that’s true. But there’s an even bigger block to communication that I hope to shed a little light on.