Jennifer White


I LOVE the Christmas season; It gives me strong Christmassy vibes at the first sign of a snowflake. The magic, the smells, the family time, and the joy it brings the kids. Having said that, I also find it to be a stressful time. Like many moms, I feel the burden from the most wonderful time of the year. This is the first year that I have considered Elf on the Shelf. My daughter is now at an age where she’ll hear stories from classmates about the shenanigans their Elves are getting into. As an Elf newbie, I am considering whether I want to bring this relatively new tradition to my family. I just don’t know if I’m one of those families—an Elf family.  This time of year, my sanity hangs like a heavy Christmas ornament on a floppy tree branch. The season is labor-intensive and stressful, and busy. You’re…

A Realistic Organization Plan for Moms in 2019

2019 came in with a bang and with it brought…. organization porn?!

Thanks to the popular Netflix series, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, the masses are attempting to take control of their lives by folding their laundry in thirds and stacking everything upright. I’m not surprised at the popularity of this craze. There’s something quite enjoyable about watching other people organize their homes (and knowing that some people live in a much higher level of disorder is strangely satisfying). By the end of each episode, you’re drawn into the mesmerizing KonMari ways and soon you’re tempted to sort through your entire home, drawer-by-drawer, and decide what sparks joy. Is Marie Kondo realistic home organization for parents?

This is where it gets messy, so to speak. Often what sparks joy for me, and I’m sure for many moms, is looking around my home and seeing all the signs of happy kids; toys on the floor, muddy boots in the entryway, mess from a fun craft. But am I creating an excuse to have a messy home? There have been times when I have felt embarrassed at the state of the house, and that’s when I know it’s gone too far. It can so quickly go from being ‘chilled’ to feeling ashamed and overwhelmed, and suddenly you’re spiraling into angry-mom mode, feeling frustrated, underappreciated and resentful. And all while the mess continues to grow.

The problem with the (deceptively) simple KonMari method is that it needs to be 100% perfect, and nothing less. If my clothes aren’t folded in thirds, am I a failure? Of course not, it is one perfectionist’s way of maintaining order and, ultimately, it’s really a system of organization rather than a tiding method. The KonMari method is also only a first (really enormous) step. It will help you organize, but we still need to have a clean house, the method is only as good as it’s user. Your socks are folded into thirds; but if you still feel cheerios crunching under your feet can you still find that inner calm?

Here is a checklist of simple tasks for organization, tidying and cleaning in 2019 that, for most of us, will be manageable. There’s still time to re-write your new year resolutions into something more attainable that you will accomplish and feel proud of.

I don’t play the lottery very often. I have seen the odds and it barely seems worth it. 1/30,000 isn’t something that could happen to me, so I always brushed-off those odds. When you are told your baby has a rare chromosome abnormality, and that the odds are about 1/million, you learn to never assume those odds can’t happen to you. Receiving a rare diagnosis Nine months after my baby was born we were told she has Uniparental Disomy. This is, in a nutshell, when a person inherits 2 chromosomes from one parent, and none from the other. Rather than one of each. The clinical results can differ greatly depending on the chromosome affected. We had received prenatal genetic testing when I was pregnant and were told that it looked good, we moved forward thinking that the odds of our baby having down syndrome (which was the only genetic disorder…