Disruptive Woman Launches a Breakthrough in Parenting

One of the original Disruptive Women contributors, Glenna Crooks recently launched a new business. Last week the Syracuse New Times published an interview with her. Read the interview here and learn more about Sage My Life.

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Go Sit On A Sofa

Amber Coleman-MortleyIt had gotten to the point where I would find myself standing in the kitchen staring at nothing; or I would get angry for no reason; and then sometimes, a random thought would cross my mind reminding me of all of my perceived failures over the past four and a half years.  I needed some help but my own personal pride prevented me from seeking such attention.

With the kids’ needs, the responsibilities for work as well as the demands for school and other external commitments; I’d lost my very tight and very regimented method of survival to a more chaotic out of control (but thinking I’m in control) method of getting things done.  It felt like every bit of me was being pulled apart at the seams and I was barreling quickly toward a very detrimental end.  Moms are sometimes these exotic robots that handle all schedules, delays, updates and changes in a smooth and orderly fashion.  For me, a point of personal pride was my ability to schedule everything in without anyone missing out on the things that they wanted to do.  But things began to fall by the wayside. (more…)

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Teaching Kids How To Deal With Injuries

Amber Coleman-MortleyRecently our 1st grader had a really bad fall.  The fall was so bad she looked like an MMA fighter.  In many ways I wish she were fighting because the story would be a lot more interesting. But alas this was your typical young child meets concrete experience where the score was concrete 100, child 0.  I’m not certain what happened but as I turned to face her shrill scream I saw her face was scraped from top to bottom, permanent tooth chipped and pride destroyed. My heart sank when I saw her, I thought “anything else”. We’d already dump more than $1000 into her mouth from accidents with baby teeth and I thought the dental nightmare had ended with the arrival of her permanent teeth.

It was as though I didn’t react. I flew right into action. I grabbed the med kit from the car and raced back into her father’s house.  (more…)

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  • October 6th, 2014 Children and Their Networks: Do You Have a Story?
    By Glenna Crooks
  • Back to School… Co-Parenting Style

    Amber Coleman-MortleyIt’s back to school season!  Malls and stores have had their sales; schools have requested their info; doctors’ offices are quickly fulfilling vaccination and proof of appointment forms.  But most importantly, parents are eager to send their little ones off to be enriched amongst a class of their peers.  It’s a beautiful time.  It got me thinking- how can divorced and separated families be just as successful as families who are together this school year?

    There are several challenges that kids from divorced and separated homes face.  Beyond emotional challenges, there are the self-confident, psychological, economic and logistical challenges, which can be (more…)

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    An Interview with Amanda Sager

    asAmanda Sager graduated from Bridgewater College in 2009 where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with an emphasis on Early Childhood Development. After college, she became the Site Director for the After School program at Cub Run Elementary in Rockingham County, Virginia. After a year at Cub Run, Amanda then moved to Mountain View Elementary in Rockingham County to open the Before and After School program as the Site Director there.  She was at Mountain View for three years before accepting the position as Behavioral Specialist at Spotswood Elementary School in Harrisonburg City. After two years at Spotswood she moved to Thomas Harrison Middle School in Harrisonburg City to work with students with autism. Amanda started at Second Home same time as she started at Thomas Harrison. (more…)

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    Disruptive Women in Health Care 2014 Summer Mini-Series: Back to School–At the Intersection of Health and Education

    elbWhen thinking of what I wanted to do with my future, the one thing I was always sure of was that I didn’t want a job where I’d be chained to a desk all day. Enter: teaching. After working as a camp counselor for many years and being fortunate enough to observe and help in a variety of different elementary school classrooms throughout the past couple of years, I’ll be starting my junior year at James Madison University in the Department of Education—and I couldn’t be more thrilled about my experiences to come. (more…)

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    Getting It Right: What Working Families Need

    Janice Lynch Schuster

    When my first child was born, in 1990, I’d been working for nearly a year as a writer for a federal contractor. Until then, health policy meant little to me. In fact, if you’d asked, I could not have told you what it was, or what it meant to my life, and the life that I was making.

    When I was hired, I read that I would be eligible for 4 or 6 weeks of maternity leave.  I also read that it took most couples a year to get pregnant: It took us a night.  It turned out that, by the time of my due date, I would be a week (more…)

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    A Wake-up Call

    After I found out I was pregnant last January, I knew I had a lot of work to do in the coming nine months. I was working full-time and going to school; I knew the costs of having a baby were high, but I naively thought that surely, in America, finding help as a low-income pregnant woman and single mother wouldn’t be that hard. If people can donate time and money to the SPCA, I thought, someone must give to organizations dedicated to supporting women like me.

    It’s important to note that I do in fact have a job that I worked hard to get. (more…)

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    Adventures in Co-Parenting: Inner Resolution, a Revolutionary Thought

    Amber Coleman-MortleyJealousy is a real and natural part of life.  To believe that adults should suppress these types of raw emotions or that feelings of jealousy should be reserved for children is unreasonable.  Rather than suppress these emotions, analysis of these feelings helps get to the root of the problem.  I’m not usually an envious person, but I can get jealous when I believe something is not “fair.” Ideally, life should be even and fair and like most people, I never want anyone to have an advantage over me.  As a former college athlete, I often have to consciously step back and realize that in many situations, there is no score. This kind of competitive spirit has no place in most real life situations because the focus is on the situation rather than potential solutions.  But in reality, you struggle.  You want things to be fair when a relationship has gone sour and you find yourself picking up the pieces and moving on. Misery loves company.  (more…)

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    Waiting Like I Am

    The line on the pregnancy test this morning is only faintly positive and in a way I’m glad it isn’t the same bold line that we celebrated with champagne seven months ago.

    That night, grinning ear to ear, sugar plum babies dancing in our heads, Jen and I felt like the luckiest lesbians in the world to have gotten pregnant on our first attempt.   “Guess what?” I sent in a text to Kate the next morning.  My best friend from high school and Jen’s best friend from college, Kate was responsible for us getting together five years earlier and had been following our baby-acquiring progress ever since.  A year ago, she was home from Colorado for a week to visit her Dad, and I had her read the string of facebook messages in which we had asked Michael to be our donor– (more…)

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  • July 7th, 2014 Tackling a Tough Gun Discussion
    By Glenna Crooks
  • Adventures in Co-Parenting Part 2: Mommy & Daddy Should Date

    Amber Coleman-MortleyThe side effects of separation and divorce mostly play out in the words of your children. You hear weird statements about love or going on dates, as though some sort of temporary romantic mediation could resolve all of the hurtful things people did to each other over a decade of time. I’m not much of a grudge holding type; I “forgive and let live” because I firmly believe each of us deserves happiness.

    At the beginning of our separation my children would approach me like high schoolers attempting to share hook up secrets. It was cute for a while and then it became annoying. They’d say, “Look… All you guys need to do is go out to dinner, go to a movie (more…)

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    Measles and Cancer: A Wake-Up Call

    Dr HaleyThe subject of vaccination is both a personal and a professional issue for me. After my daughter was born, there was never any question that we would vaccinate. Of course we worried about a rare adverse event, and seeing that sweet baby flesh poked by needles made us more upset than our daughter. As a physician, however, I understood the importance of vaccinations and the broader implications of public health and herd immunity.

    As an oncologist, I deal every day with cancer patients whose immune systems aren’t functioning properly, due either to the disease itself or from anti-cancer treatments. Even if these patients are properly vaccinated, their immune systems can’t mount an appropriate defense in response to an exposure. (more…)

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    English Only

    UnknownCurrently, I work at a wonderful community center in Little India in Chicago. In our youth program we have a diverse group of kids whose parents are from all over the world. English is every child’s second language. Daily, I come in to work and bask in the beauty of the students conversing in their mother tongues. This is what community means to me.

    So, I was dismayed the day one of my co-workers asked a couple of our students to speak English only while at program. I asked her what was the problem and she said that we had an English-only policy. I was floored. I was never told about this policy and I regularly converse in Spanish with our Spanish-speaking students. My co-worker said the policy is always in place but had not been enforced by the last program director. Shortly after this incident, the new director had a group meeting and reminded the students and tutors that they had to speak English during program. (more…)

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