From the Left



Breastfeeding Moms Need Support to Succeed

Last week, a Washington mom made news by getting kicked out of a restaurant for breastfeeding her infant son. Women need support, not judgement, and certainly not shame when feeding their babies. The restaurant owner made a bad situation worse when responding to the family's online review, "Be like decent people not like animals, there are ...Read more

COVID-19 Could Have Been Our Unifying Moment

We blew it. And at this point, I'm not interested in pointing fingers and declaring who's at fault or why. WE collectively botched this.

An Alabama man died after 43 hospitals turned him away. Overwhelmed by COVID-19 cases, they weren't able to help him with his cardiac emergency, according to a Washington Post report.

Southern Ohio Medical ...Read more

The Disruption This World Needs

Fall always brings me nostalgia. My best childhood memories are of marching band, autumn leaves and Halloween. It's my favorite time of year. But this year feels less nostalgic and more melancholy.

We had high hopes of a "normal" school year as COVID-19 cases stabilized and then dropped. But the delta variant has coursed through the country, ...Read more

'Parent Choice' for Masks Isn't Helpful in the Classroom

A month ago, I printed out back-to-school lists from our district's website. One was the dress code that specified everything from shirts to shoes to belt loops on pants. If loops are present, they require a belt. I made a mental note: Do not get pants with loops. I did not want to even think about a belt for my kindergartner. Another list was ...Read more

Making Peace with Parenting Mistakes

My daughter is 21 and living on her own, and my son just started kindergarten. Recently, we were all in the car together, and she witnessed a reaction to my son's behavior. Later, she asked if we could talk about it. She had concerns. As she talked, I grew defensive and even told her that she didn't get to have input on how I parent her brother....Read more

Therapy Is a Valuable Parenting Resource

The first time I went to therapy was after my mom died. I was 7 years old, and our family was in crisis. I went back to therapy as a teen when my exasperated dad didn't know what to do with me. At least that's how my teen brain absorbed it. It was one of the few times I saw my dad cry. "I just want you to be happy," he told me.

I acted out, ...Read more

Mental Health Matters More Than Adolescent Milestones

My daughter was a junior in high school when her therapist called me into her office. I bounced my toddler on my knee and tried to absorb what the therapist was saying.

"She's in a bad place," the therapist explained. "She's not doing well."

I was advised to admit my teenage daughter to a psychiatric hospital for intensive care.

My daughter ...Read more

Unmasking Support for Mental Health in School

I sat with my son in the school cafeteria. Wearing masks, we waited to meet his kindergarten teacher. I asked him how he was feeling. "Excited and scared at the same time," he said, and I think that describes the back-to-school vibe quite well. Especially midpandemic with the many unknowns about new COVID-19 variants spreading across the U.S.

...Read more

Vaccines: They're Worth the Trouble

Shots are a part of my life. I self-inject medication once a week to manage my psoriatic arthritis. It stings for about 10 seconds, but it maintains my quality of life. Psoriatic arthritis is the inflammatory autoimmune disease for which the golfer Phil Mickelson helped bring awareness. When I was first diagnosed, my swollen, painful joints made...Read more

Immigration Is our Universal American Story

Last week, a federal judge in Houston ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy was "illegal," which halted accepting incoming applications. I was in South Texas for my father-in-law's funeral when the news broke. His widow -- mi suegra -- is one of the strongest women I've ever met.

My mother-in-law Manuela was born on a ...Read more

Is Your Car Childproof?

Signs along the highway read, "Never Leave a Child or Pet Alone in a Car." But as summer heat grips much of the country, seven children in the U.S. have already died this year from pediatric vehicular heatstroke because they were left unattended in cars.

Public reaction when a child dies this way is usually judgmental. We want to remove ...Read more

Environmental Pipe Dreams

In June of 2019, my husband and I bought a 1926 suburban brick duplex to create our dream home. The idea was to live in the two-bedroom unit on the second floor while remodeling the first floor. We put solar panels on the roof and a deck off the back, and we gutted the first floor. We even installed rain barrels and a pollinator garden.

Then, ...Read more

Abortion and the Catholic Currency of Shame

One day in Catholic school, Sister Mary Francis pointed her finger like a gun at my classmate and said shooting her was no different than abortion. Both, she said, were intentional murder. That snapshot of Sister's pointed finger haunted me, but it did not prevent me from having an abortion when I got pregnant at 19. My situation does not matter...Read more



John Darkow Pat Bagley Kirk Walters John Deering A.F. Branco Paul Szep