Parenting in the Loop…Birth of a Blog

Parenting in the Loop- Past, Present and Future

Parenting in the Loop at Mom 2.0 Summit Atlanta

The beginning…

“Parenting in the Loop” began five years ago after my granddaughter was born. Just like the younger moms at the Mom 2.0 Summit that I attended recently, I was looking for “my people”. What I found was a large group of moms, who were blogging, they were easy to read and relevant to me as I was helping my daughter care for my new granddaughter.

Things had changed since the 80’s!

Yes,  I had already raised 2 girls but that was 25 plus years ago.To me, it seemed it was the Ice Age compared to 2008.

Although being a grandmother was somewhat surreal, I fell right back into taking care of a newborn…I had always enjoyed the night feedings. It was a very quiet time in our home, to relax and really get to know my own girls and now I was able to experience this again with my granddaughter. I cannot say how grateful I was and still am to have had that time with her.

  • Preparing to be a grandmother…

Prior to her birth, I had to have open heart surgery…although it was elective…my mitral valve was not functioning well and would only get worse if I did not have the necessary surgery to repair or replace it.

The surgeon would make the repair /replace decision when he actually saw the damaged valve during surgery . Because of my own prior experience as a nurse in the cardiovascular recovery area at NYU Medical Center, my fear was over the top. My previous work made an indelible mark on me. Every day when I arrived and left work,I prayed I would never have to have such serious surgery…EVER! Even though a lot of changes had been made in this type of surgery, having to have my heart stopped and have an artificial pump doing the work of my heart was extremely frightening.

As preparation for surgery, I was to learn and practice Kundulini Yoga. Not only did it strengthen my body but it also strengthened my mind and soul. I felt so much more in tune with myself and accepting of what was necessary in order for me to be there fully for my daughter and granddaughter.

Surgery was in March and my granddaughter was born in August…that gave me more than enough time to recover more or less fully from this extraordinary operation. What I did not count on was the arrythmias that complicated the post surgical recovery. I was plagued by these for months even after my granddaughter was born. My cardiologist wanted my heart to fully heal before offering me an ablation procedure to correct these annoying and potentially dangerous arrythmias. At times, I was “down” thinking again of having a potentially “life threatening” procedure!

When my granddaughter was only a few months old, I had the ablation…of course it was a complicated one and I almost died. In fact, they told my family that I was bleeding into my heart and it could go either way if the bleeding did not stop.

Fortunately, my cardiologist and friend along with his associates were able to stop the bleeding and finish the procedure. It gave me a whole new life without crazy heartbeats.

What a blessing it has been to be able to help my daughter and granddaughter. Gratefully since then, my life has been full of struggles and fun with a little girl growing up in my midst.

  • Parenting in the Loop born…shortly thereafter.

Blogging became an outlet for me to share what I already knew about parenting and what I was currently learning about parenting at the same time.

After many years, as a nurse with a masters degree in maternal and childcare, I was confident that I had growth and development down pat and since I had recently earned a clinical social work masters degree…I was even more aware of the psychological development of the child-parent child relationship.

I also recognized that it was easy to read this stuff but not always easy to live it. So “Parenting in the Loop” was born along with my granddaughter…it helped me to straddle my world and my daughter’s world.

My research was reading other moms’ blogs about babies, toddlers, school age children and teens. They were a great! I don’t know just when I began to read Momma’s Gone City by Jessica Shyba, but it was sometime in the beginning of my research.


Her stories were charming…she was young, living in NYC with her family, which at that time was Jack and Zoe…and her husband, who was a NYU Dental School. I was able to loose myself reading and looking at her wonderful pictures of NYC, which had been my home until I was thirty. She had a list of must read blogs on her website, so I clicked over to read some more wonderful mom anecdotes sharing the trials and tribulations of current motherhood.

But I was a grandmother writing a blog…how was this going to be meaningful to me? I had to figure that out…another challenge.

There were several other bloggers that helped me along the way ….by that I mean that I learned from reading their writings and their comment sections...Annie at PhD. in Parenting was one and Jessica Gottlieb was another. Both were wonderful writers and had an integrity about their work that I found refreshing and something that I wanted to emulate.

  • Finding my voice…

Eventually, “Loop” became more than a play on words about Chicago where I now lived. Loop became the child, parent, grandparent…and sometimes great grandparent relationship loop.

It was more than amazing to me to see that as a grandparent I was bringing my granddaughter into the loop of women that had been influential in my own life. We may not have had the internet with all the social media but we lived in close proximity and shared many traditions and countless moments of laughing, crying, discussion and even arguing.

As “Parenting in the Loop” progressed, I longed for more information about what it was like to be a mom in the current times. I found the mom blogger community to be a fascinating one. Not only were they sharing, they were supporting each other and they were active in causes that were near and dear to me especially, post partum depression, breastfeeding and being a working mom at home or outside the home.

The mommy wars were puzzling to me however. But when I thought about it more and more, it became evident that women can be hard and judgmental of other women. who are experiencing similar situations. Over the years, that has not changed much except there is more opportunity to criticize on social media…but the good side is there is much more opportunity for offering and finding support. Moms do not have to “get over it” they can find “friends” to offer them advice and comfort.

  • Challenges for the future…

This past week, I attended Mom 2.0 Summit for the third time. It was in Atlanta this year and as in the past the conference, the sponsors and the attendees amazed me with knowledge, willingness to share and blogging professionalism.

It was refreshing to be among such an energetic group of women as they relaxed and renewed friendships while forging new ones. The Iris Awards was just an amazing evening, honoring the women, who have made such a mark on the blogging community.

At times, I felt somewhat of an outsider…age is a factor in these feelings. I remember being a young mom and not wanting to hang out with my mom and her friends, even though I loved them…I had much more in common with my own peers. It is a fact. Although “Listen to Your Mother” is a popular show traveling the country, mixing and socializing still seems somewhat age related. I would love to see more grandmas blogging and sharing but we did not grow up with the internet and therefore the learning curve is steep.

For now, I will continue to blog at “Parenting in the Loop” and support all my mom blogger friends. I am planning to attend Mom2Summit 2015 in Scottsdale. I will continue to be amazed by this great group of women. who have taken the internet and grandparenting to a level that I never in my life anticipated.


My future is open to the many opportunities that blogging offers…I now even have a second blog at Chicago Now…”Today’s Grandmum”.

So…”listen to your mother” and enjoy the ride…you only go this way once make it worthwhile and continue to be kind to one another as you leave your footprints in the sand!

Many thanks for reading  “Parenting in the Loop”!

Military Families, How Much is Too Much, Balancing Life


In the summer, I frequently meet military moms and dads at the beach with their families. I find them to be interesting and friendly and very well traveled.

At our local beach, we are all kind of “in the same boat”…trying to relax and letting our kids/grandkids enjoy the wonderful rights of summer, sand castles, swimming and snacking. We sometimes share snacks and the best thing of all … we don’t really care what we look like.

After meeting a military family, I find myself wondering what it must be like to live this nomadic lifestyle. And then today, I find this on Facebook…I hope you read it.


35) Yes, we “chose” this life by voluntarily saying “I Do”… but that doesn’t mean that we knew what we were getting into.  No one can understand until they are living it.  We are all learning along the way, and could really use the support of our family and friends through the ups and downs.

This blog is mostly about parenting and parenting issues…and yes, it is an arena crowded with moms but not so many grandmothers like myself. I haven’t quite yet accomplished my goals with this blog but I really enjoy writing and sharing…it is work…but it is fun.

At times, I am definitely tempted to share too much about myself, but in my job as a social worker I have learned where to draw the boundary lines.

So what does this do for me as a blogger…well, it probably makes me not as popular and widely read as other bloggers, who share their life stories as if they were in a therapist’s office.

I am not criticizing here in a bad way…but I would caution bloggers to be careful what they share and how much…because this information will follow their children for the rest of their lives.


But as the parenting platform becomes more crowded, and as more accomplished women choose blogging over other viable work-life options, will writers feel pressured to keep upping the ante, revealing more and more about their kids and their private lives? After all, there are only so many eyeballs for so many posts. And what does this mean for the kids who are the subject of all this blogging? How will they react (either now or in 10 years) to their mothers publicly sharing the natural, though previously seldom discussed, underbelly of parenting emotions?

One of the hardest things to do is balance work with life as a mom and in my case grand mom. I am a fan of MomTrends and wish there was a GrandMomTrends but to my knowledge there is not.

Nicole shares some of her tips for those of us trying to create a work/life balance.

I’m sharing my top 10 tips for creating work/life balance. When Always Infinity came to me with the program, my first thought was to giggle. No working mom I know has balance 100% of the time. But some of us have a fragile dance that is working. I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I’ve got a terrific family, a thriving business and my health. I don’t want to discount my successes to luck or timing. Smart moves and good decisions help. I’d like to see more strong independent women business owners rise up in the USA. So I signed on and I’m ready to share!

Have a wonderful weekend! Thanks for reading!



“Toast Tuesday”




I’m not expecting people to never be offended by anything I say. But I am asking people to respect my right to have an opinion on a topic and not equate it to judging people who have different opinions on that topic. I may think they made bad choices, I may think they could have done things differently, I may think I made a better choice. But it doesn’t mean I think they are bad parents or bad human beings.

via “Don’t Judge Me” | PhD in Parenting.


PhD in Parenting is by far my favorite blog for so many different reasons and it is not because I agree with everything that Annie posts.

Annie has integrity and intelligence. She writes about many issues some controversial and some not so much. Annie is a journalist who inspires me.

After reading her articles, I always have something to think about as a parent, grandparent and as a fellow human being in this complex universe.

Above is one of my favorite posts from PhD in Parenting. I hope you enjoy it.


Week in Review from ParentingintheLoop

I cannot believe another week of summer is over. August is just around the corner and the Olympics will begin tonight. Go USA!

Here are my favorites for this last week of July.

Have a great weekend!

When its time to meditate, sit comfortably, focus your attention … and reach for your smartphone?

A blog that all bloggers should read…

We can all use some of these tips some of the time…