“The literary equivalent of a summer night, a good friend and a gin-and-tonic: Shannon is a deft writer; a natural storyteller with a wicked turn of phrase and frighteningly specific memory...”

Opt-in to the Shannon Colleary Communiqué to have both the Funny & the Wise delivered to your inbox weekly!

Parenting

Back to homepage

The Drugs Talk With My 11-Year old

Middle school started on Tuesday. Would there be gang bangers? Mean girls? Nurse Ratched-style teachers? One-eyed drug dealers? Should I stop watching CNN? My daughter loves her new school, her teachers and the excitement of the next phase of her

Read More

My Tween Daughters And I Love “Camp Gyno”

If you’re the mother of daughters just ramping up for puberty this Camp Gyno video is a must. (this is NOT a sponsored post). It’s both irreverent and empowering and a perfect launching pad for the awkward talk about puberty.

Read More

5 Reasons Traveling With Your Kids May Keep Them Off Drugs: Ireland Photos

We travel all over with our kids. That’s where all and any extra cash goes (well, there’s also my problematic dress addiction). We’ve taken them to Hawaii, Seattle, Toronto, The Grand Canyon, San Francisco, New York, New Jersey, Las Vegas,

Read More

My Kids Aren’t Me

I always think my kids will like the things I like. I was a water baby. I lived in the ocean as a kid visiting my grandma-Santa-Barbara every summer. I loved camping. The mildewy smell of a tent in the

Read More

Girls in their Natural Habitat

Voices: “… and then they’re naked in the jungle and they have to survive.” “When you said naked I thought you meant they didn’t have any supplies.” “No, they don’t have any clothes.” “That’s inappropriate, is it R-rated?” “No, it’s

Read More

My Kid Needs A Therapist

I have a child who is anxious about a big transition coming up.  We’re moving to Nebraska where we’ll be installed in the Witness Protection Program as Amish farmers in order to avoid swimming with the fishes for a mafia

Read More

I Could’ve Been A Milk Carton Kid – Which is Why I Helicopter Parent

My friend Amy told me she lets her 10-year old walk around our neighborhood alone. I tried to keep myself from gasping aloud. I gasped internally, imagining all the kidnappers circling her child in their unmarked, white vans. Then she

Read More

My Daughter’s 11-Year Old Friend Got Her First Period

Right after the fifth grade culmination ceremony yesterday Clare’s good friend Gabriella (the names have been changed to protect the identity of the pubescents) got her first period. Sweet Jesus. It felt to me like the beginning of the end

Read More

I Need Advice From Working Moms

When it comes to my kids’ emotional lives I’m an extreme empath. I have little tolerance for my childrens’ anxiety, discomfort or sadness. I have to rush in and swab the decks. Hospital corner all the beds. Polish the brass to a

Read More

Little Girl Movie Star Parties Freaked Me Out, Not Anymore

I’ve been Professor McGonegle. I’ve been Medusa. And now I’ve been Makeup-Artist-to-the-Stars, Gilda. I blame my myriad incarnations on my daughter Bridget because she insists upon Theme Birthdays with no extra outside help every. single. year. When she was seven

Read More

This Post is Funny, But Bullies Aren’t: Take The Pledge to Stop Bullying

My experience with badass bullies – both as a mom (when my kids were little) and as a kid: There’s a red-headed twenty-seven month-old Love Bully named Scarlet in Clare’s Toddler-and-Me class. Just our luck, she has it in for

Read More

Castrating an Unwitting Softball Commissioner

A child who shall remain nameless (so if you think you know which child she is, you don’t!) came home tonight from her first softball practice of the season having discovered that none of her former teammates are on her

Read More

I Will Take My Teenaged Children To Planned Parenthood

When I was a kid my parents didn’t talk to me about sex. At eight, when I asked my mom what a condom was, she told me it was a “water balloon you throw off the roof at people.” Her

Read More

You Read, Therefore I Am

I’m back!  Wait .. whaddaya mean you didn’t know I was gone? Didn’t your world feel a little bit empty? Wasn’t it harder to laugh, cry, flagellate yourself for eating that renegade bear claw that leaped out at you from

Read More

Gone Fishing Over The Holidays (And Our Christmas Photos)

Hello, dear fellow humans. I have not felt like updating and writing. I’ve felt like eating Christmas cake cookies and drinking egg nog spiked with Thunderbird. Which means I’m fat and happy. (Maybe a little too happy). So I’m going

Read More

Is Middle School The Mordor of Middle Earth?

This is me in middle school: Okay, I was thirty-five in that photo, but I’m worried that will be my daughter Clare if she falls in with “the wrong crowd” in sixth grade. Today we took her on a tour

Read More

Beware the Christmas Pandemic!

I’ve been the victim of a truly horrific syndrome this holiday season. It’s impacting my emotional health, my financial solvency, my peace of mind. It can strike at any moment, day or night for no apparent reason. The only protection

Read More

The Happiness Photos

I’m happy today. What the hell am I going to blog about? Oh, Happiness how you foil my creativity! How soft and sloppy you make me! How ineffably boring. Here are my happiness photos: But don’t worry, I’m certain my

Read More

How to Beat Santa Extortion Def-Con 5!

Henry and I spend too much money all year round. He’s a groceries hoarder. If you came to our house and opened our refrigerator you would find enough butter and milk to re-supply all the bovines in Texas. He’s also

Read More

Do You Ever Get Sick of Yourself?

Every now and then I catch my Super Ego being an asshole. I love attention. I seek it like plants seek the sun, growing around corners to find it. And every now and then my better self, that which is Divine

Read More

My Kids Attacked Me!

I fancy myself a bit of an athlete. There was that time I beat my dad in a 10K even though I walked part of it. (Dad, you could throw a baseball 100 mph through the eye of a needle,

Read More

When Is It TMI For Kids?

Bridget came home the other day and said, “Mommy I love third grade.” What luck! Thought I.  She must love her teacher, unlike me with cross-eyed Miss Henzi who yelled, but you could never tell who she was yelling at.

Read More

Being A Child Of Divorce Makes Me Think I Get Gays

I’ve been watching Ryan Murphy’s (Glee) new NBC sitcom The New Normal about a committed gay couple having a baby with a quirky, kind surrogate mother who lives with them.  Last night the men kissed passionately after one proposed marriage to

Read More

5 Things Not To Do In Front Of Your Daughters

Clare is 10, Bridget is 8. They still climb in bed with us in the morning. They still want to snuggle in front of the TV. They forever and endlessly want me to scratch their unrelenting backs. Sometimes they declare

Read More

Does It Really Matter Whose Kid Is Smarter?

My kids are smart. They have a genetic pre-disposition. I was smart. Their dad was smart. We had high GPAs. We had high SATs. We graduated college with suma-cum-somethings. We were a parent’s dream. Until Henry graduated, couldn’t get a

Read More