“Tyranny of the urgent” doesn’t have to be a thing.

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Photo by Daniel Tausis on Unsplash

I’ll start by being honest: I’m writing this for myself. I struggle to implement any sort of plan to keep chaos at bay. My life is one fire after another. I have ideas, but I also have nine kids. I have to be realistic. Most of my life will probably consist of putting out fires. Big ones. Admittedly, I also lack certain managerial skills, so “staying on top of things” might be a pipe dream. That’s probably my main problem.

If you spend any time at all feeling like you…

Calvin makes some valid points.

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Photo by John Tyson on Unsplash

It had been a long time since I’d read a Calvin and Hobbes book, but the other day I stumbled across a dusty copy of Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat, part of the epic collection by Bill Watterson. My kids wanted me to read it, so we started flipping through the pages.

The pictures entertained them for a little bit, but most of the humor went over their heads. I, however, could spend days posting Calvin’s quotes on Facebook and Twitter.


It’s funny but it’s not.

Some thoughts came to me as I laughed through Calvin’s antics. …

With knowledge comes power, but that power comes with great responsibility- and it’s all yours.

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Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

My husband has suffered from chronic migraines since puberty- a bonus to an already exciting time. Doctors handed out every possible prescription to prevent or, at the very least, minimize the disabling headaches. Some would seem to work for a time; others didn’t help at all. Most had life-altering side effects (for the worse). This trial and error method grew too costly, taking more time and money than we had. He decided to find his own answers (something he was already doing) and began to research anything and everything that could provide even a little relief.

Diet, exercise, and sleep…

And by boss, I mean me.

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Photo by Pablo Valera on Unsplash

This decision came to me today through a pounding headache. I made dinner, thinking about how nice it would be to sit and chill since the medicine wasn’t helping. Staying busy provided a little relief since it kept my mind off the throbbing. Otherwise, I would’ve plopped my butt on the couch and told everyone to fend for themselves (don’t worry, they’re old enough to do that). Maybe. But only if it was awful, and only as a last resort.

That’s when it struck me. I’m VP of this madness I call home, and…

A solemn contemplation over PB&J.

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Photo by overdramatic author

You can only fail so many times in a day before you hit the proverbial “T in the road.” The great “sink or swim.” You’re faced with a decision that either puts the nail in the coffin or slathers a little redemption over your weary soul.

That was my day. I have a lot of those days, honestly. Crumbs, laundry, scattered toys, and an unchecked list of to-do’s jump out at me like neon signs. Sometimes I can turn up my nose and ignore their mocking cries. It’s just stuff, after all.

But days like today, when I have to…

Tested to be effective, but not by a doctor.

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Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

How advice complicates everything

One of the first things you learn as a parent: Everyone has an idea of the “right”- and only- way to do something. The second thing you learn? The fewer the kids, the stronger the opinion. Those without kids see themselves as professionals because they’ve never been in the trenches. Their theories have never been tested. Even people that are professionals don’t seem to agree on anything. Ever. And the information is constantly changing.

Put the baby on its side….actually, wait. Maybe back is better. Haha kidding. We meant tummy.

Start baby food at about three months. Well, maybe wait…

Confidence doesn’t make up for poor interpretation.

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Photo by Taras Chernus in Unsplash

Everyone has biases; no one wants to admit it. We like to think we have the necessary- and correct- information, but those biases influence what data we take in and how we interpret it. Our brains essentially end up utilizing a heuristic technique. It has to condense and simplify the information it receives because it would take too long to process everything correctly. We come to conclusions that are satisfying, or good enough. While this process is necessary, we shouldn’t get in the habit of assuming this first conclusion is the right one.

I’m your parent, not your friend.”

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Photo by Adrienne Koziol

I can almost see the wave of heads nod in approval, and hear the resounding chorus of “Yes!” whenever that phrase is said. This statement of finality seems to permeate parenthood. It echos throughout time and crosses all cultural barriers. It’s a resilient assertion that has no opposition. Who can argue against it?

Of course, it makes a valid point. Parents are supposed to keep their kids safe, raise them right, and discipline them when they’re wrong. …

We need more fearless people.

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Because I Said So

Most parents tend to teach their children to obey immediately, no questions asked.
On the surface, unquestioned and immediate obedience is a good thing. At times it’s necessary and should be expected. A healthy fear of authority keeps kids safe and out of trouble. However, an unhealthy fear can turn them into followers that won’t stand up for what’s right. Authority dictates what they do, regardless of their convictions.

Authority Is Necessary

Children need structure and authority. Rules provide clear expectations, giving stability and safety. Kids learn respect, compliance, and self-control by following instructions.

Those things do not come naturally, and an unpleasant…

One certainty in life: Kids will keep you humble.

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Photo by Author

Will we ever figure it out?

Sometimes I think I might be getting the hang of this whole parenting thing. You’d think so, after twenty three years and nine kids. Honestly though, I’m more used to failure and I’m slowly beginning to accept it. I have to. My kids keep me humble by pointing out my faults.

It happens to us all. We’re supposed to be doing the enlightening. We’re the ones full of experience, knowledge, and wisdom. In reality, it’s more like they don’t hear us at all unless we’re in the wrong. They catch us…

Adrienne Koziol

Wife and mom first. Muay Thai, freelance writing, and blogging for The Zoo I Call Home fills in the rest.

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