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Stage of Life® is a writing community designed for parents to share their stories about raising a family.  Get involved with our educational mission:  Enter our monthly writing contests or share your parenting experiences and explore our parenting resources such as statistics about families, quotes about raising a family, family etiquette, funny family videos, and more.  Save money with our coupons for families too. Whether you're a single parent, traditional family, or multi-generational family, we look forward to reading your parenting essays.  Your stories may just help inspire other people raising a family.  Get started now...

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Recent Writing Contest Winners

Winning Essay WritersWinning Writing Contest EssaysBefore you scroll down to read the essays, stories, and blogs being submitted to StageofLife.com, let's celebrate the recent writing contest winners.  We select one essay each month from across all of the non-student life stages to win our monthly blogging contests

Basically...these winning essays are selected from all of you "grown-ups" out there writing on Stage of Life...

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Parent Stories

I’m jolted awake to a bloodcurdling wails. The horrific noises interrupt my pleasant dreams of eating chocolate and drinking vino, yet never gaining a pound. I glance at the clock; it’s 5:30 in the morning. I stumble out of bed in the darkness, only half awake, tripping over an English Setter, who is apparently not much of a watch dog. He yelps. I glance over at the lump next to me, my husband, snoring loudly. The sounds do not disrupt his sleep. I wonder what wou...
My son was thrilled to be going away to a weeklong residence summer camp. It wasn’t very far from our home, but per camp rules he wasn’t allowed to take his cell phone or any electronics with him. Therefore, we’d have no contact the entire week. The camp requested that parents only call the camp office in case of a true emergency. I was very excited for him, but also, as a mom, naturally worried about him being away from home and not being able to check in on him. During th...
Hi, Just wanted to share our creative baby announcement parody video with expecting families. It's so exciting to have a bun in the oven! With our first son we made the Bieber parody http://youtu.be/ADGp39UejnYI was opposed to doing the second video for our second child because it took a long time for us to get the first video up. But my husband wanted to make sure from the start our son would get the same love and attention as our first. So he worked a lot on the second ...
In spite of over thirty years as an educator, the proclamation of a snow day still results in whoops of joy and disbelief. As much as I love teaching, there is simply nothing like “found time” and the chance to either chill out or ramp up and finally take care of those niggling chores that never seem to disappear from my “to do” list. Step inside any faculty room right before a predicted weather event. There’s a palpable air of fun and excitement. Business-like teachers we...
When I was a kid, my family didn’t have much money, but we managed just fine. We normally couldn’t afford fancy vacations and just spent a week at the beach each summer. Our dream was to visit the relatively new Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.We saved our money for years for that trip. A huge map of the Magic Kingdom hung over our kitchen table for inspiration, and we’d pore over it and talk about visiting at dinner every night. We saved coins, scrimped on spending, ...
Positioned halfway between the Equator and the North Pole, Romania is the 12th largest country in the South-Eastern Europe. Many think since the country once under Soviet rule or former Eastern bloc country, there is nothing interesting there to watch or speak about. That is misleading. Romania is one of the most beautiful places in Eastern Europe, attracting mass tourism and welcoming people from all walks of life.Romanian has wonderful tales which have generated curiosity...
What is it about the state of HAPPINESS that has it in such high demand? Parents often wish only for their children to “be happy’ while the world and the web are filled with ideas and strategies around searching for and finding our bliss. Some suggest that we may be able to create a world of fulfillment, that we may even have control over our own happiness; invite luck, work hard, aim high, be the best, have more, be more, do more. Still others, with a different view, teach ...
What if you didn’t open the report card? What if instead, you relied upon their actions, on what you see before you, on what you know to be true? Would you know how your child is doing in school, at home, in life, in the world?We need school teachers; those who lift us up from where we are lying, who impart information and wisdom , who cause a shift in perspective, who teach us what we need to know and what we don’t want to hear. We need teachers who reach out to a part o...
What is it about the future that we are convinced will be better than now, than this very moment? Why are we always reaching beyond our grasp; do we imagine the future is more hopeful, holds more promise or more possibility? Do we realize that all of those future moments that we once wished upon, have already come and gone and have been our present, and become our past; today is last week’s future. Is it what you dreamed?On Monday morning, the news shows are already predi...
On a recent anniversary trip, my husband and I reflected on our 30 years of marriage and why we were still enjoying friendship and love. Having been only 19 and 20 when we wed, our chances of reaching 50 and still being together and happy, were slim.At 13 ½ years old, I had looked at the Scottish boy visiting next door as a wonderful easy summer boyfriend. And, while I didn’t understand much of what he said through that thick Scottish brogue, I understood cute and differ...
"A woman is like a teabag; you never how strong it is untilit's in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt. Awwww young love, the butterflies,and blushing.... uuuhhhh ooohhh,young pregnancy, so I guess young marriage has to happento prevent the new grandfather from exploding. Everything the first year was a fairy tale...Slowly things started slippingso I did what any wife I thoughtwould do, had another son.The results played out differentin my head. ...
Being married is harder than what most people think. I've been married for 7 and a half months, and im only twenty years old and my wife is twenty-seven years old. She has three children that I consider my own. Times are hard because I don't have no job and im currently in school. There are many things that bring stress in a relationship that only make things harder. There's money, family, friends, work, kids, and many more. To me of course all those things are pushed to the ...
About three months ago, my fianccee's 2nd cousin moved in with us. She had been inappropriately touched by her step-dad, and as a 17 year old, giving her some place safe was of utmost importance.In the meantime, I was driving her to school 3 days a week and allowing her use my vehicle after dropping me off at work, to get to school, and afterwards she would pick me up. My fiancée would allow her to drive her truck on the other two days during the week with a similar arr...
My trials an tribulations came when I became a mother at the age of 23 don't get me wrong my daughter was the best thing that could have happend to me.Becomming a parent made me try harder and I pushed myself harder.Although my past mistakes hunt me to this day,And I have never had help from her father onky his mother.When I say he is very cold hearted I mean that.So I had a baby by another man then I went back to my first baby daddy and mad another girl.Wow!!I know what was...
Although I am a heterosexual, cisgender woman, I have an idea of what it is like for LGBTs to be “in the closet.” I love to talk about my activities at the school where I teach, but this year, when I stepped up to co-advise the school’s gay straight alliance, I did not tell many people.I love this club, but I don’t talk about it because I’m scared of the reactions from those who are judgemental towards LGBT people. In June 2013, when everyone changed their Facebook profil...
I took Portia in for her three-year check up. I was relieved that this would be one of the easy ones-- no vaccines required! I figured we'd bounce those curls in the through the door, check out her ears and walk right out again.I was wrong.The questions started out easy enough. "Is she saying 600 words?" Asked the nurse. Portia is very talkative, and has been so from an early age, so at first I nodded. Then I began to try to calculate what 600 words she knew...
Prior to begetting two daughters two plus years age difference (the eldest heading into her nineteenth year since December 22, 2014), I put myself at the center of importance. Energy pursuing any endeavor (or simply spending time sequestered alone – the latter more predominant than the former), the focus of true value predicated on yours truly i.e. Matthew Scott Harris. Throughout the course of family affairs whence commencement of being a papa took place (bu...
Having successful communication with the older people requires special communication strategies and skills. Below you will find some tips that may help you communicate with seniors better, however not all of them can be applied to every individual situation. Let’s try to figure out the ways to make relationships with older adults more positive.Patience, my friend Dealing with elderly people requires maximum compassion and patience. Remember that they are faci...
When I think the male’s role in raising a family, my mind is flooded with the actions of my father, a time in which men let their actions speak louder than their words (yes, I’m a 60’s baby). My father has always been a quiet man, yet his actions always let me know that no matter what, he would always be there for our family. He found his position in life, after being in the Army for years, coming home to New York, finding his soul mate there, then settling down to take care...
That morning I left my coffee on the counter as I rushed to drop off my daughter at school and to get to work. Thinking intently about the coffee I left at home, I drove past my exit. I wasn't upset or frustrated about it. I just decided that I might as well stop and get another. I didn’t really want to waste any more time but I felt I had to stop. Some force was pulling at me and this was not about a caffeine fix. I was supposed to be somewhere besides work that day.As I g...
I received the best advice in regards to parenthood the other day while attending a friend’s housewarming. It was suggested that I surround my daughter with all the things that I wanted her to have in her life as an adult. His point was that if I wanted her to learn a language I should play CDs overnight of that language mainly to give her a foundation to learn. Now, I have already begun to apply it to the game of chess, which I hope she learns at a young age. And I have appl...
The best memories are inspired by the making, the baking, and the stewing of good food. I grew up in the kitchen, in my aunt's kitchen to be exact. She showed me her cooking secrets without really knowing that she had. I caught the “cooking bug” from Aunt Carol. I loved to mix, bake, and taste with my fingers. One time, I peeked in one of her large pots and saw fragments of the pig, tail to nostrils. You would think we were from the country the way my aunt cooked. But I kno...
My family has many traditions when it comes to food especially since I am a Jew. Each Saturday, which is our sabbath, we have three big meals with a lot of food. We usually have cholent, chicken, corned beef, and other foods. Jews also have many holidays in which we have a lot of food as well. Some holidays last for three days, so we have over six huge meals. However, I am not complaining because I love food, but each holiday I probably gain over three pounds give or take. M...
About a week ago, during a bout of insomnia, I decided to go downtown and grab some coffee (I know, a bit counterproductive). After about twenty minutes of watching hipsters, schizophrenic homeless people and plastic girls walking in and out of the club, I decided to go on a quick walk. While walking down an alley, I happened to look over and saw the back entrance of a new restaurant. I swear to god, the logo for this restaurant was, “A Fork to Mouth Restaurant.” I don’t...
You have to love the irony of hypocrisy. Listed above is a picture of a bench with the beautiful Oregon state capital in the background. On this bench, you will notice a 2 x 4. This is no armrest mind you; it is purposely placed there and throughout the surrounding capital grounds to prevent one thing - allowing our outrageously large homeless population a place to rest. For the last 20 years, Oregon has been ruled - I mean governed, by the esteemed Dr. John Kitzhaber. Kitz...
I have wonderful memories of holidays with my family when I was a child, but Easter was always extra-special. That was the holiday when we prepared and ate traditional Ukrainian foods, and the entire extended family came together to celebrate. My mother and grandmother spent days in the kitchen cooking and baking in preparation for the holiday, and we all ate the delicious foods of our ancestors until we felt as though we might burst. This was part of the heritage left by my...
Wendy KennarThe A to Z List of Meaningful Foods in My Life The alphabet played a large role in my daily activities during the years I worked in a public library and taught kindergarten. Consequently, I tend to look at the world and want to alphabetize it. Here I offer the A to Z List of Meaningful Foods in My Life.A Avocado. Pure delight - my favorite sandwich ingredient. Pure fear - I once cut the palm of my hand as I attempted to slice and de-pit an avocado. B Ba...
Food was a huge part of my fondest memories spent with my mom. She wasn’t known for her cooking, in fact my dad did most of it, but she made a few dishes that were my absolute favorite and we shared many special memories together that revolved around food. She passed away when I was nineteen and I’ve been missing her, those favorite dishes, and those special memories for twenty years. I really enjoy thinking back to those times, but of course, not without shedding some tears...
It was sometime during my tween years. I don’t know the exact year or the season, just that dinner time was moments away. In the kitchen, dusk had cast its shadows across the white Formica countertop, further blackening the silver dollar-sized scorch mark where the toaster had recently caught fire. The unfamiliar smell emanating from the oven piqued my interest. I peered through the grease-splattered glass window and wondered, “What is that?”It was pizza. Wonder Bread piz...
My mother did not like to skimp on food. If anything, she went overboard. On school days I would make my own peanut butter sandwich. Then mom would check it carefully. She never was satisfied with how much I took. Reopening the jar, she would say, " That's not enough. Take some more," while proceeding to add to my sandwich enough peanut butter to choke a horse. This technique applied to everything we ate. Nothing was thrown out. No matter how much I had eaten,...

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