On Your Mind: Is this a red flag for abuse?

on your mindNOTE: The question below reached us through our “online hotline” button which lets anyone send a question to a local counselor at Ozark Guidance — in a completely anonymous way. The email comes in with no email address and no identifying information. We set it up this way so women would feel free to write about anything on their mind.

pushed in angerToday my husband pushed me in anger. I was not bruised but it shocked me. I have an 8-year-old son (with him). I am glad at least my husband followed me into another room so he did not witness this because I would never want my son to do this to a girl.

We have been married 10 years. He sometimes gets angry and gives me the silent treatment, but has never touched me in anger before. I want our family to stay together and do not want to overreact, however, my training tells me this is a warning sign of potential abuse….

Thank you for your note. You’ve exercised good judgment in this situation in several ways; one is that you recognized that this was not OK. Your spouse should not physically react to you in anger.

Also, you recognized that you don’t want your son to witness violence in your home. Another way you exercised good judgment is that you paused long enough to say, “How should I react to this situation?” Ask yourself the following questions:

  • “How did my spouse react after the incident? Did he recognize that this was not OK?”
  • “Have I seen my spouse react appropriately when he is experiencing anger?” (Appropriate reactions could include discussing his anger in a calm manner, taking time alone to process his anger, or anything that does not make you feel like your safety is being violated.)

Other questions you might ask yourself include:

  • “Was I able to discuss the incident with my spouse in a safe way?”
  • “Do I feel comfortable around my spouse following this incident?”

If you’re unsure about any of these questions, talk to a mental health provider about your feelings and concerns. You have an appropriate level of concern in this situation. I would recommend spending some time thinking through these questions and determining if your home is a safe place for you and your children.

You may decide that this was a unique situation that your spouse regrets, or you may come to the conclusion that you and your son should seek other living arrangements. Either way, this is an important topic for you to give a considerable amount of time, effort, and thought over. Ozark Guidance Center is here to help, so contact us anytime at 479-750-2020.

Therapists at Ozark Guidance would be happy to answer your questions and read what’s on your mind. Click the butterfly icon below to fill out an anonymous submission form with your question or concern. The form contains NO identifying information and is designed to give local women an online place to share concerns with a person qualified to offer feedback.

Disclaimer: This RESPONSE does not provide medical advice It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on nwaMotherlode or Ozark Guidance websites.

Mamas on Magic 107.9: Helpful tips for Mompreneurs

Mompreneurs sliderMamas, if you’ve ever thought about starting your own home-based business, you might want to hear the audio files below. Recently during our Mamas on Magic 107.9 radio segment, we talked about “Mompreneurs” — moms who attempt to raise kids AND a small business at the same time.

Since Shannon and I became mompreneurs ourselves six years ago, this topic is a fun one for us. We hope we’ve passed along a few helpful tips to our fellow mamas who might want to jump into the small business trenches with us.

Click the LEFT side of each audio bar below to hear the discussions. (And tune in to Magic 107.9 each weekday at 7:45 a.m. to hear more of Mamas on Magic.)

Our mompreneur story

Tips on getting started

Secrets of success

More secrets of success

Should your hobby become a business?


The Rockwood Files: South meets North

rockwood files colorBy Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3

It pains me to say this, but it’s true: The people who live up North are tougher. There, I said it.

It’s hard to admit because my husband Tom grew up in Duluth, Minnesota, and I was born and raised in the South. And we Southerners aren’t wimps. Not at all. I grew up in Southern Arkansas where mosquitoes are roughly the size of single engine planes. They travel in swarms, flashing gang colors and building empires in flooded rice fields.

Until recently, I assumed Southerners and Northerners were equally tough. But I’ve just returned from two separate trips up North, and the evidence is overwhelming. Our first trip took us to Fargo for a family wedding. It was my first visit, and I was anxious to see if the stories about the intense cold were true.

When we landed at the Fargo airport, I looked out and thought, “This place doesn’t look that much different than our town.” I was almost disappointed that I wasn’t going to get the full Fargo experience.

But then we stepped outside the sliding airport doors and the frigid Fargo wind sliced right through me. I sucked in my breath at the shock of it. I might as well have been standing there in my underwear because temperatures in the teens combined with a fierce wind cut through my fleecy layers and jacket as if they were tissue paper.

cold person“Wow!” was all I could choke out as Tom hailed a cab.

“We’re not in Arkansas anymore,” he said.

Our cab driver didn’t even have on a coat. He put our bags in the trunk as the wind whipped up his shirttails and the whole time he chatted with us casually, as if he couldn’t even feel his insides turning to ice the way mine were. The people in Fargo have a saying: “40 below…It keeps out the riffraff.” I think they’re on to something.

Just yesterday, we returned home from a post-Christmas trip to Minneapolis to see my in-laws. We love our trips to Minneapolis, but I always forget just how demanding the cold can be. When we went snow tubing, the kids and I only lasted an hour or so before we got whiny and needed to thaw out in the lodge. Tom handled it far better because his Northern roots came back to him, the same way your feet automatically know how to pedal when you sit on a bike.

That’s the thing about Northerners. They don’t complain. They almost revel in their ability to not only survive but thrive in these crazy conditions. They will not be daunted. They laugh in the face of single-digit temperatures. They rev up their snow blowers in the morning the same way we Southerners walk outside to pick up the newspaper.

They don’t even seem to notice that their middle-of-the-night toilet seat temperature feels like sitting on the Arctic Circle. And they walk right out onto a frozen parking lot, sure-footed and confident, whereas I tip-toed around with my arms out like a teeth-chattering tightrope walker.

So yes, they’re tougher than we are. But they don’t know everything. I bet they can’t spot a funnel cloud as easily as we do. And if you try to order grits in one of their restaurants, they’ll stare at you blankly and hand you a bad glass of unsweetened tea. (Their fried cheese curds, however, are delicious.)

Now that I’m back home and my brain has thawed out a bit, I’ve realized there’s a reason why we’ve worked so hard to build roads crisscrossing the nation. There’s a reason why planes take off all day every day heading North, South, East and West. It’s good to see what you’re missing. And it’s also good to return home, where the tea is sweet and the middle-of-the-night potty seat temperature is a balmy 72 degrees.

gwen rockwoodGwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of nwaMotherlode.com. To read previously published installments of The Rockwood Files, click here. To check out Gwen’s book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.

Photo credit: Lisa Mac Photography

Q&A with Pediatrician Dr. Susan Demirel

pediatrician sliderOne of our favorite things to do is pick the brain of a real expert on children’s health. We always learn so much when we do. Here’s a recent question and Susan_Demirel_1154647238answer session we had with a local pediatrician at Mercy  — Dr. Susan Demirel. She offers some valuable insights on which problems concern her most about today’s kids, what to look for when you’re Googling your kid’s symptoms (yes, we do that, too) and some sweet thoughts about the best part of her job as a pediatrician. Read and enjoy.

What’s the most challenging part of being a pediatrician today?

Seeing a child suffering is, by far, the hardest part of my job. The second hardest part is seeing his or her parents suffering through the illness with them. For better or worse, I have a huge sense of empathy that often leads to sleepless nights hurting for the families I work with but also leads to incredible relationships with that family.

What pediatric health problems concern you most about today’s kids?

stethescope-tealPreventable ones. There are so many horrible things in this life we have no control over. However, there are some major health concerns in the pediatric population that we can not only do something about but we can prevent entirely. A few examples are the child who keeps having extreme asthma attacks that are triggered by smoke exposure, safety issues like never leaving your child around any sort of water unsupervised (bathtub and toilet included), and various forms of obesity.

What do you wish more parents understood about keeping their kids healthy?

I wish more parents understood that Antibiotics aren’t the answer to keeping their kids healthy. Sometimes they help – a lot. However, many times antibiotics don’t help at all and can even cause harm if they aren’t needed. For example, Viral upper respiratory tract infections (colds) can be miserable for anyone (and even last up to two weeks!) but not even the strongest antibiotic will do any good if the child has a viral infection and not a bacterial infection.

What are pediatricians and their nurses doing to help decrease the fear that some kids feel about going to the doctor?

Going to the doctor can be really scary – for children and adults alike! There are several things, as pediatricians, we try to do to put the kids at ease. Most of my partners and I don’t wear our white coat because that is often intimidating and scary for young children. We try to stay positive and encouraging all while Doc_McStuffins2being honest with the kids. There are little tricks to the trade to establish good rapport and put them at ease (i.e. a blood pressure cuff is “giving a little hug” to their arm) that we use pretty consistently. While it is often very age appropriate to have some stranger anxiety, we are usually able to become fast friends with the kids which usually helps a lot. Also, I don’t promote a lot of TV watching but Doc McStuffins sure has helped ease many little girls’ fears of the doctor’s office!

As you know, moms get worried and tend to Google their child’s symptoms. In what situations do you advise parents to do their own research and when does that sometimes cause problems?

Having well educated parents who are invested in their child’s health is priceless! However, most clinics have an on call line to call 24/7 if something is really worrying the mother. However, if a mom absolutely must Google, a good generality is to avoid the “.com” websites. Try to stick more with the “.org” or “.gov”. And if you plan on visiting your doctor after Googling, remember that your doctor and nurses have had years of experience and education addressing these issues – things that the internet just can’t offer. That being said, moms also have a sixth sense about their own child if something just doesn’t feel right. So, don’t be afraid to express your concerns and gestalt feeling about the situation when you do go to the doctor.

Is there a good rule-of-thumb for deciding when a child is contagious and when he’s not?

Every infection is a little different. However, typically when the child has not had a fever (without using Motrin or Tylenol) for over 24 hours, are feeling back to themselves and drinking well, it is typically safe to go back to school. However, every infection is a little bit different, so feel free to ask your doctor about specific conditions and their contagiousness.

Are there any current trends that are impacting the way pediatric medicine is practiced today?

The practice of medicine is always changing. Currently there have been a lot of changes with documentation requirements, Electronic medical records, insurance reimbursements, and billing and coding changes. However, the foundation of pediatrics has not changed – as the American Academy of Pediatrics states, our mission is to attain optimal physical, mental and social health and well-being for all infants, children, adolescents and young adults

What are the best parts about your work as a pediatrician?

The smiles. And hugs. And little drawings my patients make for me. The kids are and always will be the best part of my job. It is rare that I leave a clinic room not smiling from the sweet child I was just blessed to care for.

Our sincere thanks to Dr. Susan Demirel for answering our questions! Click HERE to read more about the pediatric clinic at Mercy.


Most Popular nwaMotherlode Posts in 2014

most popular, cropped

A new year is a time to look forward to what’s ahead — and to take stock of the year that’s behind us.

Here at Motherlode we publish a new post every day (including the weekends), so we have LOTS of posts under our belt. As we looked back over our analytics, here are just a few of the posts that were the most viewed/popular in 2014.

Click on the name of the category or post to pop over and read more:

Kids Eat Free. This list consistently shows up at the top of our analytics. It’s super popular because mamas all like to save a little money when they take the kids out for a meal. And because we sometimes just really don’t want to do the dishes and need somewhere to eat (that won’t break the bank) right now.

popular posts iconCalendar of Events. The calendar tends to be super popular because mamas want to know what to do and where to take the kids for some fun. Here’s a link to our latest calendar.

A review of the keratin treatment hair process. Apparently mamas have lots of questions about whether or not to go the keratin route and, if so, what to expect. This is a detailed review and offers lots of tips.

New in Town. One of the reasons we started nwaMotherlode was to help mamas who are new to NWA. We have so many families moving into the area and we like being able to help get them plugged in ASAP. The New in Town post offers tips on where to go for fun with your family in Northwest Arkansas. This post is consistently on the top 10 list of most viewed.

Where to shoot family pics in NWA. It’s always fun to scope out new places to shoot beautiful family pics and this list was extra special because the suggestions came straight from Motherlode readers.

The Rockwood Files: Are You Crazy Busy? The Rockwood Files are written by Motherlode co-founder and syndicated newspaper columnist Gwen Rockwood. She’s hilarious. She has a book out, as a matter of fact, of her best “Files”. You can order it here.

Life with Ladybug: That Unwelcome Monthly Guest. Mamas near and far can relate to the drama around Aunt Flo’s annoying arrival. Good for a laugh.

Summer fun printable. This one’s great for printing out and keeping on your fridge for a quick reminder of everything there is to do in NWA in the summertime.

Swim lessons in NWA. So many moms reach out to us asking for swim lesson recommendations, so we posted a list to help. This post is always popular starting in the spring.

Blog 66: Things to do in Little Rock. Little Rock is only a three-hour (or less) drive from here, so this post was visited quite a bit for ideas on what to do while in the state’s capitol.

Healthy Mama: What foods should I avoid eating while pregnant? Dr. Steed of Mercy NWA offered up some advice for which foods to steer clear of when you’re pregnant. This is always a hot topic for expectant mamas.

butterfly online hotlineMental Health: Urgent Answer for an Important Question. This was one of our most-viewed posts ever, actually. A local mom reached out to us on our online hotline and confidentially shared that her husband was hitting her. She wasn’t sure what to do. We got an answer on the website quickly to hopefully help her out. If you’re reading this now, mom, we hope it did help.

nwaMotherlode Business Directory. When mamas need help deciding on where to have a birthday party or where to find a good xxx, the business directory can help.

Giveaways! Of course, giveaways are super popular on Motherlode. In 2014, we partnered with lots of amazing local businesses to bring you the coolest giveaways for Northwest Arkansas moms, including lots of great date nights with Walton Arts Center and a brand new refrigerator from Metro Appliances!

What were your favorite posts from 2014? Thanks for reading, mamas. We’ve got tons of fun lined up for you in this new year!

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