WSV’s Steph Hightree envisioned a much different Homecoming experience for her children than the one they chose but she’s OK with it. Mostly. But not really.
It’s often said it takes a village to raise a child but the same can be said about an independent, nonprofit news organization. Over the next two weeks we’ll introduce or in some cases re-introduce the people who make Watershed Voice what it is today.
WSV’s Steph Hightree put together a photo gallery from her family’s summer to share with her #MomLife readers. So pull out the projector and put on your Hawaiian shirts, it’s vacation photo time!
WSV’s Steph Hightree writes, “You know the old saying ‘Money doesn’t grow on trees?’ Well, I have a secret to tell you: They were right, it doesn’t. Let’s talk money in this week’s #MomLife.”
WSV’s Steph Hightree writes, “I know that this too shall pass and all will be well in my world pretty soon, but always in the back of my mind I am wondering when will the depression come back? Will I wake up tomorrow and not be able to get out of bed? Will I go days without showering again? Will I live in my quiet bubble and shut people and activities out again? Sadly, the answer is yes. Even with medication depression is still there.”
Doug and Alek are joined by Watershed Voice columnist Steph Hightree for her long awaited and highly anticipated (probably) second interview to discuss raising a son with autism, how the stigma and general perception of autism has changed over the last decade, and why an emphasis on acceptance of autism should take priority over raising awareness of the developmental disorder. The trio also does a deep dive on Steph’s unique hobby and life’s work: collecting gnomes.
WSV’s Steph Hightree writes, “I’ve always imagined we would have a relationship like Lorelai and Rory from Gilmore Girls but the image in my head and the reality of life is looking a bit different. I don’t want to be the mean mom. But I know I need to be the mom that parents with love and discipline, rather than the best friend. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you aren’t an effective mom if you’re close to your child, I’m just saying you can’t expect the respect that you deserve if you let them walk all over you. “
WSV’s Steph Hightree writes, “As another school year comes to an end, I think of the Vitamin C ‘Graduation’ song and am instantly brought back to my senior year. Although I don’t have a graduating senior this year, I do have an 8th grader who will be transitioning to high school, and I’m kind of freaking out.”
WSV’s Steph Hightree finally took out her new camper and headed north this past weekend. And while the camping was splendid, the alpacas were spectacular.
WSV’s Steph Hightree writes, “I like that April helps shine a light on autism by celebrating Autism Awareness Month but what I really wish they would celebrate is Autism Acceptance Month. With one in 54 people being autistic we really need to change our focus to acceptance versus awareness. Everyone should be aware by now. Autism is here and it’s not going away. But the acceptance part is when things start to change. Acceptance starts with you. When you accept the fact that life is different now and that your child will be living a life that you may not have been prepared for, your life will become easier.”
Doug & Alek are joined by Watershed Voice Columnist and Office Manager Steph Hightree to discuss parenting during a pandemic, how paramount in-school counseling has been for her daughter Cadence, the trials and triumphs of her son Nathan, the joys of camping and her dogged pursuit of a Playstation 5 for her husband in the first of two back-to-back episodes with Ms. #MomLife herself.
WSV’s Steph Hightree writes. “Making dinner for my family is frustrating. I make two meals each evening, one for my son and one for the rest of my family. But the other day we had a breakthrough. […] My son, my very picky, my very particular son tried a cheeseburger for the first time!”
WSV’s Steph Hightree writes, “I think it is only natural we all wish for that small break where we can just be ourselves and not be mom for a minute. It doesn’t have to be as extreme as taking a whole vacation, it can just be hiding in the bathroom for 15 minutes to take a second to breathe, running to the store alone, going on a weekend trip, or in my case, driving eight hours away to a cabin in the woods to hopefully unwind and unplug.”
WSV’s Steph Hightree finally found her camper and it’s all she can talk about.
WSV’s Steph Hightree writes, “It may take years to realize that you have forgotten about yourself. I know it did for me. But when you finally break out of that mom cocoon it can feel refreshing to finally do something for yourself. It can be as simple as sitting down for 30 minutes to read a book or as elaborate as taking a kid free vacation to recharge your batteries. The reason I am writing this is to remind you that in the middle of the chaos, spit up, and dirty hair, you are in fact a person. You are still you.”
WSV’s Steph Hightree writes, “This past summer I finally started letting my daughter stay home by herself. I would be lying if I said I don’t think of every possible thing that could go wrong before I leave the house though. When does protecting them too much start to hinder their growth process? Has worry and fear taken over my life? Am I putting my child’s happiness in a bottle and locking it up until they are old enough to move out of the house? Am I taking away their ability to become risk takers or confidant adventurers all because I let my fear and worry take over my life? I think the answer is yes, at least a little bit.”
WSV’s Steph Hightree writes, “I am a big supporter of taking medication to help with one’s mental health and other health related issues. I wouldn’t be able to function without mine. But my daughter is feeling some shame with hers. She feels like something is wrong with her because she has to take medicine. So how do we end this stigma? Unfortunately society has not helped with this. Mental health is still not considered a health problem even though it has the word health right in its name. It is considered taboo to be depressed. People don’t like discussing or dealing with it. I’d like to end that now.”
WSV Columnist Steph Hightree writes, “I am by no means an expert on picking your battles. But I do have 13 years of parenting experience to fall back on and I’ll tell you what, I have lost more than I have won. But my children are alive and happy and healthy, and I haven’t lost all of my hair yet.”