Sam Westerlund

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A resident of Penn Township, Pa, Sam Westerlund is a public educator and writer. She is also a wife and mother of three boys, ages 6, 5 and 1 and stepmother to two boys in their twenties. Her work commitments and “modern family” keep her busy, but in her spare time, she loves to travel and is an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction. Her passions are sharing authentically and openly about the joys and struggles of parenthood and connecting with others through the medium of story.

An Open Letter to the Class of 2020

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I know you, at least in some way. I’ve taught seniors for the last 13 years, and for the most part, I’ve loved it. I love watching the arch of your senior year; the...

Discussing Divorce with Little Ones

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Growing up, I was aware from a young age that both my parents had been married before. There were no children from those unions, and “Vince” and “Susan” were just figures from their past...

No Cheating, Aunt Becky… Practicing What We Preach

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Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard discussions of upper-class privilege and criticism of the college admissions process in the wake of the college cheating scandal. All of these are valid points/worthwhile discussions to...

How it Feels to be a Working Mom

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Last Friday, I returned to work after almost eight months of masquerading as a stay-at-home-mom. In July, I gave birth to my third son, and I had the opportunity to take an extended leave...

My Parenting Resolutions for 2019

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Last year brought a lot of change to our house, not the least of which was the arrival of our third son in July. I spent the rest of the summer and fall learning...

How do you teach your toddler about terror?

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Watching the events unfold in Squirrel Hill a few weeks ago, I was immediately touched by the outpouring of support for the people in that community. From vigils organized by high school kids, to...

The Five Things I Know for Sure about Having Three Kids

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Two months ago, I gave birth to my third child. I was so anxious to be done with the pregnancy that I ignored how much life would change when this new baby made his...

Waiting on Baby #3

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Everything is temporary. Everything is temporary. Everything is temporary. This is the mantra I used to recite to myself after my first son was born, when he basically didn’t sleep for the first six months...

The Secret Life of Boys

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Growing up the oldest of three sisters, I was surrounded by everything that was stereotypically “feminine.” We loved to play house, to style our dolls, to put on performances and play dress-up. I was...

Six Rules for Overcoming Mom Guilt

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Every mother I know struggles with guilt, whether she has one kid or five, works or stays home, or is married or single. Guilt seems to just come naturally with the territory. Personally, I...