The imperfect life

Parenting in the modern age — let’s face it — is complicated. 

To use the words of Jen Hatmaker in her viral essay for Today: We don’t just drink “a case of Tab” and send our kids outside for the day like parents of yore.

No, we try to manage everything into a state of perfection. And things today are so not perfect.

So, in our February issue (PDF), we’re taking a look at a few of the complexities of modern parenting.

That includes how to ease your child into a new daycare. Though some kids transition easily, others don’t. 

Fortunately, you can equip yourself with knowledge and skills to help your kids accept their new world. 

The same goes for a much tougher, bigger, scarier topic: Divorce.

If you find yourself in this hellish situation, know that you’re not alone. 

I’m with you, in fact: I’ve spent much of the past year trying to survive the cataclysmic change that separation brings upon a once-whole, perfect family. 

Divorce has opened up a world of profoundly painful and difficult parenting challenges for me and my ex. How do we protect our son from this? How do we make divorce painless and perfect? Well, we don’t.

And how will we ever get over seeing our kid only half the time? Well, we won’t.

I’ve found strength I didn’t know I had. And I’ve learned there’s a whole new level of putting my child’s needs above my own.

And guess what? I’m surviving; and our boy appears to be thriving.

Life goes on, I’ve found, just very differently.

“Co-parenting” in two separate households is our family’s new normal. 

As our article so rightly says: “When you’re a parent, the grieving process is open-ended. You can’t walk away. You can’t say goodbye. You and your former spouse will be making plans for winter break, sitting in proximity at soccer games.”

If you end up getting a divorce, get all the help you can. Don’t go it alone.

Check out the divorce resources listed with the article in this issue. (I highly recommend Daisy Camp.)

Also, in this issue, we have two stories for families with kids on the autism spectrum, including places to take kids with sensory disorders as well as a piece by The PACER Center on how to adjust to an autism diagnosis. 

Now, here’s to the future and to enjoying the simple pleasures and joys amid the tremendous challenges of parenting (and life)!

Sarah Jackson is the Editor of Minnesota Parent magazine. She lives in Minnetonka with her 7-year-old son. Write her at