Anna Berend

One day a friend sent Anna Berend an article about blogging. She thought it was a great idea but had no idea what she would write about. Then it hit her/ she could combine her legal expertise with her experience gained from raising two boys. Berend asserts that she doesn’t write about family law, but rather, “how the law affects your family.” The blog has taken on a life of its own since Berend launched her advice column-meets-journal in March 2010. Check out the buzz for yourself at motherlylaw.com. 

—Claire Walling

Where do you draw inspiration for your blogs?

A lot of my writing concerns issues that have touched my family’s lives. My intention isn’t to scare parents, but I want them to be aware of the legal repercussions of their actions. For instance, last summer my kids and I were at a backyard party with a rented bouncy house. At one point the power went out, causing the bouncy house to deflate. Everyone was OK, but it scared the kids and got me thinking about the legal issues behind this. When I researched it I found that bouncy house accidents happen too often to be a freak occurrence. I’m not advocating raising your kids in a bubble, just that parents be aware and think about what they’re doing.

What’s your “signature” issue that you blog about?

The issue of distracted driving has really stoked a fire in me. When someone texts while driving, it’s not just their hands that are busy; their mind is too. I don’t think the laws will be strict enough on this issue for a long time, but just because using your phone while driving is legal doesn’t mean it’s safe. Before I realized how dangerous this habit was I wouldn’t hesitate to take the chance to talk while my little guys were firmly restrained in their car seats. Now I advocate to stop distracted driving; my slogan is “Phone down, eyes up.” If you want safe habits to be ingrained in kids, it needs to start with their parents.

What’s your favorite part about writing Motherly Law?

I like showing my side as a mom too. On Fridays and Saturdays I post a blog called “motherly advice.” It started as a quick, light-hearted way to end the week, but my readers have really embraced it, and as I’ve written more I’ve started to open up and “motherly advice” has become more personal.