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Stephanie Gruner Buckley

My daughter used to be an artist. She would spend hours in the TV room, not watching TV, but on the floor surrounded by scraps of paper, beads and string, making collages and jewelry, or copying cartoon characters into notebooks.

She loved to sew. With a needle and thread, she would make dresses and hats and shoes for her dolls. Before I got around to buying her fabric, she used construction paper. My brother gave her a small wooden artist manikin one Christmas. She made clothes for that too.

She wasn’t allowed TV on school days, but we were lax on weekends. She didn’t watch much TV anyway. She was too busy doing something else. When friends came by, she would show them her art books, page after page. …

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Stephanie Gruner Buckley, thanks to Nick Sawhney

We’ve been through an awful time with people seriously on edge. Worried about the pandemic, our jobs, the intrusion of tech, political chaos, non-stop bad news, a growing divide between rich and poor; red and blue. The meme is a collective sigh of relief.

Here’s what else these glorious memes tell us:

Tech Can Be Our Friend

We (see: me) tend to bash tech because while it makes life easier; it’s also becoming our life. Still, it’s worth marveling for a moment at the explosion of sophisticated, easy-to-use, art and photo apps. There’s already a brilliant (and highly addictive site) where you can enter an address and up pops Bernie. Genius! (See one of my many creations above. …

Can’t we all just get along?

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Photo by christian buehner on Unsplash

I’ve spent the past hour replying to the last of the comments to a story I wrote about my daughter’s iPhone use. There were nearly 300 comments, which I enjoyed reading and responding to.

I learned something along the way: most people are incredibly decent and kind. Many people told me I was a good mother. They said not to beat myself up for failing to curb my daughter’s iPhone use. They said I was doing the best I could. Some shared stories about their own struggles. …

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Stephanie Gruner Buckley

There’s nothing like hosting a playdate to shine a spotlight on how you’re doing as a parent.

So here I am in my living room the day before the guests arrive, sizing up our home as other moms might.

The living room is a disaster. We never wanted to be the kind of people who littered their home with toys. And yet, our once very adult living room, with its antique sofa and Persian rug, looks like a kiddy corner at Chuck E. Cheese.

The moms won’t judge me harshly for this. Their homes look much the same.

But there is a problem. Among the toys — rattles, bright plastic fish, and half a dozen soft animals ripped off the playmat bar by my daughter to stick in her mouth — is nothing designed to expand a baby’s mind. …

A pandemic and “infodemic” are causing a global mental health crisis

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Photo by Apollo Reyes on Unsplash

I worry about things big and small; I worry my daughter will freeze if she doesn’t zip her coat; I worry rich people like Elon Musk are obsessed with space travel because they know our planet is doomed. I worry about Covid-19.

My family calls me the “Worrier Princess.”

Now it seems I have something new to worry about: Covid-19 is causing us to worry even more and that’s terrible for our health. Potentially deadly, in fact.

Global Mental Health Crisis

Experts say uncertainty and fear of contagion, isolation and socio-economic disruption are leading to a worldwide mental health crisis. The virus is hitting hardest people already suffering from mental health issues such as illness anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and depression— and particularly as they may lack access to mental health services. …

Is it Happy Hour yet?

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Photo by Amin Hasani on Unsplash

My husband left this shopping list:

  1. Jameson’s Whiskey
  2. Butter
  3. Tobasco sauce (chipolte)
  4. Tobasco sauce (habanero)

That’s it.

We have meat in the freezer and extra eggs and toilet paper. But there are other things we need. Fresh vegetables, for example.

This list perfectly captures our lockdown life amid Covid-19.

As the number of Covid-19 cases surge across the UK, we’re being asked to stay home until mid-February, or later.

Here’s a typical lockdown day: We wake up and stay in bed. My husband reads. I read a bit and write. …

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Photo by Vishnu Prasad on Unsplash

6:00 a.m. Salim squats low, his back straight, his knees bent. He pivots upward, hoisting open the heavy metal gate of his coffee truck. He uses just his legs and “core”, as a customer once advised. His breath blows white in the icy morning air. He wonders if he’s getting too old for this. His wife says he is. But he can’t imagine his days, long and empty. Sitting at home. Looking after grandkids? He makes a steaming cup of doodh pati chai, just as he’s done at exactly this time, six days a week for nearly 40 years. …

It’s not fake news; it’s junk news

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

I blame mainstream media for Trump’s success at nearly destroying our democracy.

I’m an ex-reporter myself. I feel totally comfortable saying this.

As the finger-pointing begins over who is responsible for the train wreck that is Trump and how we landed in this mess, it’s worth reflecting for a moment on how it all started.

In June 2015, Trump announced his candidacy for president. Media went wild and the circus came to town. In 2015, Donald Trump was the second most told news story after the winter weather. …

A good pet parent would know

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Stephanie Gruner Buckley

I’m told that dog stories don’t fly on Medium but how can this not be a Modern Parent issue? Parents worn down by relentless kids demanding dogs during Covid lockdown only to give in and be faced with a baffling array of new challenges:

Do I buy chew toys made from natural olive wood or from yak’s milk?

At Christmas, when I was little, we gave our dog Britta wrapping paper rolls. She loved cardboard! I see now there’s a medical condition if your dog is obsessed with eating things like cardboard or paper or plastic. It’s called pica.

We’ve had our 9-month old puppy Leo for one month. Topping the list of what he loves to…


Stephanie Gruner Buckley

Writer, editor, parent. Concerned about the world around us. Former staffer at Quartz, WSJ and Inc. magazine.

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