Nicole Dash

Mother to four, writer, blogger, and childcare business owner looking for that 25th hour of every day. I write Tiny Steps Mommy - a blog about family, life, and caring for children - yours and mine.

After I had more than one child and started my day care, I discovered the only way to survive the chaos was to redefine my expectations and shove the mother’s guilt out the window. There is no perfect parent or child. We are all flawed and saying anything else is a lie. Being a good parent is less about how well-read you may be on the subject and more about how connected and forgiving you are with yourself and your child.

Once upon a time I was paid to write and edit copy. I also managed public relations and communications for a couple of non-profits and a national franchise company – that was when I actually had adult conversations on a daily basis.

Please check out my blog at TinyStepsMommy.com and join my very active Tiny Steps Mommy Facebook page. You can also follow my tweets @TinyStepsMommy. We have great discussions everyday!

Difficulty With Transitions

Almost every morning, one of the little girls I take care of in my daycare arrives with a very recognizable scream. I often hear her well before she makes it in the front door — much to her Mother’s chagrin (poor Mama). She is a wonderfully smart, loving child who has been in my care almost all of her four years of life. Yet, at least three days a week, this is her routine....more

It’s Not Enough to Hear the Warning Noises, You Have to Listen

Have you ever noticed the noises that accompany imminent failure? The squeak of your brakes. The rattle in your attic fan. The loud buzzing in your refrigerator. These noises usually start without warning, but almost always indicate something is wrong. Like mechanical shouts in your face, these sounds want and need your attention....more

The Dandelion Seed Waits With Hope

The billowy fluffs float on the breath of my little girl’s secret wishes. I watch her spread the dandelion seeds and smile. Who decided these were weeds anyway? I love dandelions. They are vibrant and stand alone until it’s time to change into impossibly soft wisps.  Then they wait until the wind slowly carries them away – to land where they may. No plans. No set path. The dandelion seed waits with hope....more

Hiding Behind the Suburban American Dream

When I was young I spent a lot of my time thinking and worrying about what came next. I was always in a hurry – pushing myself to get that next thing – whether it was a bigger home, a pay increase or another child. I felt like I was supposed to push forward this invisible agenda in order to be seen as “accomplished.” ...more
Kudos to you for having the courage to confront AND write about these things.  It's always ...more

How Do We Protect Our Teens from Young Love & Raging Hormones?

I pulled up to a stop sign minutes from my house and saw two young teenagers holding hands and talking intimately. They were wearing backpacks and seemed to be saying goodbye. I imagine that they just got off the school bus together. I watched the girl turn coyly from the boy as he brushed the hair from her face....more
Yes, my son is 17 and he has a girlfriend, I told him that he needs to wait but I know how ...more

We Remember Every Kiss, Hug Even if Our Children Can’t

Our fingers interlock. His hand is small compared to mine, but not as small as I remember. I trace his face gently – touching his forehead, nose and chin. I remember how he used to love butterfly and Eskimo kisses. It was our thing. The ritual way we said goodbye, but not anymore. His breath is heavy and slow. He finally releases the long day and drifts into a deep slumber....more

Trusting Your Inner Mama Bear: I Let a Predator Into My Kids' Lives

I am a fiercely protective Mama bear. I insist on holding my children’s hands when we cross the street. I keep my eyes on my children at all times in public places. I do not like them to play in the front yard without an adult present and my younger children have never had a sleepover at a friend’s house without me present. Yet, I unknowingly allowed a child predator into my life....more
I knew someone who went to prison for molesting one of his students. I was at parties with this ...more

Top 10 Reasons I Will Not Survive the Apocalypse

I made a mistake last night. A big one. I watched Countdown to Apocalypse: Maya Messengers on the History Channel. In case I didn’t have enough to worry about, I am now officially in freak-out mode....more
Don't freak out! NASA isn't. It's just good TV. ...more

I Don’t Want to Screw-Up my Daughter’s Self-Image

“Mommy, will I look like you when I grow up?” my five-year-old daughter asks.I pause internalizing the question. Does she want to look like me? Is she afraid she’ll look like me? Do I want her to look like me? Am I about to scar her for life with my answer? Did the professional photos I just had taken for my blog/writing impact her? Did I send her the wrong message?...more

How Do You Bond With Your Teenage Son? I Prefer Milkshakes, Bad Pop Music

The beat of the music filled the car much louder than I normally prefer. But, I didn’t turn the sound down. I just let it fill the space around me and my 13-year-old who was silently lamenting his lacrosse team’s loss in the championship game of an intense full-day four-game tournament....more