Dawn Downes

Dawn Downes
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Hey, y’all! I’m Dawn – a native Tennessean who could not wait to escape the small town for the big city. After attending a women’s college in Atlanta, I took root there and stayed. One marriage, two homes, two kids, and 25 years later, here I am, back in Tennessee. My husband moved here in January of 2016 to start a new job while our two boys, Brendan (born 2003) and Beckett (born 2006), and I stayed behind to finish the school year and sell our house. We arrived in July 2016 and have been working to make a happy new home here since then. We love living on the North Shore and I am enjoying finding unexpected beauty and little joys throughout our new city. I am also mama to fur babies, Josie the Rhodesian Ridgeback/Lab mix, and Miller, a sweet orange and white tabby cat. I'm into art, movies, music, TV, pop culture, nerdy stuff like Doctor Who and Game of Thrones and I know more than my share about the DC Universe, Pokemon, Minecraft, Battlefield, and all things LEGO thanks to having two boys.

Making Spirits Bright: Keeping Holiday Traditions Fun for Teens, Tweens, and the Whole Family

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I grew up in a small family without a lot of traditions. I watched every holiday commercial and Thanksgiving or Christmas special longing to be a part of a large, boisterous, happy family who...

Conversations about Consent: Creating a Dialogue about Sexual Consent with Your Child

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Recent political events stirred up a lot of deep conversations, as well as knee-jerk reactions, among parents about the topic of consent – what is it; what does it look or sound like; and...

Makeover Your Mommy Brain: Rediscover Yourself with Podcasts

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For all the many ways motherhood changed and shaped me for the better, the one thing it did not do was make me smarter. Nor did it make me a better version of me....

And If You Don’t Know, Now You Know: Learning as You Parent

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Lying in Savasana in a yoga class last week my blood pressure started to rise when I heard a new student talking to his girlfriend. If I were her, this would have been grounds...

The Proper Care and Feeding of Adult Friendships

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When my son asked me at dinner a few nights ago why my friend Alaina and I stopped being friends, it momentarily stirred up a bushel of hurt and old feelings of inadequacy. It...

Climbing off the Competition Carousel

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Catching up on Facebook, I see the kind of post by another parent that used to knock me off my parenting axis and send me into an abyss of panic, convinced my child was...

After the Last Box: Unpacking the Emotional Load of Moving

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Hi! Welcome to Chattanooga, Mama. You just made your move here and I know you feel worn out from planning it all. Choosing a neighborhood. Finding a house. Packing. Worrying. Moving beats all when it...

Let It Be: Letting Go of Expectations So Your Child Can Find Their Own...

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Before my sons were born, like most new parents, I had big ideas about the kinds of kids and men they’d grow into, the kind of mom I’d be, and what all of our...

Learning Rx: A Review of the Cognitive Skills & Brain Training Facility

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"He'll grow out of it,” they said. They being every friend, colleague, teacher, counselor, or stranger in the grocery store line I confided in with my worries about my son’s seeming stubbornness about doing...

Mindful Mama: Cultivating Mindfulness through Compassion

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As mamas we just want to get it right. Raising happy, healthy, resilient kids -- that's it. But, boy...what a challenge! For so many of us, we entered our role as mothers with a...