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"All mothers are working mothers." -- Author Unknown

Friday, May 07, 2010 | Permalink

“You don't drown by falling in water, but by staying there."
--Tina Nocera

When you walk into your home, do you feel wonderful?  Or like you're drowning?

You know all those things you walk past and sigh?  They wear you down, or build resentment.  They slowly poison you and your family. It's Spring!  What better time to give your home a once-over so that it better supports your family? 

This weekend, gather your family for a few hours.  If the kids resist, explain that in a family everyone pitches in and works together.  Grab a pad of paper, a box, and garbage bags. Walk through your house together.  Anything you're ready to give away goes in the box. Anything you can throw away goes in the garbage.  Anything that repeatedly annoys you gets written down on the pad.  (Each person is limited to four things, so the list doesn't get overwhelming. You can always do this again next month!)

Then sit down over pizza and talk about your list.  What can you fix today?  Keep the list manageable and give everyone tasks according to their age and ability.  Brainstorm how the whole family can tackle the remaining issues over the next month.  If an item will cost money, budget how to accomplish that goal over time.  Set up a jar, label it, and celebrate as everyone starts contributing funds (in the form of cash or checks).

Fix as many things as possible this weekend and then celebrate with ice cream. Brainstorm together how you can keep your home feeling this orderly in the future. Your whole family will feel more connected, energetic and empowered. Your kids will have learned some terrific lessons. And you'll begin next week feeling like you can walk on water.
May your weekend be filled with miracles, large and small.   READ POST

Friday, April 03, 2009 | Permalink

Most senior citizens say they wished they had spent more time with their children, and that the years of child-raising, in retrospect, passed in the blink of any eye. Most fathers, and even more mothers, say that they want to spend more time with their children, especially in those tricky afterschool hours when kids could use supervision on their homework.   READ POST

Sunday, November 30, 2008 | Permalink

Let's be honest about babies and toddlers.  They need us.  Developmentally, they need the concentrated loving attention of a permanent attachment figure who adores them.  (Which by definition excludes paid caregivers.)

Women in our culture are given a terrible, unfair choice:  either meet our children’s needs or meet our own. Excuse me, but why aren’t men faced with this choice?  READ POST

Saturday, November 29, 2008 | Permalink

A mom asked me this week, "What can parents do to raise great kids, given that babies and even older kids need us so much, but we need to work?"

There’s no perfect solution, but many parents are navigating a way through the maze of options, putting together a life that works for them and for their children.

1. Choose professions that offer more flexibility, even if less money.

2. Arrange for both partners work part-time while children are under six so that both share in early child raising.  Later, more flexibility and fewer hours than most fulltime jobs.

3. Use technology as a servant, not a master.  Carve out protected family time.

4. Pay conscious attention to who does the work at home.  Share it.

5. Prioritize relationship and ritual. (Choose dinner with friends the first Friday night of each month over the latest movie opening.)

6. Space children three years or more apart to maximize individual parent-child relationships.

7. Consciously create home as a calm, safe, warm refuge. (Resist over-scheduling, over-stimulation and stress.)

8. Live stated values. (No grand theft auto or shoot-em-up computer/video games.)

9. Embrace individuality and nurture individual passions, which are protective for kids in the face of cultural and peer pressure.

10. Nurture the family as a whole (do things together as the default.)  READ POST

Friday, November 28, 2008 | Permalink