Archive for May 2008
“There just aren’t enough hours in a day…”
It’s a phrase I often hear from parents as they struggle to find balance in their busy lives.
Regardless if you work full-time, part-time or work at home by taking care of the kids and household, it has become increasingly difficult to accomplish everything: contribute to the family income, cook healthy meals, do volunteer work, drive the kids to soccer (piano, baseball, etc.), help with homework, clean the house, exercise… The list goes on and on.
Parents: Please tell us about your daily juggle. Any advice on how to keep all those balls in the air while still making your family the priority?
Incredibly sad story here about a kindergarten teacher in Florida who let her class vote on whether a student (who is being diagnosed with Asperger’s) can stay in class. This is so cruel, I cannot imagine a professional educator making such a decision. And even overlooking the child voted out, imagine what this is teaching the remaining students?
While sitting in the doctor’s office this morning, an article in Parenting magazine caught my eye.
In “Boys vs. Girls,” writer Paula Spencer quotes Spokane author and social philosopher Michael Gurian: “I think parents use ‘which is harder?’ as an expression of whatever our frustration is at the moment. Boys and girls are each harder in different ways.”
Spencer is also quick to point out that every child is different and that her or his personality as well as the environment the child grows up in also play a role.
Here are her conclusions in a nutshell:
Who’s harder to raise? In terms of…
Physical safety: Boys
Communication: First boys, then girls
“The bottom line?” writes Spencer. “On balance, the general consensus seems to be that boys are more of a handful early on, and girls more challenging beginning in the preteen years.”
I have one of each and I am definitely more challenged by my son. But that could be because of his age and personality. And of course, they’re both so young right now that I wouldn’t really know. I’m just challenged. Period.
Do you agree? Are boys really harder to raise than girls – at least in the beginning?
There’s not a lot of sunshine out there, but summer is still on my mind. I’m trying to come up with some family day trips/activities without having to drive too far or spending too much money.
Here are some ideas so far: Hiking in Riverside State Park, Tubbs Hill in Coeur d’Alene or the bluff on the South Hill; spending a morning at the public library; going to the pools, any of the lakes or to the fountain at Riverfront Park; learning about plants at Gaiser Conservatory in Manito Park; picking fruit at Greenbluff; watching a movie at the Garland Theatre for $3.50 a ticket; Mobius…
Any other ideas to prevent the “Mom, I’m bored” complaints? The criteria is simple: local and cheap. Free would be great, but anything at $6 per person or less would be fine, too. Thanks for your input!
This has very little to do with parenting, but it is about relationships – sort of – and the things you lose and how they sometimes come back.
Before kids, my husband and I used to spend our weekends in Bayview, Idaho, sailing our ’73 Coronado on Lake Pend Oreille. After our eldest son was born, we just couldn’t keep the boat. It was hard to sail with an infant on board, especially after he started crawling. I was so paranoid that he would fall overboard and drown.
So we sold it. But during one of our last sailing days, Ted lost his wedding band. The gold ring had always been a little loose, but somehow, he didn’t notice that it had slipped off his finger. We were both convinced that it had fallen in the water, lost forever at the bottom of Lake Pend Oreille.
It’s hard to replace sentimental objects such as wedding rings. Ted had planned on renting scuba gear and scouring the bottom of the lake near the marina, but he never did. Ringless after few months, he went to a pawn shop and spent $20 on a cheap silver band.
After a few years, I finally stopped getting angry every time I thought of the lost ring. Then soon after that, it didn’t even cross my mind at all.
Until… tonight. A guy named Mark called and asked him, “Did you lose something shiny on your old boat?”
Mark bought the Coronado from the couple who bought it from us. He discovered it in the battery compartment — in the boat’s hull, and was kind enough to track Ted down.
The sudden return of my husband’s wedding ring has brought back all these memories – of those carefree days before kids; of beautiful Bayview; of the months after our son was born as we tried to reconcile our outdoor pursuits with the reality of parenthood.
So we lost the boat. And the ring. And a little bit of our old selves.
But we have two great kids and enough adventure. Now the ring is back, so that must be a good sign.
So it’s the day after Mother’s Day. I can’t button my jeans because I ate ALL the chocolate my boys gave me. The theory being just get it over with and don’t eat the rest of the week.
I’m still wiping down cupboards. My 18-year-old baked me a cake when I was out of town with the rest of the family (he had to work). Apparently, the mixer got away from him.
I can barely walk through the house because I wasn’t allowed to pick up a thing all weekend. And, well, no one else seems to notice things like mens size 13 SHOES in the MIDDLE of the floor.
I wish they knew that the very best thing about Mother’s Day is the fact that I feel so fortunate to be a mom.
How ‘bout the rest of you? Does your day of pampering add up to a week’s worth of cleaning?
My parents will be moving soon into their new home. My mother will need a housekeeper to help clean the house. They live five miles north of Loon Lake, on Hwy 395. Do you know of anyone in the area who could do the job?
In her blog called, “strollerderby,” writer Rachael Brownell provides folks with a list of Mother’s Day do’s and don’ts.
Among her don’ts: kitschy “Precious Moments” statues; jewelry that says “#1 Mom;” vacuums and other tools for cleaning.
Instead, Brownell suggests original art from a local artist or a set of Le Creuset pots for the mom who loves to cook.
Moms: What do you really want for Mother’s Day?
Until recently, I never gave much thought to the “other” mom.
I know several people who were adopted as children and also numerous parents who have adopted infants and even elementary-age kids from Ethiopia, Guatemala, China and also the United States. I started thinking more about the birth mothers – these women who relinquished children for adoption – after learning about the Mass and luncheon that takes place every year at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. After interviewing a few birth mothers over the years, I learned that they never forget, that they always wonder about their child and that many yearn to reconnect at some level. In the 1950s and ‘60s, even in the decades after, many were shamed into silence.
I wrote a story for today’s paper about the annual birth mothers gathering called “A Step Toward Solace.” Here’s some information about the event:
WHAT: A Mass celebrated by Bishop William Skylstad to honor birth mothers and those touched by adoption
WHEN: Friday (May 9) at noon followed by a luncheon at 1 p.m.
WHERE: St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 1503 W. Dean Ave. in Spokane
FOR MORE INFORMATION: To RSVP for the luncheon or for more information, call Sandy Maher at (509) 358-4258 or Bonnie Deabler at (509) 325-7667.
Here are the organizations that help put it together:
Catholic Charities’ Childbirth and Parenting Alone
Children’s Home Society of Washington
Spokane Consultants in Family Living
Washington Adoption Reunion Movement