Hands-On Parenting

hands on parenting

I have no memories of my mother playing with me as a child.  She read to me a lot, we went on outings together, and we cooked together on occasion.  But I can’t remember actually playing together, and I think most of my friends would say the same things about their mothers.  Recently, I’ve become aware of what a huge contrast this is to my own parenting style. Since I have only one child, it’s not surprising that I spend {Read More}

Indoor Play Ideas to Combat Cabin Fever

indoor play activities

Winter can be a really tough season for moms of young kids.   I myself spend most of the winter indoors, because I have a very narrow (i.e. wimpy) temperature range that I can tolerate for any length of time. While I miss the outdoors and the warmer weather (warm weather, not hot!), I personally don’t struggle too much in the winter.  I love being home, and getting out for errands, activities and my part-time job is enough to keep me {Read More}

Blue: My Favorite Color

blue: my favorite color

For almost 18 years of my life, my biggest dream was to have a daughter. I got married almost 14 years after this dream first surfaced, and went to work right away to make it a reality. It took several more years to discover–and admit to myself–that marriage was not an automatic guarantee that this particular dream would come to pass. I never pictured myself as the mother of a boy. I’m not exactly a girly-girl; I’m not into fashion {Read More}

Summer Camp for Preschoolers?


When my son was 18 months old and I quit my full time job, I wasted no time jumping right into the current trend of structured activities and mommy-and-me classes for toddlers. I eagerly took advantage of the library summer programs, and by fall we were actively involved in two different story hours, as well as playtime at the community center and a local indoor playground. By the following summer, when my son was two and a half, we had {Read More}

Planning Vs. Spontaneity


I am a planner. For me, it’s a control issue. I feel more secure when I know what’s going to happen. When I don’t know what’s going to happen, or when plans change, I have to guard myself against getting bent out of shape (flexibility does not come naturally to me). This aspect of my personality is one of the many areas of my life that has been tremendously challenged by motherhood. The first time motherhood upset my plans was {Read More}

Playground Politics vs Corporate Politics


Politics are everywhere. Cliques, power-plays and competition start in preschool and continue throughout the lifespan. They are unavoidable, despite our best efforts. We can limit the amount that we engage in politics, but we can’t completely eliminate our participation. I work outside the home 15 hours/week, just enough to remind me how much I dislike office politics.  It’s also enough to remind me that corporate games really aren’t any more glamorous than toddler games (in fact, they’re much less productive). {Read More}

First World Problems

“First World Problem” is a term I’ve been hearing a lot lately. When I hear it, my gut reaction is to feel embarrassed, guilty, superficial, you name it. By first-world standards, I live a fairly modest life. But by third-world standards I’m wealthy and don’t have much to complain about. I acknowledge that relatively speaking, it is a privilege to have first-world problems. There are people in third-world countries whose daily mission is to get enough calories to make it {Read More}

Preschool Ponderings


“I don’t think preschool is necessary”. In theory, I agree with this statement, even though I dislike hearing it. It’s a broad enough (and vague enough) generalization that it would be hard to disagree with it. Preschool isn’t necessary. For every child. In every situation. It probably isn’t essential under most, if any, circumstances. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t beneficial for some children in some situations. My son, who turned 3 last January, started preschool this past September, {Read More}