Every August, I write a blog directed at readers doing back-to-school shopping for their kids. I remind them that while the sales are great at this time of year, there's a story behind every price tag. I urge moms and dads to consider the global economy that keeps Western prices low by paying child garment workers in poor countries next to nothing.
If your child is bored they may want to pick up a book and read, or develop a new board game or even watch 17 episodes of Star Trek on Netflix. Some of these might be more creative than others, but all of them require self-reliance and will bring some new information to your child. Maybe they will daydream, and who knows what gifts those daydreams to our future.
Busy parents eagerly anticipate the day when their children can be trusted to stay safe on their own. It frees parents up to stay a little longer at work, head to an appointment or go for dinner. But when is a good time to start leaving your child home alone? Ultimately the decision comes down to when you think your child is ready for this responsibility.
At a time when research suggests that the average girl's self-esteem peaks at the age of nine and then plummets, '9 Ways' uncovers the root causes of the self-esteem crisis, the ways we are unknowingly contributing to it, and what we can do to ensure that every girl (and future woman) is empowered to reach her full potential.
I'll be the first to admit that kids are time-sucks. They can literally consume every waking second you have by demanding all of your attention. And if you have more than one and they're young, good luck trying to "nap when the baby naps." What if they're on different nap schedules? What if that's the only time you get to have a shower or eat something that requires both hands?
Irate mommies chastise Rebecca Eckler for relying on nannies, encouraging Rowan to ditch school, outsourcing Rowan's bike lessons, and for avoiding changing Holt's smelly diapers for months. What these mommies don't get is that at the core of Eckler's unconventional parenting, is her extreme love for and devotion to her children.
Even though mothers are anxious to see their child latching well and feeding on the breast, to know that their particular experience is occurring in most every room on the ward, does help somewhat to dispel the belief that they have done something wrong, that there is something wrong with them, and/or that their baby will never breastfeed.
Which memories will our children remember forever and which are they going to forget? Are they going to remember the few times I got upset when they spilled their milk or all the times I told them not to worry about it? Are they going to remember all the times I attended their school events or the few times I couldn't be there?
As a life coach, I work with all sorts of people in their teens and 20s. I learn from all of them. One of my most powerful learning lessons came from a 13-year-old client with Autism, who allowed me to see the dangers of people in power trying to "do the right thing." I am pleased to share with you now the inner workings of one the most interesting minds I have ever met.
What even is this steaming plate of garbage on my computer screen right now? By the time my girls are adults, society (with no help from you, apparently) will hopefully have come farther in allowing fluidity in gender roles, more lenient maternity and paternity leaves, women will make the same as men, and even now, even now, you're right, we can be intelligent and efficient and be mothers.
I am all for moms who don't take themselves too seriously -- who don't try too hard to be perfect and who accept themselves for who they are, warts and all. I am all for mothers who are 'people' first. Who love who they are and are proud to chase their dreams. Because sometimes we mamas just get lost in this parenting gig, and we wake up 25 years later and wonder who we are.
Remember that your friends' experiences as new parents are not about you. This is not your chance to re-hash everything about your own parenting. This is not your chance to show off your knowledge and expertise. What you should be doing now is supporting your friends as much as possible, in the same way that others hopefully supported (or will support) you as a new parent.