6 Things That Became So Much More Enjoyable, Post-Kids

6 Things That Became So Much More Enjoyable, Post-Kids

Parenthood! How lucky you are to experience this marvelous gift. And experience it every single moment without a break even to go to the bathroom or eat a meal sitting down or DO YOU SEE THAT I’M TRYING TO TWEEZE HERE? Sorry, back. For moms, there are some activities that used to be annoying, boring, or even physically uncomfortable, but now seem like luxurious jaunts to a tropical island. One of those no-kids-allowed islands. 1. The dentist Hold up, you mean you didn’t always consider this a cross between a trip to a spa and a zen meditation retreat? Listen, once they numb you, you don’t even feel that root canal. And best of all, you can’t feel guilty for getting a sitter because, hey, this is your dental health we’re talking about here. 2.  Yard work If you get to rake leaves while someone else watches the kids, this is akin to a hike through a beautiful nature preserve. (And it’s an upper body workout!) And if you have music playing, it’s like the opening scenes of The Sound of Music. “No no, husband, you do crafts with them while I finish up. Yes, I’m sure.” Sucker. 3. Grocery shopping With kids, this is the tenth circle of hell, but on your own, it’s a wondrous fairy land of sugarplums and free biscuit samples in the bakery aisle. (Not like you need more carbs, but whatever.) For a laugh, amble through the greeting card section and peruse the cards obviously designed for single people. You can spot them because they allude to “going out” at night, which you vaguely recall...
5 Reasons Play is Important for Children

5 Reasons Play is Important for Children

Adults tend to be dismissive of children’s play, assuming that it’s just for fun or just something that kids do that is easy and uncomplicated. There’s even an old saying that says “child’s play” expressing the idea that some task or challenge is simple or straightforward. But the truth is, “child’s play” is much more complex and important than many people might realise. Recent research is discovering that the way children play can influence their overall emotional development and can help to shape their lifelong interests and interactions. Kids aren’t “just” playing – they’re figuring out important lessons about how the world works and how to get along with others. Children’s play is really a whole universe of wonder and discovery! According to research from the University of Cambridge and other sources, here are some of the ways that children’s play helps them learn, grow, and develop into healthy, capable human beings: Play Advances Physical Development Perhaps the most obvious benefit of play is that it helps children to be more physically active. Just by running around the yard or climbing on play equipment at the park, children are stretching their muscles and filling their lungs; they are burning calories and gaining coordination and improving their confidence for physical challenges. Active play can also set children on the path for better lifelong health – a recentstudy from the Canadian Medical Association suggested that Canadian kids need to reduce their screen time and spend more time doing active physical play in order to reduce the rate of childhood obesity. Young children should be given as much unstructured time as possible...
Dear Parents: If Your House Is a Mess, You’re Doing It Right!

Dear Parents: If Your House Is a Mess, You’re Doing It Right!

The other day I found my 1-year-old son with a spiderweb wrapped across his little cookie-crusted face. Ugh — I know, I know. But hold on, it gets worse. He didn’t get it all over him from playing outside, but from crawling around our living room. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, my immediate thought was: “Oh my Lord, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell me little Charlie did not just get bit by a black widow. I don’t have time for that crap now! I’ve been awake since 5 AM and I’m just about to eat this microwave burrito! Now is NOT the time for emergency rooms! I am STAR-VING!” A little selfish? Eh. Perhaps. But hey, you moms and dads know what I’m talking about. Thankfully my son Charlie was fine, so next thoughts turned to the other elephant staring at me from across the room. You know … AHEM … the whole spider web in the house thing. At first, I felt kind of guilty about that one. A loving home requires a lived-in house. Share Quote FacebookPinterest I mean, right off the bat I’ve got to defend myself here, tell you that I’m kind of a neat freak dad. I’m divorced and have my three kids (ages 6, 4, and 1) three or four nights a week, and I’ll confess I’ve spent a good chunk of time following them around, fake-smiling/pretending everything is cool, simply so I could make sure that when they’re passing my bookshelves on their way in to decimate the playroom, they don’t stick their grubby mitts out to grab one of my old paperbacks just for the hell...
The 30 Things You’ll Wish You’d Done When You Were Pregnant

The 30 Things You’ll Wish You’d Done When You Were Pregnant

Pregnant women everywhere: this is a cautionary tale. I wasted away my pregnancy doing things like whining about my swollen feet, cleaning the inside of the refrigerator for the 14th time, and yelling at my husband for not reading any baby books when I should have been soaking up every last morsel of free will while I had the chance. You see, just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you missed out on your opportunity to live a carefree, somewhat selfish, definitely indulgent lifestyle. But your clock is ticking. Below are the 30 things you’ll wish you did before you started a family. Full disclosure: this is not a helpful checklist to get you prepared for your new baby — rather, it’s a list of all the far more important things you need to do for you. That is if there’s still time. And if there’s not, at least get to No. 24. Do that one for all of us who no longer can … 1. Stay in bed all day. Literally. Spend an entire 24-hour period lazing around in bed. Have breakfast in bed, read magazines, take naps, or paint your nails. I can guarantee you will never have another day like that again, unless you’re actually sick, and where’s the fun in that? 2. Be selfish. You’re hot and everyone else is cold? Sucks to be them. Don’t have any qualms about cranking up that A/C. 3. Say yes to a spontaneous plan. When your friend offers you an extra concert ticket two hours before the show starts, accept it on the spot. Once you have a kid, you...
9 Things That Drive Working Mothers Up The Wall

9 Things That Drive Working Mothers Up The Wall

I’ve been a working mother and a stay-at-home mother and an in-between mother, and different things have driven me totally crazy at different stages. In fact, sometimes I think motherhood is just an ever-shifting landscape of stuff that will make you nuts. Right now, I’m in a working-out-of-the-home stage, and I can tell you that there are a few things that are guaranteed to make me flip out. Below, nine things that drive working mothers up the wall. 1. The morning barf. That moment on a Tuesday morning when you’ve got everyone’s coats on, backpacks on, shoes on, and you’re just starting to herd everyone out the door, and someone pukes. Thus begins a frantic round of calculations and discussions on who’s going to stay home, who has the more important meeting that day, and irritable reminders about who stayed home last time—all while mopping up vomit and wrestling a sick kid into bed. Good times. 2. The dentist running late. Working parents do not have a lot of give in their schedule, so when the pediatrician, the mechanic or the hair salon is running late, I swear I can feel my fingers drumming their impatience even when I’m making an effort to remain calm. Because basically this line of questioning starts up in my head: “What do I have next? Can I be late? Whom do I have to text? Is it better to reschedule and have to fit this in again, or to be an hour late to the next thing?” 3. The 8 a.m, or even 9 a.m., meeting. That’s all well and good for people who don’t...