Our Historical Motherhood series is back! We’re delighted as always to welcome Kristen Levithan, Happiest Home contributor and blogger at Motherese, with another profile of a mom who made history. You can read previous historical motherhood posts by clicking here.
“Some are kissing mothers and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same.”
- Pearl S. Buck
Pearl S. Buck was a writer, a best-selling novelist, and the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. She was also the mother of many, including several international adoptees and a mentally disabled daughter who inspired Buck to advocate for the rights of women and minorities, including children with special needs and mixed-race adoptees.
Buck was born in 1892, the daughter of missionaries to China, the fifth of their seven children, only three of whom would survive to adulthood. Though she was born in the US, she spent most of her early life in China and considered herself “mentally bifocal”: “When I was in the Chinese world, I was Chinese, I spoke Chinese, and behaved as a Chinese and ate as a Chinese did, and I shared their thoughts and feelings. When I was in the American world, I shut the door between.” [click to continue…]
Our kids are living in a distraction-heavy, rushed world.
And as parents, it’s not always easy to find the balance between creating a soft place to land and also helping them cope with the realities of life today.
Today’s guest on The Home Hour Podcast is Kristen Race, Ph.D., a brain scientist, educator, and author of the new book Mindful Parenting. Race offers parents research-tested mindfulness strategies that can help kids and parents learn how to cope with distractions, reduce anxiety and stress, and create happier, more peaceful homes. If you worry about the effects today’s world has on your kids, you’ll definitely want to listen to our conversation on the podcast today.
If you love our discussion, you can find out more about Dr. Race’s work at her blog or find her on Facebook.
I’m also excited to announce that Shana Draugelis of Ain’t No Mom Jeans makes her first appearance on The Home Hour Podcast this week.
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Podcast: Play in new window
disclosure: links in this post are affiliate. If you click and make a purchase, I will receive a commission at no extra cost to you.
Every Sunday night, I sit down with my computer and a pad of paper and make the upcoming week’s meal plan. Since I’ve committed to feeding our family mostly home-cooked meals and avoiding the drive-thru, menu planning and list-making has become a regular part of my week that I’ve come to enjoy in all its comforting routine-ness.
But I’ll admit that for a while, the process was pretty time-consuming. I’d check sales flyers for several different stores to see if any sales stood out, then try to create a meal plan around the best sales while also trying to come up with a rough estimate of how much I’d be spending on that week’s groceries. Often, while making the list, I’d forget whether it was chuck roast or ground chuck that was on sale, and I’d have to go back and check. (Since I’m really forgetful, I would do that at least two or three times per planning session!)
Enter eMeals. I’d heard of the program before, but assumed it was just like all the other menu planning apps I’d tried before and forgotten about within a week. Nope. After trying it out for a few months I’ve realized it’s a keeper and has the potential to both streamline your menu-planning process and save you money at the grocery store. [click to continue…]
There’s a lot of marriage advice out there, yes?
Most of it’s well-intentioned and based in pragmatism. Plan regular date nights so you don’t forget why you became a couple in the first place. Put sex on the calendar. Try to talk about something besides the kids while you’re out to dinner.
But in our marriage, I’ve broken all these “rules.” Because while I think sometimes tips like these can be a helpful starting point if you are really disconnected, or can’t seem to agree on the right time for romance, or never speak to one another unless you’re discussing the kids’ school schedules, they have always seemed, to me, to miss the big picture.
Date nights are a lovely thing, but they won’t save a marriage that’s crumbling at the foundation. And if your foundation is strong, talking about the kids over dinner can actually be a satisfying date. After all, who else besides your co-parent loves your kids as much as you do – and loves making fun of their foibles as much, too? [click to continue…]
Hi everyone! Sarah here, stepping in for Meagan in the Sunday morning spot. Every Sunday we share a moment from our week and a few thoughts on motherhood or life in general. We call it Sunday Morning Tea – except when I’m writing, when it’s coffee.
I turned 34 on Friday. I had a fantastic birthday – in fact, I had a really fun week
that included a few different celebrations. I opened gifts I truly love, I spent time with my family, my kids, and my girlfriends. And tonight, the birthday week will wrap up with a belated Valentine/birthday date out with my husband.
And do you know what? It was by design.
Yep. This year, I took charge of my birthday and made it awesome.
I don’t usually get that worked up about my birthday one way or another. I don’t bemoan the whole aging thing, nor do I typically make big plans to live it up. Being a Valentine baby, I’ve always enjoyed the festivities (and chocolate!) that are guaranteed to accompany my birthday, but beyond the usual family dinner and well-wishes from friends, I’m pretty content letting the kids’ Valentine’s Day celebrations take center stage.
Our Valentine’s Day breakfast scene this year.
But this year was different. [click to continue…]
Are boys and girls different?
As a mom of four boys and one girl, I know I don’t exactly have a balanced sample to work with. But in my limited experience, yes – or at the very least, parenting boys and girls is very different indeed. We could argue about whether that’s due to biological or societal/cultural reasons, but the end result is the same.
Jennifer Fink of BuildingBoys.net is also a mom of four and an award-winning journalist who is devoted to making schools, homes, and the world in general a friendlier place for boys to live, learn, play and grow. In our discussion we talked about everything from how current education trends can fail boys, to why and how boys and girls develop at different rates physically, mentally and emotionally, to how parents can create more boy-friendly homes.
Click here to open the show in a new window. You can also find the show on iTunes, or you can scroll to the bottom to play the episode right here in your browser.
Some things Jennifer and I discussed in this episode: [click to continue…]
Podcast: Play in new window
In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d republish one of my favorite posts from a couple of years ago. Hope you enjoy!
The year I was hugely pregnant with Clara, Jon and I didn’t have plans to go out on Valentine’s Day. But we got an unexpected babysitting offer at the last minute, and since all the nice restaurants in town were booked, we wound up at Chili’s.
Jon wisely got the fajita trio, but I had had my heard set on something a little more upscale, so in a fit of pregnancy-induced grumpiness – against Jon’s urgings and my better judgment – I insisted on getting steak.
I shouldn’t have gotten the steak. [click to continue…]
My friend Jill’s daughter, Jordan. She does her own pushing.
I’ve shared before that we are protective of our family time, and that we have intentionally created a home-based life rather than spending every evening carting kids around from activity to activity.
But if I’m really honest, my children have made that easy. So far my kids have had, at most, an average interest in athletics and the arts, which makes it easy to limit the time and effort we put into chauffeuring them around or sitting on the bleachers.
Among parents I know – particularly those who, like me, are interested in pursuing a simpler life – there’s a lot of talk these days about “overscheduled” kids. And for the most part, I do believe that kids these days have far less slowed-down, laid-back time than they did a generation ago, mostly to their detriment.
But I’ve been watching the Olympics this week with my children, and wondering what I’d really do if I had one of those kids. A child who had an obvious talent, a gift – plus the desire and drive to pursue it beyond all else?
At what point would the gift an individual child – whether she’s a natural-born leader or athlete, inventor or artist – has to offer the world overshadow my desire to have a quiet dinner at home most nights of the week? [click to continue…]
About a month ago I wrote about Build Your Big Dream, an intensive, hands-on, hit-the-ground-running class and coaching program I’m offering. The response was mixed. A lot of you were excited, but a little wary of making the commitment of time and money the BYBD program required; many of you asked, “What if I’m just not sure what my dream is?”
That “this sounds great, but…” response was so big, in fact, that I realized I needed to create something to help those of you who are just now starting to think about what you want to do with your life outside of motherhood – those of you who aren’t ready to launch just yet, but need a little more time to dabble and discover.
When you’ve been heavily invested in caring for a family, it’s not always so easy to switch gears and tap into the “dreamer” side of yourself that’s been lying dormant. That’s what Dream Seekers is all about.
It’s a scaled-back, four-week course that will help you start dreaming again, help you focus and find clarity, and get you on the slower road to making your dreams a reality. You’ll get regular activities to get you thinking about those big goals and how to reach them, access to me via weekly live chats, and the support of an active community of dreamers to help encourage you along the way.
Dream Seekers starts later this month, and early-bird pricing of just $179 is available through Wednesday, February 12. Head over to the registration page to find out more and sign up.
Your dream is out there, just waiting for you to find it. I’d love the opportunity to “dream seek” with you!