Posts Tagged ‘Family’

The Parenting Thing: Dads Just Do It Differently

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

Dads

OK mom, be honest. Have you ever pushed your partner aside because he didn’t diaper the baby exactly the right way, didn’t make the eggs the way your daughter likes them, didn’t follow the bedtime routine to the letter?

And then did you complain because Dad retreated to the den with the TV remote and didn’t participate with the kids the way you think he should?

According to an article in the New York Times this week, “uninvolved fathers have long been accused of lacking motivation. But research shows that… even as more fathers are changing diapers, dropping the children off at school and coaching soccer, they are often pushed aside in ways large and small.”

It’s easy to disagree on discipline, TV limits — even how to change a diaper. That’s why it’s so important for parents to talk, and for moms to perhaps loosen the reins just a bit and realize that Dad may parent a little differently, but that it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Check out the article and let me know what you think. (This means you, too, dads!)

Guest Post: Letting Go

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

I'm so happy to share with you a wonderful essay by writer Liz Seegert. If your child is in preschool right now, don't be too fast to discount this piece and say "oh, that's years away for our family." Yesterday (I swear), my son was in kindergarten. Today he started 8th grade. As they say, "the days are long, but the years are short." Thanks, Liz, for sharing this piece. And I love the pic of you and your tall son!

From
the day they’re born you know it’s going to happen. The first “me do it.” The
first time they walk, a little unbalanced, without holding your hand, grinning
broadly. That first day of kindergarten. That was hard. Learning to ride that
two-wheeler and the freedom that comes with leaving the block. The first
sleepover at his best friend’s house.

Then middle school, and high school. The first date. The
driver’s license and taking the keys to go out alone that first time. The first
time he’s forced to make hard choices – about friends, studying, activities,
his social life.

With
each first, you hold your breath, and say a silent prayer that all of the
things you have tried to instill in him, the values, knowing right from wrong,
has penetrated and is somewhere in the back of his mind. Each time stumbles or
falls, you stifle the urge to jump in and fix it. He has to pick himself up and
live with the consequences of his actions. Maybe he “forgot” to do his
homework. Maybe he stayed out past curfew and didn’t call. Maybe he was at a
party where someone snuck in some beer.

At
some point, you can’t even ground him any more. When did he become a head
taller? And when is he going to stop eating everything in the fridge before
it’s barely unpacked from the store? He’s applying to colleges hundreds of
miles away – the further the better, he hints. But, but… the mom of the little
boy in you protests. I’m not ready. “Well I am,” he counters.

Deep down, I know he’s right. We go through the unending
paperwork that is the college application process together and I dutifully pay
the fees, secretly hoping the schools closest to home accept him.

The
letters begin arriving. Didn’t make one of his top choices, but did make the
other. Wait listed. Another acceptance, another rejection. Several more visits
to campuses for accepted students days. He makes his decision, and you’re OK
with it. Not too far, but far enough. He’s happy. You’re not sure how you feel.

Graduation
day. Everyone in caps and gowns. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings
– all taking and posing for pictures. The “last” summer. The “last” get
together with high school buddies. Another step to letting go. Shopping for the
dorm. More shopping. He’s a boy. Does he care if his sheets and comforter
match? You do. So you spend the extra money for the good set.

You
want this summer to last forever. No, it flew by way too fast. Moving day.
Loading the car is like solving a jigsaw puzzle. Turn the box this way. Try
putting that sideways. Finally ready to go. He gives his room a final once over
and we head north on I-95. We’re there. Carry the stuff up three flights.

Finally unpacking. “Mom, you don’t have to make my bed,” he
tells me. “Yes I do.” I do. I need to know he’s starting off with everything in
its place. Time to leave, and he walks us to the car. “I’ll call soon,” he
promises. A long, hard hug. And another. I struggle to hold back tears. The
first of many goodbyes.

He’s
on his own. He knows we’ll be there to lend a hand, dust him off, and set him
back on his feet if he falls but only if he wants us to. I still hold my breath
sometimes, but not as often. His first attempt at being an adult. I couldn’t
wait to get that first phone call. “I love it here,” he said. “I’m so happy I
chose this school.”

His
first major life decision.  I am
looking forward to many more good “firsts.”

           

Happy Father’s Day!

Saturday, June 20th, 2009

Happy Father's Day to Paul Penick, the man who taught me to:

°    Love writing
°    Have fun with dogs (That's us on a lake in Arizona, with our dog, Pepper. I won't even tell you how many years ago this was! We were about to pull up to the shore and my dad needed to tie up the boat. He doesn't normally stand like this in the middle of a lake!)
°    Value education
°    Feel comfortable in a new environment
°    Talk to strangers
°    Care about spelling.
°    Enjoy chocolate and raspberry together
°    Love my family

Thanks, Dad. I have no doubt that without your influence and encouragement, I wouldn't be making a living as a freelance journalist today. I love my life and (especially now that I'm a parent myself) I appreciate everything you and Mom did, and continue to do, for my brother and me.

I love you!

Join Our Parent Talk Today Fan Page on Facebook!

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009


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Just Another Day for a Work-at-Home Writer Mom

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009


You know the day isn't going to start off well when the very first words you hear, after the clock radio starts blaring "Don't Stop Believing," is "Mom! Charlie (the dog) threw up in his crate."

Ugh. Nothing like dealing with dog puke before you've had a chance to brush your teeth.

Oh, but we're not done yet: "Mom, I don't feel so well."

So here I am, with a kid home sick from school, a bedroom that smells like dog vomit, breakfast to make and a 9 a.m. conference call with three people in New York who will decide whether they want to hire me for a great freelancing gig.

In other words: No time for Calgon to take me away.

But it all got done. By 8:55, the bedroom smelled better, the school attendance folks were called, and the kid was fed and was happily lounging in the den drinking orange juice and watching a Bill Cosby DVD.

And there I was, at 9:00, in my home office sounding (I hoped) like I had it completely together as I talked with three very nice people on a conference call — as the dog barked in the background.

Hey, nobody ever said this working-from-home thing would be easy.

Safe Holiday Travel With Kids

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

If you're like many families, you'll be hitting the skies or the highways for the upcoming holidays. Need some tips to help make it a better trip? Check out my latest article in Memphis Parent, Safe Travels During the Holidays.

You'll find car-seat safety tips, help for painful ears on long plane rides, tips for avoiding jet lag and much more.