"Fewer Mothers Prefer Full-time Work" blared the headline of the recent Pew Research Center study.
Why am I not surprised? Second hand obesity has now been documented. That according to a study just out in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine, and funded by the National Institute on Aging.
When was the last time your kids said to you, "Mom, how was your day?" "What did you do?" "Dad, so how was work?" "What's something interesting that happened to you today?"
Paris Hilton says that being in lockup for a few weeks was traumatic. I think being shot at in Iraq would be traumatic — not taking a little time off from having every whim satisfied on a whim. Nonetheless, different folks have different levels of trauma-handling ability. She apparently reached hers. (The lovely Paris was sent to jail for driving on a suspended license following a DUI charge. And good for that judge.)
I just watched the classic Hitchcock thriller, "The Birds" with my older kids. It made me think about Father's Day. Seriously.
Here's my summer plan: Wait, back up. Four kids, three animals. (Did I mention I recently adopted a 2-year-old shepherd mix and two kittens? Yes, it's crazy. More on that later.) And me. Ten weeks. That's why I need a plan.
For this year's college graduates the commencement speeches may be over but typically the enslavement to debt has just begun. New grads and their parents are being strapped by staggering debt, sometimes owing six figures or more for a bachelor's degree. Listen to any parent of even young children, and you'll find the term "college" and "panic" often used in the same sentence.
The arrival of June means wedding season and that means flowers and elaborate dresses and ... choreographers?
"Shrek the Third" opens this weekend, and my four kids and I can't wait. Of course, we didn't have to wait. We see him -- Shrek --all over the grocery store, for starters. The lovable, hugely overweight ogre has been turning up on everything from Sierra Mist soda to M&Ms to Fruit Loops cereal. I've had to listen to him burp constantly since he arrived as my children's McDonald's Happy Meal toy.
In honor of Mother's Day, I'm enlisting with the "slacker moms," as USA Today described us this week. In, "'Slacker Moms' Urge Other Mothers to Chill," Sharon Jayson describes the new version of the "mommy wars." She writes that this one isn't between stay-at-home moms and their professional peers, it's a skirmish between the controlling, super efficient, protective "alpha moms" and the more laid back "slacker moms."
Now that it's getting warm, look for church attendance to drop even more. That's the implication of an article in the current issue of the Baptist Press. Why? Because as Erin Roach reports, sports and other activities for families often trump church time for families, even for those who "regularly" attend church. The trend is most pronounced when it comes to church activities during the week. But as anyone who has driven past a busy soccer field on a Sunday morning knows, the trend affects the fullness of the pews on that day, too.
Bennetts essentially argues that any woman who "opts out" of a full-time career for any length of time to take care of children and home is, well, an idiot _ which makes me wonder if a part of her is secretly a bit envious of them.
Ah, for the unerring wisdom of a child ..."It's just the two of us," said one single-mom physician in Manhattan of her daughter, age 11. "That makes her more like a partner in some ways than a child."
I recently returned from a four-day trip to warm sandy beaches with nine _ yes, nine _ women friends I've known since high school. Not to be too specific, but that means almost 30 years. (FYI, making sure my kids were well-cared for in my absence essentially took a NASA-produced spreadsheet featuring family and good friends, but that's another story.)
I like classical music. Not as much as I like Rod Stewart classics, mind you, but well enough. But I never bought into the notion, prevalent throughout my four children's babyhood, that there was a small window of time to really shape a baby's brain. And that flooding that brain with Mozart or other classical music during those years was one key way to make a baby smarter. That understanding was based on "research" in the 1990s that just always seemed ... a little too easy to me.
It's not your father's exercise routine anymore. Forget the fit body _ what about a fit brain? New research is suggesting that whatever exercise does for one's physique, there's a benefit we're understanding only now: exercise makes us smarter.
I like to say that my goal for my children is Heaven, not Harvard. Now if my kids go to Harvard on the way to Heaven, that's fine: But if I so focus on Harvard and success in this world that they miss Heaven, I will have failed them _ and for all of eternity.
"It's not fair." My kids have, for some reason, been all over that one more than usual lately. It's not fair they have so much homework, it's not fair they don't get to play more video games, it's not fair that so-and-so down the street gets a ski trip and they don't, it's not fair that one child got four more seconds of "tuck-in" time than another.
I never get to see new movies, unless they are kids' fare. Four of them, one of me, do the math. I rent "my" movies, which at my pace means I'll be seeing "The English Patient" around February of next year.
I sometimes find myself encouraging my likeminded conservative friends not to go believing this or that conspiracy theory. I think we folks can get a little overwrought, a little too fearful, over the government's, or the schools', or Hollywood's, latest "attack" on the family. I sometimes want to say, "Friends, relax a little _ these organizations just aren't as focused on us family-values types as we may wish they were."
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