"I'm not one to make New Year's resolutions, mostly because I break them within two minutes of making them," writes Athens Patch parenting columnist Leigh Hewett. "Yet, this year feels different."
Monday, December 31, 2012
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Treasuring every chaotic moment with my children.
It's a school morning and we're running late, as usual. I zip up the boys' coats as they wiggle into them and I huff and puff as the zipper buzzes up. Next up, grab the backpacks, break up two fights, wrestle with lunch boxes and throw open the front door. The children spill out, pushing around me to dart down our porch steps. "Don't go running around the yard, we need to get into the car!" I shout. They pretend that they can't hear me and off they run into the grass while I scowl and lock the front door. They're laughing and karate chopping and the cold morning air mixes with my frustration and it seems to snap up my neck. I fuss and herd them into the car, as if they were free range chickens and I was an angry mama hen. I then fight …
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Did you tell your children about the tragedy in Connecticut?
The first thing I did when I read about the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut was weep. The second thing I did was tell myself that I would never let my children, ages 3 and 8, know that something so horrific had happened in the world that they live in. It would be easy for me to shield them from it. We don't have cable and we never watch the news with them in the room. My 8-year-old is very sensitive and we shield him from the many horrors of the world, regardless. I didn't want something so terrifying to even enter his consciousness. The fact the the tragedy happened on Friday gave me the weekend to ruminate on whether or not we should share the news with our sweet boy. It started to sink in that children at his …
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
U.S. schools are dropping classic books from curriculum in favor of "informational texts."
I can remember the feeling of my world expanding as a student when I sat in a bright classroom and read Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. The discussions that unfolded about the wrongs of discrimination stayed with me to this day. Scout became my hero and my heart yearned to one day marry a man with the moral integrity of Atticus Finch. Young people today will no longer be given the opportunity to learn from the trial of Tom Robinson. To Kill a Mockingbird, and other American literature classics such as The Catcher in the Rye, are being dropped from classrooms to be replaced by manuals and plant inventories by the year 2014. Suggested non-fiction texts include Recommended Levels of Insulation by the the US Environmental Protection …
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
What I learned from my trip to Disney World.
I just returned from an amazing trip to Disney World with my family. I can remember entering the gates of The Magic Kingdom as a child and being in complete awe of Cinderella's Castle as it towered over me. So, I was super excited to return with my children and share the experience with them. Going back as a parent is totally different. Gone are the days of running from ride to ride carefree. No, when you're the grown up it takes lots of planning and organizing to make the trip run smoothly. I did as much research as I could before leaving for the trip. I read guide books and asked experienced friends for tips. Yet, there are some things that you can only learn by living through them. Here are a few things that I learned from my time at …
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Parents can provide evidence that Santa is real.
Disclaimer: If you are a child and you read this post then you will placed on Santa's naughty list and get a lump of coal for Christmas. This is super secret grown up stuff so you better get off your mom or dad's computer! Whew, that was a close one! Christmas is just around the corner and my three-year-old is already going nuts for Santa Claus. If we happen to be at the mall, my little one makes a mad dash to find Santa, sitting on his throne among the fake snow and cranky helpers in elf outfits, and to give the old boy a hug. He loves the jolly guy. If ever there was a time for me to play up the whole Santa Claus thing, now would be it. With the advancement of technology, kids these days can be presented with more than enough proof …
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
What my kids have taught me about gratitude.
It's that time of year again where I reflect on all the things that I am grateful for. Being a parent has helped me to not take things for granted and to appreciate many simple moments in life. Here is a list of the top 10 things that I've learned to be thankful for since I became a mother. 1. The value of a good night's sleep. Seriously, I had never known true exhaustion until I became a parent. Now that my children sleep soundly through the night, I thank my lucky stars for 8 hours of uninterrupted bliss. Without it, I turn into a crazy person. 2. A closed bathroom door. It's rare that I spend time powdering my nose without a child following me in there. Oh, but those moments that I do escape are so beautiful, even if both of my …
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Disconnecting from social media helped me reconnect with my children.
Being a Stay-at-home Mom can feel isolating, especially if you have young children at home with you. There was a time, when my youngest was a baby and my other son was no bigger than a grasshopper's hind leg, that I felt alone in a sea of diapers and burp cloths. The days would drag on between naps and nursing and I needed a network of people that I could reach out to. Enter Facebook. Social media became a lifeline for me at a time when I needed a connection. Between finding friends from my past, new friends, and eventually blogging friends, I felt a sense of community whenever I logged in. At first I only checked in when the kids were napping. Grabbing a handful of minutes to read everyone's updates to get a sense that I was an active …
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
I'm proud to lead by example on Election Day.
Yesterday, on Election day, I had the privilege of participating in one my favorite voting activities, I took my 7-year-old son with me to the polls. He's come with me to vote many times and we've fallen into a nice ritual that unfolds as we drive to our polling station. The conversation starts in the car and the questions come at me one after the other from the back seat. His young mind is so curious to know more about the adult world. My hope is always to give him the most informed answers I can about the democratic process that America uses to elect representatives and make new laws. The night before an election, I find myself pounding away on my computer, refreshing my knowledge of American history so that I can give him an answer to…
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
How I accidentally terrified my child.
When I was a little girl, my older brother's favorite hobby was to terrorize me. One dark night, he cornered me in my parent's bedroom and told me about the Donkey Lady. There are several versions of this harrowing tale but the version he told was from the 1950's. A woman was in a fire that her husband started in their house. The woman lost two children and was left horribly disfigured. My brother moved in closer and his eyes grew wide as he said that the woman ran screaming from the house, fell to the ground, where her arms and legs were so badly burned that they snapped off, leaving her with blackened stumps for limbs that looked like hooves. Her face was so scorched by the flames that it melted and her skin drooped and became baggy…