Archive for July, 2012


When is it okay to be the bad-guy parent?

Categories: Mommy Angst

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I had an appointment this morning with my daughter Serena. She’s 12. We had plans to Skype. 9am came and went and she didn’t appear online. No other contact. I Facebooked and checked email and finally took the shower I had postponed so I could make sure I made our 9am commitment. At least, I had made the commitment. Serena? She lost track of time, she said, 45 minutes later when she finally came online.

I got angry. I IM’d her:

I set aside time this morning to talk to you, to devote just to you, and you weren’t there.  Let’s set another time a different day, and make a commitment to be available at that time.

Living 3000 miles away from your kids is tough. You have to schedule talk time and connecting time. No matter how much to schedule, there is never enough time. It’s not like I can pop my head in her door and ask her to take a walk with me or see if she wants to go to the store so we can have a heart-to-heart. You know the sage parenting advice “pick your battles”? When you live 3000 miles away it means even more.

I felt bad. Disrespected. Angry and sad that I was going to miss talking to her. I had so many questions. Should I make this a teaching moment? Am I making too much of this? How much can a 12 year old take? What standards do I hold my kid to? Is making a big deal of this worth risking alienating her? When is it okay to be the bad-guy parent?
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6 ways to rock your family meeting

Categories: This is Supposed to Be Fun

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Newsflash: families, like all relationships, take work to make really awesome. Just because you carried these little people inside your body and you love them more than anything doesn’t mean you will navigate the roads of life together without some bumps. That’s where the family meeting comes in.

Wait, what? Family meeting? Isn’t that like when the Brady Bunch came together to diffuse the tension created by deciding how to spend the trading stamps they saved? (spoiler: after a tense house-of-cards build-off, the boys and girls decided to give up their opposing ideas — rowboat! sewing machine! — and instead buy something the whole family could enjoy — a 13-inch color TV, w00t!)

Yeah, well, no. Family meetings are like the rainbow sprinkles of the donut world. They make everything sparklier. Tastier. More fun. Okay, maybe a food analogy doesn’t work here. But these are things you can have from holding effective family meetings:
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Dear New Parents, what’s with all the whining?

Categories: Push my Button

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This is totally going to come as a surprise, but I am here to tell you right now that Babies Are Hard. Not hard like you can cut diamonds with them hard, but hard like, Ohhhh, they’re so haaaaaarrd, like the way Barbie thinks math is. And! Get this. Not only are babies hard, but kids in general. Hard!

Hey. Can you spare me a tiny detour segue thing? Because I really wanted to share this with you. And by this, I mean the awesome Jamie and Jeff’s Birth Plan over at McSweeney’s. Go on. I’ll wait. Because 1) in my world it relates to this post and 2) how can you NOT weep from pure happiness at birth plan talking points that refer to Zoey Deschanel, Oregon Tilth, Gisele Bundchen, texting, and placenta donation?
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