November 2010

Pledge to Unplug

Right now, I am as plugged in as a person can get. I’ve got lights, a heater, a humidifier, a laptop, and my headphones (in said laptop) all going at full-speed in my cold, drafty, old bedroom to make it warm and workable. Of course, I’m also still getting over bronchitis; otherwise I’d only have half of these things running. Still, like many people, I am pretty darn dependent on my technology, and living without it sounds pretty near impossible.

Ways to Keep Your Kids Engaged While You Work

As a SAHM who works full time and homeschools, I’m constantly looking for fun, engaging ways to keep my daughter both busy and happy while I’m working. Normally I work at night while she sleeps, but as I get older I’ve been realizing that A. I need my sleep and B. she can often entertain herself. She turned five this year and is now keeping herself busy more than ever; still, I like to maintain a good balance between her and me time as well as my work time.

Holiday Gifts for Working Parents

Whether you’re buying for your wife or husband, your friends with children, or your daughter’s playmates’ parents, working parents always appreciate the same gift—time. In fact, when my younger sister, who just had her first overnight with my five-year-old recently asked what I’d like for Christmas, I replied, “You know!” She responded, “Um, is there anything else you’d like besides babysitting?” While it was pretty hilarious, I say this with a straight face: the gift of a day, or even an evening, to oneself is one of the most precious, appreciated ones that you could ever give a person.

That said, here are some wonderful gifts for the working parents on your holiday shopping list this year. Alternatively, treat yourself to any of them that you’ve been wanting, too!

Megamind is Mega Cute

I’m not sure what I was expecting when we went to see Megamind on my birthday. Will Ferrell is usually a hit or miss with my family, and the consensus was that the last couple of his films were duds. However, in the last few years, there hasn’t been a Dreamworks animated film that we didn’t like, which gave this one potential. After seeing the film, now all three of us can’t wait to get the DVD.

Movie-Watching for the Working Parent

My husband and I used to be avid movie watchers. If we weren’t attending a movie, we were renting one—or several. It was common for us to watch movies on our days off as well as after work, depending on the shifts we were working. After we had our daughter, we were still able to do this for some time, since she slept like—well, a baby. But now that she’s older, only sleeps at night (I sure miss naptime!) while my husband and I are both working, and requires a bit more daytime attention, we don’t get to watch movies all that often. And when we do, things are quite different from how they used to be. For example…

Love That Hair!

This may be the most important video you watch with your toddler, preschooler, or young child today. It’s Sesame Street, which makes it automatically cute and fun in my book; my daughter and I are doing a health program through Sesame Street and we’re enjoying it very much. (Have you ever had a kid beg to “do health now”?) But this video is so important to watch—especially for girls of color, but by both boys and girls, too. It’s a song featuring a muppet of color singing about how much she loves her hair. She doesn’t need to go to the beauty salon; instead, she sings about how awesome her hair is in any way she styles it—with barrettes or bows, up or down, in pigtails or cornrows, whichever way she likes.