Author: Jillian Gilchrest

Passing Time on the Playground

It was absolutely beautiful this weekend, and as such, I ventured to the playground with the kids, our first trip of 2017. We went to a playground that we hadn’t been to in a while, one we used to go to all the time. When the kids were young, the playground was our weekend go-to, sometimes multiple playgrounds per day. But, when we arrived on Sunday, it dawned on me that we only made it to this playground once last year. My children are ages 5 and almost 8 now. The weekends are now filled with activities and birthday...

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A Day in the Life of a Working Mother: Jillian

So, the last time I did an “A Day in the Life” blog for CTWorkingMoms, my son was 2 and I was 8 months pregnant. That was 2012. Now, my daughter is about to turn 5 and my son is 7 going on 8. Time sure does fly! At that point, I entitled my post, “A Day in the Life: Always on the Move.” Not much has changed in terms of busyness, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! Although my days fluctuate, and no two days are ever exactly the same, here goes: 4:30 AM: Our new...

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It Worked!

A couple of months ago, I decided to have a conversation with my son about “the internet.” I didn’t want to make it too intense, but he’s seven–almost eight, and he has his own tablet. He also goes to play dates at friend’s houses. So, as much as I want to have complete parental control over all electronics, there is outside influence and his own curiosity to compete with. As I began my “age-appropriate” conversation with my son, I asked him if he had seen his dad play video games where you talk to other people. I explained that there are various computer programs and video games just like that, where you can communicate with other people. And, while the majority of these people will be kids his own age, I cautioned that, just like in real life, some people aren’t good people. So, even though it might seem like you know the person you’re playing a video game with and typing to online, you actually don’t, and so, if they ask you for your phone number or your address…SCREECH. It was at that moment when I realized, I don’t think my son knows his address. And, we don’t have a landline, so he definitely doesn’t know any phone numbers. “Donnie, do you know our address?” “No.” “Oh, my goodness, and you don’t know my phone number either, do you?” Internet conversation on...

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Parenting Through the Bigotry

This fall, my son came home saying things–political things, that he had heard at school. The things he was saying were complicated and required conversation. A canned response that ‘people have the freedom to vote for whomever they choose’ just wouldn’t suffice. On one occasion, my son asked if a candidate was a liar, and on another, he told me that Muslims are evil. My son is seven. As the election season wore on, and post-election, my son heard me saying things as well, things that before this year I never would have imagined saying in front of my children. But, at times, my emotions were raw and it was hard to shield them from how I felt. I want to raise my children to think for themselves and to recognize the beauty in a country where one is free to think and act independently. That said, I also want to raise my children to be fair and to treat all people with respect. This election and it’s result made that challenging to balance. Our conversations have become deep, deeper than I was ready for. But, that is parenting after all, constantly being pushed outside your comfort zone to adapt to your child’s development. I try to relate what are incredibly complex topics–racism, sexism, xenophobia, to his everyday life. I speak about rules, instead of laws. I talk about his observations with friends...

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Activism at Morning Drop Off

Most mornings, I walk my son next door and stand with the other parents, awaiting the bell to ring and for our children to head into their elementary school. And, most mornings, the conversations I have with the other parents as we wait are apolitical, focused on what we did over the weekend, where we’re heading to that day, or what’s happening that week at the school. But, after the election, those conversations changed. With a simple look or a shake of the head, mothers and fathers expressed their shock at the election and who “we” elected. Just a few days post-election,...

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