Tips for Sending Your Kid to Sleepaway Camp

Jul 10, 2015 by

It usually begins around Memorial Day.  My Facebook feed starts filling up with articles touting the benefits of a ’70’s-style “free-range” summer for kids.  Remember those? Out from dawn to dusk, pick-up sports games and hide and seek in the dark, riding in the “way-back” of the station wagon-without seat belts. Good times, for sure! Give your kid the gift of benign neglect, they say…well, I work full time. So according to some people, I’m already ahead of the game.

Being a working mom precludes giving your kid the unstructured summer of your youth. There are no lazy days just lying around the house or impromptu trips to the beach or the park. But there is camp. And although there’s structure, it doesn’t mean that there’s a formal plan in place. This is why camp works for us.

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The One Lesson I Want My Son To Learn: Be True To Yourself

Jun 12, 2015 by

When I think back to my twelfth summer, I think about how I felt – shy, and unsure of myself. I had just finished 6th grade and my best friend, Patricia, was spending the summer with her mother’s family in Ireland.  Our separation was a strategic play by her parents – she and I were both quiet girls who were content in our bubble of pop music, Judy Blume books, and episodes of the TV show Dallas. Her parents wanted her to have a bigger social circle and thought that splitting us up for a summer would do both of us some good.  I suppose it did, although I didn’t realize it at the time – while I was fine with my books, babysitting, and AM radio for a couple of weeks, I quickly realized that if I wanted to have any kind of social interaction with kids my age, I would have to hop on my bike and seek out the other kids in the neighborhood myself. That summer opened a whole new world to me, but also introduced some challenges that included navigating boys (icky but interesting), the intricate social structure of neighborhood kids (bullies and all!), and trying to figure out who I was in the process.

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Raised by a Connecticut Working Mom: True Confessions

May 12, 2015 by

I had the exciting opportunity to interview two men, each of whom survived his childhood being raised by a Connecticut Working Mom.  Find out what mattered to them and what did not, whether they were scathed or unscathed, and how all the things we all worry about constantly regarding our kids and their growing up experiences are viewed through the eyes of these adult survivors!

D is a 34-year-old systems administrator at a Connecticut company.  He is married and has one child, with one more on the way.  A is a 29-year-old manufacturing engineer who lives in Rhode Island with his wife, who is expecting their first child.

Me:  Thank you for giving moms your perspective on what it was like to have a mother who worked outside the home while she was raising you.  This is an important service you are providing, because there is so much angst among the moms I know about whether they are doing the right thing, no matter what it is they are doing!  Here are my questions:

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Remember to Look Up

Apr 6, 2015 by

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I had an epiphany of sorts the other day while running. It was a tough run, as most of them have been lately, and I had my eyes down on the road, focused totally on the pain and heaviness in my legs. Each step felt like a chore and my muscles ached. Then, all of the sudden, I looked up and noticed the sun shining, the beauty of the rural area I was in and how stunning the clear blue sky was. In that moment I realized how much of a metaphor that is for my life right now. I’ve been focused on the road directly in front of me and haven’t stopped at all to look up and remember that life is bigger than just what I’m going through right at this moment. Divorce is not easy, even when both people agree it’s the right thing and I’ve gotten a bit stuck in the daily struggles I’ve faced. I wrote the words below to remind me that every now and again, I’ve got to look up.

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Trying in Vain to Find Balance in my Life

Apr 1, 2015 by

I am consumed with my sons.  I inhale “Jackson” and exhale “Justus.”  And not for a moment do I regret that.  They are my life, my world, and my heart.  What I struggle with is finding a balance between them and everything else.  I recently wrote about my desire to reconnect with myself; however, I’m finding that I don’t really know how.  Yesterday two things happened that just reinforced the fact that I have to focus on finding that elusive balance in my life.

 

Thing 1:  For the first time in 15 years at my job I received a “not-so-great” performance review.  As I walked out of my boss’s office, ears ringing, heart pounding, my initial reaction was one of defense.    However, as the day went on, I began to honestly reflect on my performance over the past year.  When I looked at the situation objectively, I had to admit that I was in fact a “not-so-great” employee.  I was on maternity leave for the beginning of the year, and when I came back physically I wasn’t fully there mentally, then just a few short months later came the inescapable daycare-associated sickness, and I was constantly leaving work early or coming in late for pediatrician appointments.  Definitely not the most productive year in my career.

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