September 10, 2010
I love this quote from Ben Affleck, from an interview with Chris Nashawaty:
"My wife is a world-class mom. We understand that being parents is the most important job we have. And she still manages to be beautiful and sexy, and I don't know how she does it, and I'm not going to ask questions."
Just as a sidebar, EW is by far the best entertainment magazine out there (and by entertainment, I don't mean "Angie tells Jen to back off!", and "Guess Whose Cellulite?", I mean actual entertainment news.)
I really enjoyed an article by Randi Chapnik Myers called "Alone At Last: The joy - and challenges - of bonding one-on-one with your kids". It talks about the importance of each parent having alone time with each child, which is something I know we should do more often. It seems like our circumstances are either: 1. the whole family together
2. girls at daycare/with sitter, or
3. one parent with both girls
We often run errands, etc. together, forgetting that divide-and-conquer could not only be more efficient, but give the girls some special mommy or daddy time.
The author points out that kids are more comfortable talking openly in a one-on-one situation, and I can remember that as a child. A drive or walk with Dad (who practices the sort of therapy where he remains silent, prompting you to talk more and more) would often lead to a heart-to-heart, and I always jumped at the chance to run an errand with my mom, in order to get her undivided attention. As Frannie and Maggie get older, we're going to have to make this more of a priority. Also, it seems like attention shifts depending on the phase: a breastfeeding newborn trumps everything in terms of mommy's attention (followed closely by the "I have to go!" potty-training preschooler).
(Photo from http://www.parents.com/)
I also took something away from "Remedies For The Witching Hour" by Beth Howard, where she shares tips for that awful time period before dinner. My favourites? "Put on your own oxygen mask first". Usually I do the drop-off, and hubby does the pick-up, so I can often make it home before them to change my clothes and get dinner started. I then feel so much fresher and able to focus on the girls when they arrive home. Another great tip? (Not rocket science here): "Give kids what they want - you". It's so very hard to do when you want to start supper and sort the mail and empty the backpacks, but I know from experience that when I do it (read a quick story or just give a cuddle sitting right there on the kitchen floor), the investment pays off.
I'm trying to encourage magazine-reading here, but really by bringing you highlights on a regular basis, I am eliminating your need to ever pick up a magazine again. You're welcome?