I’m torn about this topic from TIME Magazine. On one hand, I have a hard time believing that four weeks more of school per year sets our country back in education. I think there are a lot of other reasons we are behind in education – over crowded schools, lack of parent involvement, not enough good teachers (and not enough quality pay for them), etc. On the other hand, they talk a lot about underprivileged children here – so is the case really about summer vacation? Or about taking better care of our country’s citizens? Making sure each child has opportunities and care both during the school year and the summer? Shouldn’t we focus on continuing education in other ways for all children over the summer – how can we get kids in camps? Enrichment programs? Learning in other ways all through the year but not stripping them of a perceived “break?”
No easy answers but an important topic to think about – and a good read.
Blame Tom Sawyer: Americans have a skewed view of childhood and summertime. We associate the school year with oppression and the summer months with liberty. School is regimen; summer is creativity. School is work and summer is play. But when American students are competing with children around the globe who may be spending four weeks longer in school each year, larking through summer is a luxury we can’t afford. What’s more, for many children — especially children of low-income families — summer is a season of boredom, inactivity and isolation.
Everywhere you look there are reminders that tomorrow is Mother’s Day: TV ads, Facebook and Twitter promotions, blog posts, restaurant flyers and more. (Did you know that it’s one of the busiest days all year for phone calls?)
So what do Moms really want? If you’re a mother of young children, are you one that wants to spend the day *with* your children or *without*? If we’re being honest, I think most young Moms would like a day of pampering away from the kids – and without having to feel guilty about it. Older mothers with adult children would probably love to spend the day with their kids if they could.
// My ideal day would be to sleep in, have a nice breakfast with my husband and kids, get sent off to a full day at the spa and then have a big dinner party at a great restaurant with all my closest mom friends and moms in my extended family – and their spouses and kids. I’m a sucker for a huge party – no cooking (not that I ever do that, thanks to Rich), no dishes, ‘lots of fun. Ideally the husbands would entertain us with some funny skit with the kids that keeps us laughing all night. And, when we get home, someone else puts the kids to bed and does all the prep for school the next day.
What kind of Mom are you – is Mother’s Day a day to be with or without the kids?
I had an amazing weekend enjoying the snow that’s been falling for days. Snow is one of those things that you have to take advantage of while you can, so for three days I bundled up with the boys and got out to play. What a great way to usher in a New Year – with reminders to laugh more, remember what’s most important and take advantage of opportunities to play with your children when you can.
Over the weekend I was digging around our basement when I came across some early photos of my (now) husband and I when we first met. As I perused the photos I thought about how much has happened in a decade. When we met, mobile phones were rare – although he had one, it was the size of a shoe and you can imagine how well it stayed connected. We were both young in our careers although a year after meeting, we both started our own companies. I still remember sitting on his bed (the only available space due to a roommate who was using the living room to host a new girlfriend) in a cramped apartment in Beacon Hill, writing a business plan with him and his partner. They eventually sold the company and I still run mine.
We’ve learned a lot since then, not only about business and technology, but about love, loss, relationships and new experiences like parenthood. We survived – and so did our companies – the dot com boom and the resulting bust. We’ve grown through two houses, three dogs, two children, three nannies and more than a dozen 18-hour drives to Michigan and Hilton Head. We’ve seen friends and family get married and sadly, divorced. We watched, terrified, the September 11 attacks in 2001 and we prayed every day, terrified, for my brother to return safely from his resulting Iraq deployment. We’ve cheered successes and commiserated over failures – but we always kept going. We’ve been to too many funerals, not enough parties and a fair share of vacations (with and without the kids – that is key!).
Kidding around in 2001 – laughter keeps us going
Life comes at you fast. Sometimes, when you are caught up in the day-to-day stresses or monotony you can forget this fact. Relish every good moment, seize opportunity and go for what you want.
One of my favorite quotes is “When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.“ So today, if you’ve been wondering if you should “go for it” – do it. Before you know it, a decade will pass and you’ll be glad that you did.
I’m a fairly Type-A person – always on the go, pretty intense and not one to sit down for long, if at all. It’s also quite possible that I possess a few obsessive- compulsive behaviors – if you count noticing any time a picture frame is moved as obsessive….
Many elements in my life have likely contributed to my constantly-racing heart and go-go-go mentality – a German-work ethic, a childhood full of yellow legal pad “to do lists” from my father, a Catholic upbringing…the list goes on. In some senses, my intensity has served me well – at work, for example, where clients appreciate my tireless work ethic and constantly spinning mind. In my personal life it has been called into question from time-to-time, such as when my husband is hoping I can just focus on him during a conversation – and not tidy the counter, open the mail or keep my fingers on the keyboard while he talks.
Like anyone, I was nervous to have children. I like everything in its place and I wondered how in the world I would possibly balance my career and motherhood. But I’ve found over the years that not only am I doing an acceptable job at juggling, but my sons (ages 5 and 2) are helping me to relax a bit – ironically, when I’m busier than ever – as they continue to teach me every day some very important lessons:
• Messes can be cleaned
• Relaxing is not a bad thing – especially on the hammock with a sippy cup
• Trains are cool – bugs are too
• Love with all your might
• I should have appreciated my parents more
• Some loud music, crazy dancing and beating a drum set does wonders for stress relief