Our Discussions

Issues of Working Parents:

1 (a pedar)
Ba Salam Bar Hameh,
Are you looking for, or do you have ideas on, any of these issues?
- "Getting out of the house in the morning" insanity!
- What to do when your child gets sick and you have to be at work
- How to deal with tired kids when you pick them up at daycare and you are exhausted as well
- How to get dinner ready when kids are nagging and need your attention (give them Candy!) and afterwards, they aren't even like your cooking!
- The endless laundry pile!
- Traveling pleasantly(I know contradiction in terms!) with children (Is it possible?!)
- Suggestions for creating a "team" atmosphere in the home that includes the kids
- Favorite fun things to do with your kids
- Best safety tips
- How to carve some time for yourself to keep your batteries charged this one came in last by accident (it should have been first, Haa) but please shed some light!
Juggling the demands of a career and the demands of parenting is quite a challenge (a wonderful challenge, but still a challenge!)
I'm suggesting these topics for discussion in our next gathering where we are sharing parenting wisdom! with each other. If you have any other ideas, please add them to list so that we can , collectively, help each other, not only cope with, but enjoy our full plate!
"Have your cake and eat it too!!"
Those who can not attend our gathering (i.e., in/out of state, for example in East coast, yes! you know whom I'm talking about, I strongly suggest to share your thought with us Via e-mail to this mailing list.
With time constraints at work, and home time devoted to the kids, it is hard to find a moment to be with other parents to share idea and brainstorm ways to make life easier.
Thanks for your time,
2 (a mother)
Regarding the Working Parents issues, I would like to share my working madar tips and would welcome any that can help me further.
-Getting out of the house in the morning insanity! I'm so glad the kids are growing as there used to be times when my little one was 2 1/2 that right before getting in the car, he needed to go washroom. If you had to be 15 minutes late for a morning meeting, how to tell the boss you were delayed because your kid had to go! Well, never book meetings so early. Or when the kids didn't cooperate in wearing their winter coat/snow pants, oh, oh, you feel like crying. Take a deep breath and count to ten and make up a quick story while helping the kid out. Now, that they are 5 and 6, I laid their clothes/uniforms on their bed or on a chair from the night before, they know their responsibility is to get up, go washroom, wash face, brush teeth, go back to bedroom and change. My deeply asleep daughter has to be lifted from the bed to get up. Then they run downstairs for the breakfast that was prepared while they got changed. The equipment they need is already by the door, napsacks, lunchbags, shoes, jackets, etc. from the night before, except for the lunch/snacks, although some things like fruits/nutribars, than could be left ready.
-Gee, when the kids got sick and you have to be at work. I used to have my parents, brothers, sisters, a last-minute baby-sitter and a well-known (Iranian actually) on my speed-dial phone. When my mom would be the one available, I would have a well-known cab driver to pick them up home and would meet me at the doctor's office. That saved me time. Also, when the kids are sick, my husband and I agree on having his pager on and be aware that I might page him with 911 and my work phone # which meant I can't take the child, and he will. And if the child was attending daycare already and was sick for more than a day, to have a last-minute baby-sitter, stay-home friend or well-known neighbour to take care of the child. Or to take work home. If you are working on a project that the deadline is getting closer, take a laptop home, if you don't have one assigned, most company's System Dept's have spare ones to take home. Or my husband will have to take time off too. Most companies, whichever industry you work on, have improve their family issues and most likely will understand you situation in a critical moment, and you have to make arrangements to don't be absent that often.
-How to deal with the kids when you pick them up from the daycare and everyone is exhausted and how to get dinner ready when kids are nagging and need your attention (do not give them candies!) and suggestions for creating a "team" atmosphere in the home which includes the kids. First of all, a good helper in the car when picking kids up is relaxation music to calm them down (hopefully they have passed the age of napping in the car, otherwise, other happy kids songs would make it) or kids tapes to sing, or just talk about their day or a mix of all of the above if the trip to home is far. Keep quick snacks in the car, but it's better to try to make them wait till you get home. In our household we consume homemade food on a daily basis. That means we cook either Saturdays or Sundays for the whole week and put it in containers. All the burns and oven are busy while preparing 4 to 5 different large meals (enough in case you got a guess and/or to take some for lunch at work). Meanwhile, the laundry, that was sorted while husband when for grocery shopping, is being done. Then like that, you do the cooking, laundry, and everyone in the family IS HELPING. Using the approach, the faster we finished, the faster we get out of the house to go out to the park, for a ride, biking, etc. helps. Then on weekdays, when we get home, just warm up. And as conscientious awareness of everyone's responsibility is kindly reminded and "greatly appreciated" (never forget to thank the kids and hubby how much you appreciate their help and how wonderful they were while doing their responsibilities). While you're warming food up, kids can help to put the table, DON'T TURN TV ON TO CALM THEM DOWN. Assign them daily tasks, they love to participate, save as hubby.
-Traveling pleasantly with children. Yes it's possible, although not as many times as we wish but again, use tapes, sing together, play "tell me" games, why not even math exercises. If they are fighting and complaining to you, mommy he's pushing me, pulling me, etc. Make a stop with the car, while not congesting the traffic more than already is, and warn them that if they keep fighting they'll go time out (seat in their bedroom and think about what they did) when you get home AND DO IT. My kids don't like time out and they know, if they misbehave in the car, too bad but there they go (and increase it according to their action). Plus, you've to make them aware that distracting you while driving can cause a serious problem like getting in an accident. And a really very safety tip is ALWAYS BUCKLE UP.
-The favorite things kids like to do with us is to talk about their "show and tell" subject in school, which can become very interesting. They also love we read to them. They started with kiddy books when they're babies and as they grow older, the complexity/educational of the book increases. Then at dinner time, you can discuss their latest more attractive books. Or just play with them and their cars, toys, dolls and have fun with them. Or sing to them before sleeping. Make up a "customize" song for them. I have always sing to them since babies, they still love it. That's my way of telling them, good night.
-And last but not least, TIME FOR OURSELVES. Take at least 15 minutes for yourself everyday. Read a book, watch a program if you wish, fill up the tub and relax reading, or simply put your creams on and have a facial. And then take an extended time for yourself on weekend. Saturday nights is my favorite. Take time for yourself and your partner. Find a sitter and go out for the night. Or enjoy a dinner at home only the two of you, after kids are in bed. Allow yourself to sleep in either day of the weekend. Take turns with your partner and rest. Make the kids aware that you need to rest in order to function better during the rest of the week. The partner should help to keep kids away from the bedroom to let the other rest. Take them for an early bike ride, park. The one that gets up early prepares the breakfast for the whole family. Always enjoy the moment that kids grow fast and before we realize it they'll be too old that we will wish they were babies again. Keep smiling that it's contagious and life is worth it! Regards,

Please send your replies and/or opinions regarding this subject to madar-pedar@surya.eecs.berkeley.edu.

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