An easy way to view all the live kid’s classes

I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of live classes out there and can’t keep track anymore. So, we took this fantastic from the family activity site, Happy.ly, and created a day-by-day schedule for you. Some of our favorites: Lunch Doodle’s with Mo Willems Cincinnati Zoo’s Live Facebook Safari Singalong with Emily Arrow See the schedule Now, you can quickly access activities in those in-the-moment emergencies. Anything we can do to make this time easier . . . #momhacks #covid

Systems thinking

Your focus last week was surviving. (Congrats, you made it.) This week your focus should be systems. You want to move out of taking it day-by-day to create systems and routines that you can reuse. Otherwise, you will always feel like you are drowning. Here is what I mean by system thinking: How can you get help? Help can look like babysitters over hangouts, making your partner be a true partner, or expanding your family unit to one more family that you trust to be social dist

Map of areas most missed in handwashing

To combat the Coronavirus outbreak, experts are saying the number one thing you can do is wash your hands. Here are the guidelines from the CDC: Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap,  and apply soap. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end t

Help, my partner travels all the time!

Today’s question comes from one of our readers: My husband travels the entire work-week. How do I keep my sanity? I want to give you a big, virtual hug. Being a working mom solo is TOUGH. Here are a few tips to help Get help. Book a regular sitter for once a week to give you some downtime. Use that time to go to yoga, dinner with friends, or even catching a movie solo. A mother’s helper can also be a great (and cost-effective) way to help with the daily prep work. Reduce expe

How to Crush it as a Working Mom

59% of working moms of young kids do 30-minutes or less of professional development per month. Get ahead of the pack this month by joining our free webinar in partnership with Fairygodboss: “How to Crush it as a Working Mom” on Thursday, Feb. 27, at noon ET. Also, we are looking for working mom volunteers to have a chance to be coached in front of the group -- if you're interested, sign up here! Hope to see you there! Two thirds of working moms are burnt out, and 88% of moms

My First Podcast!

I’m a total podcast junkie. Working out, cleaning, driving, I rarely don't have one on. So, I was psyched when I had my first podcast interview drop last week Parent Driven Development, a podcast about parenting in tech. Check it out for longer form tidbits on mentorship, delegation, ‘zone defence,’ and the all-elusive work-life balance. Two other asides: First, I played this for my kids, who got a big kick out of mommy being 'famous.' You can do this, too, with videos of you

Five things

“What happened today?” gets total silence from my four-year-old, or his favorite line, “I can’t remember.” Here is a great hack to break the silent treatment—Five Things. Get your kids to tell you about Five Things about their days, except one of the things has to be NOT true. You then guess which was the ‘lie.’ You secretly get to learn about their day while making them laugh. Liven up your family dinner conversation. #momhacks #parentingtips #traditions

(Not) Snapping at kids

And, our final tip from a single dad, Marc Pickett... This is a recent discovery. I found myself getting into the habit of speaking sharply to my kids to get them to listen: "Get your pajamas on now!" or "I told you not to throw marbles inside!". I did a little internal digging and realized that I wasn't doing this so much out of anger but because it works to get kids to listen (at least temporarily). I came up with a new strategy that seems to be better. When I've asked my s

Write a few more emails for future you

As I was setting up the food spread for my NYE party, I remembered thinking last year post-party that I wanted to serve half the volume of food. Folks in DC just ate less at parties than ones in NYC. Not the most useful timing for remembering. So this year, I scheduled an email to go out to me two weeks before NYE with the appropriate sized menu for the night. Recently, I suggested writing emails to yourself as a reflective process, but these emails can also be incredibly pra

Free classes for rainy days

Now that it’s winter, my go-to entertainment of nature isn’t as reliable. The good news? So many stores offer free kid entertainment. Here is a round-up of our favorites: Home depot has a monthly craft project that involves nailing and real wood on the first Saturday of every month. Make sure to register in advance Lowes offers monthly building classes, usually, on the second Saturday of every month. Michaels offers almost free craft classes almost every weekend. Disney holds

Throw a regular event

My family and I just hosted our 4th kid’s NYE party. We have a balloon drop at 6:30pm, so the kids can all be home in bed by eight. The best part is that each year gets easier. You can recycle menus and invite, supply and todo lists. You learn what works and what doesn’t, so can iterate and simplify. And, you start building a community around it. So pick a regular event to throw. Here are some ideas to get the juices flowing: Game night with a few families Potluck picnic in a

Another Single Dad Hack: Cleaning Pomodoros

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sharing some “Dad hacks” from a Marc Picket, who is raising two young kids on his own. I love his approach and hope it can help us all see a different perspective. The second dad hack (which works for time management in general) is the Pomodoro method. Basically, I have an egg timer that I set for 25 minutes and focus on a single task until the timer goes off. This helps by making sure I don't spend too much or too little time on somet

Healthy Travel Part 2

Yesterday, I gave tips on how to eat healthy on vacation. Today are ones on acting healthy. Be active Walk. A lot. Walk whenever you can. That way, you get in movement while discovering the city. Track (to make it game-like) and try to get in 50% more than you would at home. Try some efficient workouts. Here is a list of workouts requiring no equipment, most of which can be done in 15-minutes or less. If.you want to make them even harder, try wearing these bands. (They

How to be Healthy While Traveling and Still Have Fun

Travel used to be my health kryptonite. I used it as an excuse to abandon all my good habits. I hated coming back 5 pounds heavier. Over the past year, I've cracked healthy travel. Today's tips are about eating healthy: Stay in an Airbnb, so you can cook your own meals. We try to eat two at home and one out each day. Discover local foods at markets or the grocery store. Buy that fruit you don't recognize or that meat you have no idea how to cook. Make it an adventure with

Host an Instant Party

I love hosting low-key parties on Friday nights. Who has the energy to go out? And, feeling social on Friday stretches out the whole weekend. The trick? Make. It. Easy. Here’s how I can throw a party together in under 20-minutes: I don’t clean my house. On purpose. Trust me, everyone who is coming has a messy house, too. I have a Costco-sized stock of paper plates, plastic cups, and silverware. Clean up is easy. I just order pizza and have everyone bring something to drink.

How to Actually Get that Baby Book Done

With each kid, my energy spent preserving memories declines. I mean, Chloe's baby book is at least half filled out. Rowans, not so much. Enter in Qeepsake—the busy mom's crutch for being thoughtful. Every day it texts me a simple question about my kids that are geared to their age. To add it to my 'baby book,' I just text back, adding a photo if I want. How does Chloe show you love? What is Rowan especially good at? How would you describe Chloe's personal style? Taking

No More Morning Nagging

I'm continually optimizing our weekday mornings. My newest addition has been a game-changer: I set a timer and tell them that they have 4-minutes to get their shoes and socks on or I'm turning off our morning cartoons. After one morning of the TV going off with loads of tears, my kids now operate like clockwork. Before, I'd have to nag fourteen times to get my kids to put on their shoes. Now, they self-police, with Rowan telling Chloe she needs to hurry up, in fear of

Look at What's Working

Rowan hates school. It's heartbreaking. Every morning I leave a screaming kid to head to work. Talk about mom guilt. As a Type A mom, I've been trying to troubleshoot all year. I finally figured out the root cause by looking at a bright spot—what was working? When was he on his perfect behavior? At my in-laws. Then I asked myself what was different there versus at school (and frankly, often, at home). Attention. Because my in-laws only hung out with him one night a week

Can't Decide? Try this Hack

Dan and Chip Heath's new book, Decisive is waking me up to issues in my decision making. The biggest culprit is framing the problem too narrowly. So often our decisions are binary—should I quit this job or stay? Buy the car or not? In reality, choices are rarely black and white. To widen your consideration set, they offer the 'vanishing options' hack. If you take away the options you are currently considering, what could you then do? They tell a story of a manager decid

Overwhelmed today? This can help

I'm always fighting the feeling of being overwhelmed, which is why I love Shawn Blanc's tool—the overwhelm grid. First, make a list of all the tasks overwhelming you, including the ones that you know need to be done, but you aren't working on. Second, assign each a category on the following two by two: how much do you love versus hate doing this and how much only you can do it. Then develop a strategy for each box. You love doing it + only you can do it: savor these items You