Foster Independent Play

As working moms, it’s easy to feel guilty when you aren’t spending the little time you have with your kids active with them. But, the reality is you need time for yourself and the realities of household chores. The good news is that encouraging independent play is beneficial for your kids since it: Teaches them to find joy in themselves since a playmate won’t always be guaranteed Fosters creativity, as they need to think of new ways to entertain themselves Teaches independ

Create a Physical Token

Over the summer, Chloe presented me with a present⁠—a small box with a drawing of her inside. “To remember me while you are gone on your work trip.”  She asks me each trip if I’ve packed it. This token connects us even when apart. Here are a few other tactics for staying connected while you are traveling, or even just at work: Create a scrapbook of photos of you together for them to look through. Give them a small token to remember you by, such as a small piece of fabric they

Start a New Type of Checklist

Parenting expert, Harvey Karp had a great suggestion for creating a culture of gratitude for your family⁠—gratitude checkmarks. Whenever your kid experiences something good during the day, make a little check on their hand. At night before you go to bed, have them try to remember all the checks. You start looking for (and remembering) the positive. Frankly, I want to practice this in my own life. Giving myself a little check for having you guys as part of my tribe. ✔️ #par

Eeking Out All The Time We Can Get

My mornings have transformed. My kids are in the same school again, which is a 3 minute drive from my house. What used to be an hour-long commute/drop-off now  takes 20 minutes tops. What has surprised me is how much we have managed to cram into those 3 minutes. This week alone Chloe read an entire book to me. We had some ‘deep’ conversations spurred on by the yogurt tops from breakfast about “what would make today good?” And we even sang one morning. As a busy working mom,

Your Inner Screaming Child

Rowan regressed when he entered Pre-K. Last weekend, my usually fiercely independent kid asked us to wipe his butt. He’s four. We refused, which led to a 53 minute stand-out, ending in screaming child. We won, and he has not asked again — score 1 for mom. This win made me think about my cravings (for sweets or checking my phone). How often do I give into my inner screaming child, just rewarding and perpetuating bad habits? Today, pull a mom on yourself. Let that inner craving

What's Most Important Right Now

Being perfect or being real? Doing what’s best for you or doing what’s best for others? Being connected or being present? Practicing that presentation or having coffee with someone new? Being available or being busy? Talking or listening? Answering that email or answering that cry for attention? Cleaning the house or curling up and reading? Doing something you love or doing something for someone you love? Doing or being? Trusting yourself or trusting others? There are no righ

What's the Real Story?

So last week, was a tough one. I ended up having to work most of the weekend, traveled for two nights, and then had two work night events. I missed back to school night, the first soccer game, and the school picnic. I usually don't feel guilty, but honestly, I was beating myself up. On the one night that I did have with my kids, we were discussing why they felt they were special. Both of them in their top two reasons said a version of "because I have the best mom in the world

What To Do With All Those Damn School Papers

My kids started school last week, and the daily influx of art and assignments has descended on my kitchen. Here are some tips for taming the beast. Process daily. When I unpack the backpacks, I deal with the papers immediately. Ask your kids. I’m always shocked first about what they want to save and second about how much they are cool with trashing. Make a home. Create a bin for all the art that they do want to keep to go into, so it’s not taking over your counters. Hang crea

Fun with Science for the Weekend

My kids love science. Hell, so do I. The world is an incredible place to discover. Here are a few super-easy projects you can do with items most likely in your house already: Transform an egg. Place an egg into a jar of vinegar in your fridge for three days to see the transformation. The easiest experiment ever. Make butter. Just put heavy cream and a marble into a small jar and shake. In under 10 minutes, you will have homemade butter for everyone to enjoy. Make Oobleck, a s

Practice Zone Defense

Sarah Lacy, the founder of working mom community, Chairman Mom, gave some of my favorite advice on keeping your sanity as a working mom--practice zone defense. So often, when you have two (or more) kids, you default to dividing and conquering, but then no one gets a break. Instead, have one parent take all the kids for blocks, so the other can get some 'me time.' My favorite version is each parent getting a designated weekend morning. That way, you are guaranteed a few guilt-

How to Survive a 20-hour Travel Day with Young Kids

I’m writing this in the air halfway through our travel day to the south of Spain. Here are my tips on how we are surviving: Pre-flight Pack light so you can do all carry-ons to prevent any luggage issues. Once Chloe went on a nursing strike the same day that my flight was bumped overnight with my pump in a checked bag. Prevent this. by following my packing tips here. Get to the airport early. Most international ones have a play space. Get your kids to blow off steam pre

Learning Delivered

For her birthday, Chloe got a subscription to Kiwi Box. It’s the best present she’s received in ages. Each month, she gets a well-made art/science project that we can do as a family. Each has a theme, from rainbows to secret agents. She’s made kaleidoscopes and crane machines. They have kits that supposedly start at age 0 through adult. The best news? I feel like I’m teaching my kids without any planning on my part. Score for the busy working mom. #parenting #momtips

Have the Hard Discussion

My newfound travel schedule is stressful for my family. My kids seem OK. I am making a point of being fully there when I am with them. I’m more worried about the stress it puts on Joe, my husband, who has to solo-parent while I’m gone. I’ve felt his stress. I knew we needed to talk about it, but have been putting it off, nervous. The thought of the conversation kept weighing on me. Until I had it, guess what? It went great. I mapped out how I could help make it work—g

#FunGoals

Does this sound familiar? You kick ass at planning your work-life with quarterly, weekly, even daily plans in place. Then you go home and just wing it. What if you took even 10% of the rigor you spent on your work planning toward your personal life. Trust me, it can be fun. Close your eyes and daydream for a few minutes. In the next few months... What do you want to learn? What do you want to experience? Who do you want to see? What memories do you want to create with your

Pick a New Favorite

I know all moms love to brag about their kids, but my daughter, Chloe, is pretty special. This week her favorite balloon from her birthday party floated away to the skies. Her brother (and most normal kids) cried. Chloe, on the other hand, turned to me and said, “I guess I’ll find a new favorite.” If only all of us (me included) were so wise. There was nothing Chloe could do to get that balloon back, so instead of harping what she lost, she focused on what she still had

Be Brave

Sallie Krawcheck, the CEO of Ellevest recently shared a fascinating insight: Boys are taught to be brave while girls are taught to be perfect. She told a story of her own kids where her daughter came home apologizing about a B+ while her son triumphantly showed his C. “Imagine if I had studied!” I see this with my own daughter. Chloe will be afraid to guess unless she knows the answer.  She’s only five. Look in the mirror. Are you being brave? Or, are you trying to be p

Stop it Before it Builds

Last Sunday, I reached my boiling point. What started out as a lovely day with the kids ended with me yelling at them and everyone (including me) in tears. Looking back, I realized that the main issue wasn’t the one that broke me—which for the record was Rowan dunking both hands into a can of paint and then rubbing it all over his body and our stuff. Stress is like a block tower. It’s not the last block that’s the issue, but the combination of little instabilities as y

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

How to Teach Your Kids (and Yourself) a Growth Mindset

One of the most important skills you can teach your kids is to have a growth mindset. It's never too young to start—studies show that how you foster a growth mindset in kids as young as one predicts success even 5-years later. Here are our favorite tips: Teach them how the brain works. Talk about how learning rewires their brain to make things easier next time. They will be excited about their new superpower. Describe the two mindsets: fixed and growth. Thank Bruno for the cu

Happy Children Do Chores

I appreciate how Montessori schools encourage kids to help around the house. My kids especially love vacuuming and cooking. Involving my kids increases my quality time with them and instills our family values of independence and hard work. No one is going to dispute that chores are good for kids, but I was shocked to read a longitudinal study that found the best predictor for young adults' success in their mid-20s was whether they participated in household tasks at 3 or 4. Wa