Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Today, I stepped on a LEGO

At least twice a month, I step on a LEGO. I look upon it as an exercise to hurt myself and not curse aloud.

To be fair, it could be worse. My son is generally good at cleaning up his LEGOs when I ask/repeatedly tell him to do so. The problem is that he owns approximately 1.5 million LEGO bricks and it is (understandably) difficult to keep track of them all. There is, for example, at least seven that have migrated their way under my desk, there are a few that I am convinced are just permanently part of the carpet and the vacuum cleaner snacks on a few of those really little round ones every time it runs.

As most parents will testify, stepping on these little bricks hurts a lot. A whole lot. And I've never understood that there is a whole lot of science behind why they hurt so much until I stumbled across this delightful video.

Granted, knowing all of that ahead of time doesn't make me stop stepping on LEGOs, but it is a good thing to think about to distract myself from the inevitable pain.

What toy are you tired of stepping on? Tell me in the comments. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Your child's working week

I am a working Mom. I put in more than 40 hours at the office and come home to household responsibilities. I take my son to cub scouts and swimming lessons, and I go through spelling words with him at night. I would like to think that our lives are pretty typical of a family with two working parents.

When my son wants to start a new school activity I take a close look at it and try to think of its overall impact in his schedule as well as my schedule. Because I really don't want my son working more hours per week than his Daddy and I do. 

Evidently, that is a real danger now: With the amount of homework and assignments, sports, clubs and after school activities, children are now in danger of putting in an over-40 hour work week.

When I look back at my childhood, I had some activities that I was involved in (like Girl Scouts and dance classes) but they didn't take over my life. I still had plenty of free time to play with friends, read books, ride bikes and be a kid. I want that balance for my son as well. It's up to us to make sure that his life doesn't become all work and no play.

Does your child work more than 40 hours per week? Share their daily grind in the comments.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Spending time with others

Because my son is an only child, he tells me that he gets "bored" and "lonely" quite frequently on the weekends. I am not sure if this is a result of him being an only child or not, as it generally happens after his screentime is up and he is unsure of what he wants to do next.
Bored and unfocused.

It never lasts for long, which is good, because I try to be sensitive to his loneliness. I have an older brother, and although we didn't get along or play together well, he was still around. Lonely is a concept that single children have to learn how to combat early.

But loneliness is actually a feeling that all of us have to learn how to combat - whether we are only children or not - because feelings of loneliness actually reduces our lifespan.

Some people may look at that link and reach the conclusion that children need to spend more time with their parents in their later years, and that may be the case. But I think we are all responsible for seeking company outside of our families when we need to and to not wait until they seek us out.

Of course, this is how I feel now, and I may need my husband's help to remind me when I feel lonely for my son's company and wondering why he doesn't call me that I could reach out and call him.

Who do you like to spend time with when you are lonely? Tell me in the comments.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The unknown effects of obesity

I'm back to work and lots of my coworkers have stated that they plan on getting healthier in the New Year. I'm not big on resolutions (I like challenges instead), but I try to remain supportive of their efforts and take walks with them whenever they need a buddy. I think that anything we can do to move more in the day is a good goal.

Like most parents, I want to be healthier - both to be a good role model for my son and have a chance at keeping up with his energy level. But, I am all about balance, so I am also totally using the cake pop maker I got for Christmas. Because it is awesome.

But beyond the role model thing, I never thought much about how my weight may have an affect on my son. As it turns out, we are only recently discovering that there may be a link between weight of parents (that includes Dad as well) and a child's early development (think block building and learning to use utensils). Children were seen to have a delay in early motor skills (if Mom was obese) or social skills (if Dad was obese).

Researchers who are spreading this news don't have enough information to draw additional conclusions or access to additional similar data to confirm the results, so I suppose at this point it is more of a general awareness for parents-to-be: Your weight matters for more reasons than you think.

What are you doing to be a healthier role model for your child? Tell me in the comments.