What’s on Moms’ Minds?

Get a gaggle of Moms together and you get an unabridged, uncensored and often hilarious slice of real life!

Every couple of weeks, I’m lucky enough to hang out with a group of fellow Mom friends. Moms who need a Moms’ Night Out! We all relish the chance to outsource bedtime to our spouses/partners, get out the house for a few hours and let down our hair. Most often we’re too tired to get too crazy, but what we do get is the opportunity to swap stories, discuss our challenges and explore whatever’s on our minds – without judgement and with shared interest and laughter. If we are lucky enough, like last night, we also get an entertaining waiter to spice it all up a notch!

So you want to know what’s on Moms’ minds. Here goes:

  • Homework – with kids ranging from 4 to 11, we are all tackling homework in some shape or form. And I’m not talking about doing our kids’ homework for them, I’m talking about figuring out how to fit it into their already busy days. Some kids don’t get home till 6pm yet there’s still the expectation of a project to complete. Others get the opportunity to do their homework after school – but would rather not. Some rush through it. The older ones have 1.5 hours of homework every night. As parents we are trying to figure how to help our kids find the time and focus so they can apply themselves and learn, without burnout or frustration.
  • Logistics – the daily chaos of dropping off and picking up numerous kids to and from different places is a challenge we face day after day after day. Thank heavens, we get to divide and conquer with our partners most of the time. But there are so many moving parts, it makes us dizzy.
  • Diversity – our kids have all been learning these past few weeks about Martin Luther King Junior. For our kids, inequality is an utterly foreign concept. It’s interesting: they live with families and communities that are a beautiful mix of colors, religions and cultures and to them, this is perfectly normal. They don’t see the differences. As we discussed last night, racism is a learned behavior, one we hope they never learn.
  • Smartphones and apps – we all have them, we all love them, some of us even admit that our smartphones have “changed our lives.”  Hooray for our smartphones that let us multitask, work flex hours, keep up with friends, gossip – and play. Last night it wasn’t long before we were comparing the apps we use for managing our store discount cards, couponing and so on.

What didn’t we discuss last night? Men, politics, recipes, fashion, diapers, labor, sex – but who’s to say those won’t be on the agenda next time?

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4 Comments

  1. Annie Moore

     /  January 20, 2012

    On homework, yes, a universal issue. Given competing priorities, this is how we approached it and it worked for us. Homework is the first, most important activity to be completed after school. So, there is no such thing as finding the time to do homework. You find the time to do other activities. Homework gets done before the other stuff. The earlier the better, as reinforcement is more timely, and the later it gets, kids (and parents) do not benefit from the experience. No electronic games during the week and no TV until homework is done. A routine, including a set time frame for homework to be completed is best. Kids get and respond positively to routine. It is one of their jobs, so add it to the checklist each week and reward comes only from doing homework without power struggles-completing it is just part of their job, like brushing their teeth and getting dressed. A good work ethic is a much better predictor of long-term success than intelligence; obviously they work hand-in-hand but I have seen many an intelligent student fall by the wayside because they lack discipline, good parental guidance and structure (around homework rules and rules in general), and a work ethic that starts as early as in kindergarten. Also, have your kids do they homework, then check it with them without making any corrections. Let the teachers see where they are struggling so they can help your kids but be on top of where they struggle so you can have meaningful parent teacher conferences. Try to get your school’s PTO to sponsor a meeting on the challenges of homework and remedies to the long-standing issue of homework. When I was Co-Pres of my child’s elementary school PTO, we did a number of these and they were a HUGE success. Teachers and parents learned soooo much and all benefitted-even if what we already know to be true about homework is revealed, you really learn a lot by how others creatively deal with homework issues and what NOT TO DO from expert educators!

    Reply
  2. Agreed, moms need their smartphones to work smart. We’ve started a list of the best apps for moms. Feel free to add to it: http://www.skinnyscoop.com/list/hello_ladies/best-apps-for-working-mothers

    Reply

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