I was three and a half months pregnant when my partner and I separated, and I suddenly had to rearrange my life around something I'd never anticipated: single parenthood. In operatic moments, I made mental ledgers of all the things I'd likely have to give up as a sole caretaker: my demanding career, my exercise routine, my friends, reading, going out to dinner, going out to movies, going out at all. I was terrified to parent alone.
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The heart of the family road trip is the never-ending potential for spontaneous adventures. Along your drive, you might spot a cool adventure playground or a lake with a rope swing or an Instagram-famous spot. When you stop, you'll need the right clothing and gear.
Pervasive as Facebook is, not everyone uses the social service. Maybe they hate social networking, or they're frustrated with Facebook's continual privacy "oopsies," or they're not technologically savvy. How can you share content outside of Facebook's (somewhat) walled garden?
I remember the moment my mother brought home our first chick, Victoria, better than I remember most of my birthdays. It was a warm, spring afternoon, and we came home from school to find my mother had finally started the flock she'd been wanting for so long. Looking at the downy fluff of Victoria's body and her scrawny, dinosaur legs, it occurred to me then, as an eight-year-old, that I'd never really observed a bird up close before. Birds were probably my least favourite creatures, what with their beady eyes and sharp beaks, but Victoria was something else. She chirped in her sleep and made a mess of her water bowl and responded to treats just like all the puppies I'd loved before her.
Do you feel as though your social life is out of control? Maybe you (or your kids) have events every evening, when all you want to do is spend a quiet night at home. Maybe you feel like you're spending too much time "touching base" and "picking brains" with people you aren't close to, and not enough time with your friends. Maybe your in-laws want you to spend every Sunday having dinner with them, and you... don't.
The Sydney Royal Easter Show is one of Australia's largest annual events, with up to one million people passing through its gates every year. If you're planning to attend the event with a litter of rug rats in tow, here are some tips I learned during my own Show adventure. With a little luck, they should help you to get through the day without boring the kids or going broke.
Dear Lifehacker, I consider myself a pretty organised person. The rest of my family? Not so much. It's not that we're totally out of control or anything, but with three kids, there are lots of activities, messes abound, and schoolwork is always a hassle. What can I do to get us all more organised and in sync with each other?
When I was 11, I wanted to be a veterinarian. Playing with animals all day seemed like a fun gig. Around this time, Billy Joel released the pop-rap song "We Didn't Start The Fire". In it, Mr Joel barks through a litany of horrible events that occurred in the 20th Century, at one point rhyming "foreign debts" and "Bernie Goetz" with "homeless vets". When I heard that, I thought, Oh no! I don't want to be a homeless veterinarian!
In my first post-university employed position, I worked for a boss who loved Excel spreadsheets. She thought nearly everything could be put into "boxes and rows", and after my first year working there, I was officially a convert. I'm big on organisation anyway, and those spreadsheet cells called to me, luring me in with their promises of order and clarity. Event planning logistics? I had a spreadsheet for that. Airline and hotel reservations for the office directors? Spreadsheet. Goals for the new fiscal year? Spreadsheet.
Like the proper way to hang a roll of toilet paper, the location of a sleeping child is a reliable internet fight starter. The experts are tired of squabbling. NPR reported last year that the latest guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics boil down to: We don't think kids should sleep with adults, but we know you're going to ignore us, so whatever.
By now, we know how important it is to instill a sense of gratitude in our children - according to the book Making Grateful Kids: The Science of Building Character, those who practice thankfulness get better grades, have a lower risk of depression, and are more engaged in their hobbies and communities. And we're trying. Around the parenting sphere, there are countless posts about teaching kids to write thank-you letters, start gratitude journals, toss their daily joys into the gratitude jar, and list their blessings at the dinner table. All are completely worthwhile rituals. It seems like parents are becoming really intentional about cultivating gratitude in their homes - or at least about writing about it on the internet. As a mum, I sure would like to become more disciplined in this area. Who wouldn't?
You've got problems, I've got advice. This advice isn't sugar-coated -- in fact, it's sugar-free, and may even be a little bitter. Welcome to Tough Love.
Family Christmas gatherings are certainly a time. Between crap presents, That One Uncle and passive aggressive comments from relatives who can't even remember what they're fighting about anymore -- it can be taxing. And then there are the invasive relationship questions.
I get that it's nice for people are showing interest, but sometimes you just don't want them to. Nobody wants to be reminded that they're not doing as well as Cousin Amanda or that their ovaries are shriveling up by the second. Here are some options on how to tackle the more likely questions -- before and after you've had those lunch time drinks.