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In Praise of Podcasting, by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

by Sandra Beck

in praise of podcasts by sandra beck, motherhood incorporated

in praise of podcasts by sandra beck, motherhood incorporated

In Praise of Podcasts by Sandra Beck, Motherhood IncorporatedIn praise of podcasts A plethora of cliches often signposts a kernel of truth. Take your pick: women are good at multitasking; there aren’t enough hours in the day; I feel torn in two. Time is tight if you’re juggling motherhood and working. Add in any vague ambitions at maintaining broader interests or world awareness – and you’re stuffed, aren’t you? I laugh at the idea of old me, feet up, reading the newspaper. I used to enjoy settling down with a good non-ficton book to really get myself informed on an issue. My friends and I debating over black coffee and pastries – we could have been in Paris. For me, podcasts are an amazing shortcut. Simply browse, pick the ones that interest you, and subscribe to them. That ensures that I always have the latest edition on my iPod. I always have an ear in when I commute. I’ve been known to stay listening if I’m walking with the buggy. It gives me an hour each day out of nowhere, that very nearly meets the definition of ‘me time’, At least, I feel a little more like ‘me’ if I can make informed contributions to conversations. Being a London fan. I’m a big fan of BBC output. However, the real joy of the podcast can be in its accessibility to the amateur broadcaster. A high rated contributor on a podcast directory can often combine reasonable ‘listenable’ production values with some sharp commentary that the mainstream networks wouldn’t dare broadcast. I think that this anarchist iconoclast edge takes me back to my student days. We all know how seductive it is to feel young again. For Christmas, we got a radio which can be connected to an MP3 player. Now the kids are getting into podcasts too. They enjoy all the songs and jokes from their favorite characters, without needing to be glued to the TV. I thought I was being especially clever when I put a ‘tidy up song mix’ on my iPod. The kids loved it – they twirl and dance while I’m crouched on the floor picking up the toys. Never mind. Some interesting sites to browse: http://www.podcastblaster.com/directory/ http://www.podanza.com/podcasts/kids/ http://www.motherhoodincorporated.com

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Getting Through the Holidays, by Sandra Beck

by Sandra Beck

Many moms have written me this week wondering how they are going to get through the holidays working and trying to have a wonderful holiday season for their families.  My advice to them is simple. Do what you can, don’t do what you can’t. Enlist the aid of others.

It may sound trite, but it is very true. Between the kids, the dogs, the visitors, the parties, the playdates, the presents, the wrapping, the cooking, the cleaning, the decorating I am somehow supposed to get my work done? Here are some of the stratgies I use to get through the holiday season without losing my cool.

1. Hire a babysitter so you can shop, decorate or do what you need to do because you will get it done faster.

2. Hire your babysitter to wrap present or look for charity organizations who will wrap your presents for a small fee. I paid $20 to have almost 40 gifts wrapped with my own paper.

3. Have your kids help. My kids helped me decorate the house. It may not look perfect, but its done.

4. Schedule a playdate agreement. Yesterday, my sons went to my friends house while I did what I needed to do. Then today I have her sons for 4 hours so she can get what she needs done.

5. Call your church or local charity.  My organization that I belong to offers teens to help you for no fee. It is part of their voluneteer work and they helped me bake and we had a whole lot of fun.

6. Delegate. Everyone in my house – including guests must help for the three holiday parties we have each season. Guests in my experience want to bring something, so why stress out. Let them bring brownies, cakes, salad whatever…they feel good and so do you!

7. Take a moment each day to sit by your Tree or Menorah. Remember that the holidays are about much more than presents, parties and people. Get yourself spiritually grounded.

8. Don’t color or perm your hair the day of a party. 

9. Chase your kids around the house once a day. Everyone needs to blow off steam – the stress of the holidays gets to us all…scream, dance, throw snowballs, tickle…whatever it is – get everyone involved in the stress relief!

10. Be thankful.  In a time where it is very difficult for many – personally, financially, physically – be thankful for all that you have and all that you can do.  Being grateful can take the sting out of unraveling the tangled mess of your holiday lights – you have a tree, you have electricity, you have someone to share this time with.

Happy Holidays to all!