Tag Archive | juggling working motherhood

Boogie Nights with the Kids, by Susan A. Haid, Lily's Truth

  by  Susan A. Haid/ Lily’s Truth

Available at Target and other online local Retailers.

Available at Target and other online local Retailers.

A few months ago, I purchased a multi-colored, rotating disco ball lamp for my kids. My intent was to have some fun from time to time dancing with my kids. What has surprised me is this: the addition of this tacky, retro-style lamp to my family room decor has turned our TV-dominated evenings into Boogie Nights.

My kids are 4, 8 and 11 years old. When I initially plugged in the “ball”, of course, I was the only one dancing for the first ten minutes.  My kids glared at me like I was the weirdest mom on Planet Earth.  Then, one child couldn’t resist the urge to move…then the next…and the next.  Soon, we were shaking, lurching, rocking, and bopping like it was 1999.  Since then, my kids have not stopped shaking their booties. We dance every day, at least once, sometimes more.   We have fun, we laugh, we  move it, move it. Try it and see the effects of this simple, no rules approach to joyfulness.

Can you imagine dancing with your parents when you were a kid? This is a memory I am thrilled my children will have to cherish. I will cherish it too, more than words can express.

These Boogie Days and Boogie Nights provide a beautiful, healthy example of liberation to our children. Moving the body frees the spirit, not through discipline or structure but rather through free expression. Free Expression.  Let those words sink in…

I want to raise my children to be free of repression. I want to raise my children to be wildly creative. I want my children to have the the outrageous courage to think outside the box. I want my children to know that every day there is time for joy.

So, for the rest of our lives, my kids and I will be dancing like the stars in our little family room. We won’t be waiting for a party, or a wedding, or a night out to do the wild thing.

By the time you read this, I’ll be workin’ it with my kids, or maybe even by myself.  It doesn’t matter. It’s a happy thing…cut loose…try it.  Have you watched your kids dance lately?  It’s pretty entertaining.  You won’t be able to wipe the smile off your face.  I guarantee it.

For more tips and tools for parents, visit www.lilystruth.com where you will find cutting edge, New Energy concepts in parenting.

Working Mum's Network by Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck

It was definitely harder to set up play dates with the workings Mums. It was less ‘see you at Club’ and more ‘let’s check the calendar’.  However, I found that the time pressure seemed to put the friendships on fast-forward. When I ‘clicked’ with someone, we quickly progressed to ‘come to my house on Saturday afternoon’ – rather than shyly circling around each other ‘see you same place next week, I chocoguess’.

My closest mum friend is a lady from my company. We briefly spoke when we were both pregnant with our second. She went back to work quite quickly – but her occasional phone calls were always a treat. Our kids went to the same nursery for six months – and constantly nag us to set up play dates. When we do get together, the kids go and do something destructive in the corner, while we drink strong coffee and share scandalous office gossip. She was disarmingly frank about the challenges of working motherhood – we don’t need to feel defensive of our choices around each other. 

I like to think of my working mum friends as an underground network. We don’t have clubs, schedules, groups or premises. We sometimes go for six months without speaking – but pick up seamlessly where we left off.


We’re not visible as a group.


Occasionally sighted but only in pairs. Communicating electronically with late night emails and the occasional one liner from a palm top computer. I’m sometimes amazed where my friends networks go – hierarchy gets forgotten when you have children the same age. I wouldn’t be without them. They’re an invisible net of support – feeding me crucial information when I’m out of the office, generously sharing childcare anecdotes when I’m in the office. We watch each others backs – we always hear about it if a mum gets discriminated against, or when a working mum does well. Mummy mafia? Perhaps…




What's Cooking By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck



It’s ironic. Cooking is meant to be the ultimate domestic goddess occupation. Why is it that the aftermath makes my kitchen look like a hovel?


I’d lovingly plan, chop, sauté, and present the food attractively. The kids would push it around their plate. “It’s a bit spicy for me” my som would comment “and today I don’t like peppers. Can I have just bread instead?”. My effort would have earned me the sound of ‘scrape scrape scrape’ into the bin, and a kitchen full of dirty pans and chopping boards at the point of the day when I just needed to lie down.apples


Then I found it. The cheapest, scruffiest part of my kitchen armory, costing less that a decent saucepan. I love it so much I’d kiss it, if it wasn’t generally full of scalding hot stew. It’s my little secret shortcut – the ‘wife’ I’d love to have. “Come by for dinner tonight” I can now boldly say. These days, I’m not inviting people to watch me sweat in the kitchen, keeping toddlers away from the hot oven by pushing them back with my feet. It’s the working mother’s best friend – the slow cooker!


I’ve learned to plan my meals in advance. It saves money and it helps me eat healthier. Most of all it means I can cook on auto-pilot without using any of my scarce spare brain capacity. When I’m up in the morning, I know what’s meant to be for dinner. I can start the ‘Slocker’ (as we affectionately call it) straight away. I’ll put some chopped onions and celery in there with a teaspoon of oil, and leave it on ‘High’ for forty minutes while I go upstairs to dress the kids. I’ll come back, chuck in some tins of tomatoes, tins of beans and a few flavorings. I turn the dial down to Low, and leave it for the whole day. I arrive back home ten hours later to the homely smell of fresh three bean chilli. Pure comfort food.


It does take a bit of trial-and-error, it’s true. I wish my model had a timer, because sometimes the food can taste a bit ‘stewed’. In particular, meat needs to be sealed in a frying pan first. However, I’ve discovered something about my kids’ tastes. They just LOVE bland and mushy.






What is Your Parenting Style? By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck


          Attachment parenting – just for hippies?

Attachment parenting recommends that, for maximal emotional security, the child co-sleeps, breast-feeds, is carried in a sling, and in all possible ways not forced to be separate from their family adults before they initiate it themselves. Impossible for a working mum? Nicola Horlick – the London fund manager mother of 5 – practiced co-sleeping and breast-feeding. She said that after a long day at work it helped her re-bond with her babies during the night.folwer

          Routine based

Reassuringly well planned routines can give you some predictability. You know the baby will sleep for 2 hours at a certain time, so you can plan to do some work or a business phone-call. Routines promise unbroken nights – always a boon for overstretched parents. However, it can all go out the window if your childcare does it differently to you. A little bit of flexibility can save a lot of sanity.

          Child centered parenting

Will you ever get out of the house?

          Listening to your mom

You might have turned out OK – but bear in mind that many health recommendations have changed.


          Internet parenting

You can get some great, realistic, modern advice from the internet. However, unlike a book, the internet is written by many different authors – some perhaps not so scrupulous about ensuring accuracy, others who recall what they did with their own kids, but jumble up ages and stages – so advise you to to do with you 3 month old what they did with their 8 month old.  Your kids risk becoming little guinea pigs for incompatible theories.

          A bit of everything

Your baby doesn’t sleep. You read a book with a snazzy title like ‘Sleeping through in three days’. With messianic zeal you fix the blackout blinds and massage your baby’s tootsies. Four hours later crying mummy is still going back and forth to a crying baby. The next day you buy a new book and decide that you will carry your baby everywhere in a little papoose, perhaps with some womb noises to reassure him.

          Just doing your best

It’s what it all boils down to in the end!

I find that if I have given my best, done all that I could do, no matter what the outcome – even if I did throw nappies at the dog to get him out of the kitchen, I did my best and that is – as we all need to agree – enough.





What is the Hardest Age to Balance With Work By Sandra Beck, Motherhood Incorporated

By Sandra Beck


The baby is so small, your body still remembers it. It breaks your heart to leave it. The baby squints vaguely at the light, before reaching its arms out… mmmm, milk.


The baby starts to move. He understands the hazards of the world a bit clearer now. He’ll make his disapproval known if he’s left – whether you’re going to work or just to the bathroom.poppies


The baby is walking around; getting palpable pleasure from hitting other children with his teddies. He leaves you quite happily – but on your way out you catch a faint… was that a new word? You squint through the hinge of the closing door until the tip of your nose gets pinched.


You’ve now got a fully fledged preschooler. As they jabber to you about Alison and Maxwell and Simon’s red fire truck toy you jot down the names. You really must get to the bottom of who these ruffians are. Really, some parents don’t instill any manners in their three year olds.


Then they go to school. It’s a rude shock to find that, as parent, you’re no longer seen as the customer. More like the secretary-chauffeur, Your child is also less of a guest and more of a pupil.  You vaguely consider changing careers to become a classroom assistant so that you can make sure your child uses the bathroom regularly and wear a hat outdoors.


Then they hit the Tweens. They talk in long sentences alluding to their friends parents who are apparently in every way more accomplished, kind and liberal than you are. You are torn between applying for a position on the Board in order to set your kid a good example, and chucking it all in to stay at home baking cookies, vetting all their friends with a 100 point questionnaire.


Finally teenagers. Is it blissful to have someone who sleeps in in the mornings? The life of ease, to not need to help with their bathing or toilet. They even eat direct from the fridge you say? And don’t say a word for hours on end? My, you must have it so easy!


Take your pick, according to me – every age is hard while you are trying to balance your work with your life.