Blog Posts by Parentables

  • Why a Nagging Child is a Good Thing

    Photo: If you have more than one kid, you quickly realize they are born different from one another. And I don't just mean boy-versus-girl different. I mean that the nature vs. nurture thing for me went right out the window as early as when my kids were in utero: My first child was way more laid back and easygoing, whereas my second child was a mover and a shaker (and an extreme kicker -- ouch). We're still figuring out our third.

    Read More: Birth Order Traits: How It Affects Your Kids & Your Parenting

    Well, six years later that little mover and shaker is still just that. Simply put -- he doesn't like to take no for an answer. His nagging is persistent. He digs into every excuse in the book to try to get his way. Take tonight for an example:

    Will: Mom, can I play a computer game?
    Me: Honey, you can play one tomorrow morning. Now it's time for a bedtime snack.
    Will: But mom, I'm not really hungry, and I didn't get to finish the other day.
    Me: Oh honey, I wish you could, but it's time to

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  • How Long Before My Due Date Should I Stop Work?

    Image: scotbot/Creative CommonsIf you are a working woman, as soon as you process the fact that you are pregnant, you will start thinking about the logistics of it all in terms of how you will tell your boss, when you'll leave work, and how long you'll be out for maternity leave. Many women think they'll need a bit of time off before they leave work, but unless you are incredibly uncomfortable or actually can't perform your job while pregnant, there are some down sides to taking any time off before the baby is born.

    Read More: I Hated Being Pregnant, and I Can't Wait to Do it Again

    It may surprise you, but if you have a smooth pregnancy, there's a good chance you'll be feeling pretty good, albeit also big, through your entire pregnancy. If you work at a desk and not standing on your feet all day, you should be able to perform your normal work tasks without too much trouble. And if you are at home not working, while you will get some extra time to rest, there's a good chance that you'll spend a lot of time pacing

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  • Michelle Duggar's Spring Cleaning Secrets

    Jim Bob and Michelle DuggarQuestion from a "19 Kids and Counting" fan: How do the Duggars do spring cleaning?

    Michelle: Well, we don't exactly do spring cleaning any more. Spring cleaning was the way I did things years ago when I was the main one cleaning and organizing. Now, with so many of us, it's not really spring cleaning. We clean continuously throughout the year. It's a non-stop process. It's not like we're messy, it's just that life happens.

    Read More: Learn How to Spring Clean Like a Duggar

    De-cluttering is really important, for starters. I always tell the kids that if stuff comes in the house, we have to take other stuff out. We give things to friends that can use them or sell them at a yard sale. There's just not enough space for everything.

    Read More: How to Keep 19 Kids' Clothes Organized

    For the cleaning, we all pitch in. We have jurisdictions; these are our areas of responsibility for the kids. For example, the playroom is one person's jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions have

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  • How to Save Your Child from a Riptide

    Image: Joe Shlabotnik/Creative CommonsEarlier this week, super-model mom and television host Heidi Klum was lauded for rescuing her 7-year-old son, Henry, and two nannies from a riptide while swimming in Hawaii. People magazine reported that Klum made a statement saying that the three were pulled out into the ocean by a big wave. As someone who can see the ocean in the distance from my home, I am massively aware of its power, and there are few things scarier than a riptide or the similar rip currents. But what's scary about a riptide is that it can come on quickly and your natural instincts as to how to get out of it are what can actually make the situation gravely worse. Do you know the right way to get yourself and your family out of a riptide?

    Read More: How to Stop Summer Swimming Sessions from Turning Deadly

    According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a riptide occurs when a tidal event creates an excess of water between the shore and a submerged sandbar. When the water reaches its maximum

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  • What's Baby Number 2 Missing Out On?

    Photo: Katherine MartinkoShortly after my first son was born, I left Toronto and moved to a small town where my husband had a job. It was a big adjustment since I didn't know anyone, didn't have a car, and my husband was working 12-hour shifts, often at night. We lived in a cramped two-room cottage with no phone, Internet, or laundry facilities, so I mostly spent my days walking through residential streets and exploring trails along the edge of Lake Huron. Despite being a bit boring, it was also incredibly special to spend so much time focused on my baby. He was my constant companion and gave structure and focus to my day.

    Read More: Having a Second Child? It's Easier (and Harder) Than You Might Think

    That was three years ago. Now I have a second child and life is very different. I have friends, a car, and a washing machine that never seems to stop. There is very little time for boredom and spontaneity because my calendar is full of social obligations. There are nursery school pick-ups and drop-offs,

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  • The Most Surprising Thing I’ve Found About Parenting

    Image: Maaike Bernstrom PhotographyToday is my daughter's fourth birthday. Gretchen Rubin says about parenting: "The days are long. but the years go fast." I can't help but refer back to this phrase over and over again as my kids get bigger. Yes, the days before my children were born seem like forever ago, but they also seem to be growing up so quickly. I knew parenting would be hard (although nobody ever knows how hard it really is until they do it), and I knew that I would always look back at their baby and toddler years and wish they were longer, but what has surprised me the most in the past (almost) seven years of being a parent is truly how quickly they grow up; not so much physically or in years, but cognitively and emotionally.

    Read More: 5 Crucial Life Skills Kids Can Only Learn When Parents Back Off

    When my son was a baby, I envisioned him at six-years-old as enjoying playing sports, learning how to read and write, and playing LEGOs. I wasn't prepared to have a little boy who was running into my room on

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  • Is Preschool Worth the Investment?

    Laura St. JohnFor the first time in eight years, I can sit back, take a deep breath, and gladly say that all three of my kids are in school. Don't get me wrong -- I love spending time with them -- but I am just not one of those moms who's sobbing in the car after dropping off my preschooler. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.) I am walking out that door, with my hand motion of "Yessss!" (...is that terrible?)

    Read More: The Language Our Kids Are Learning Without You

    Any parent knows, or quickly realizes, that kids cost a lot. My husband and I tossed the idea around whether to invest now into monthly tuition for my youngest, or wait until he is older. Since I often work from my home office, he has gotten in the groove of playing and hanging out while I try to conquer the to-do lists sticky-taped all over my desk. But after much discussion, we agreed it would be good for him, and we considered what we would all get in return.

    Read More: Want to Raise a Confident Child? Avoid These Common

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  • Should You Try Mommy Blogging? Weighing the Pros and Cons

    Photo: Håkan Dahlström/ Creative CommonsPeople ask me all the time about writing a blog about parenting. Do I enjoy it? Does it pay well? Do I worry about my family's privacy? Kids provide hilarious material on a daily basis, and writing about it feels like a natural extension of telling stories to friends or posting them on Facebook. I believe everyone can write, and most people reading parenting blogs are parents, so there you have it: all the necessary ingredients for a blog...except maybe free time.

    Read More: 7 Secrets of Becoming a Becoming a Work-at-Home Mom

    The key is figuring out what you want to get out of blogging. Then ask whether or not you'd like to contribute to existing parenting websites or start your own from scratch -- or both! Before taking the plunge, consider these pros and cons:

    Read More: Blogs Make Moms Happier

    The Benefits of Blogging

    1. You are creating a record of moments in the life of your family. Believe it or not, blogging (sometimes) helps me savor family life. Just like I

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  • 3 Babysitter-Friendly Recipes that Are Fun and Healthy

    Photo Credit: iStockphoto/ThinkstockBecause our youngest is finally sleeping through the night, my husband and I are excited to start going out in the evenings again. Feels like we are coming out of the baby fog a little and are joining society once more. It feels like so long ago that we were able to go out on regular dates and we miss it.

    Read More: Schedule a Regular Date Night With Your Sweetie

    Although there is quite a bit of planning when it comes to leaving the kids with a sitter, it is truly worth it to get a few precious hours alone with the hubby. I tend to be very particular about what the kids eat and I want to make sure they are well-fed in our absence. I have found a few no-fail recipes that the sitter can make, the kids are guaranteed to eat, and that can be fun all at the same time.

    Read More: Fast and Frugal: 10 No-Fuss Weeknight Dinners

    Quick, Easy, and Healthy Babysitter-Friendly Dinners

    1. Pita Pizzas: Easy to make, healthy, and delicious. This is a kid favorite and is high in calcium and lycopene.

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  • Michelle Duggar's Take on Her Family's Visit to Japan

    Photo credit: DCLTravel question from a "19 Kids and Counting" fan: What were some of your favorite moments from your trip to Japan?

    Asia is such an amazing place. The best part was really the joy of visiting another country and getting to experience it with the whole family together. That was just an opportunity of a lifetime for our family. We were just thrilled to be there!

    Read More: How Michelle Duggar Keeps Her Kids Happy While Traveling

    We visited Tokyo and Kyoto, which are two of the largest cities in Japan. And they're absolutely beautiful cities. We were so amazed at the architecture; the buildings are huge and immaculate. My boys kept noticing how many unique styles of architecture they use, too. The shapes of the buildings are incredible.

    Read More: Ask Michelle: How the Duggars Pack for a Trip

    For the boys, one of their favorite experiences in Japan was the samurai training. They were taught by one of the best teachers in in Japan. Even Jim Bob learned a few skills. As a matter of fact,

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