Month: May 2014

Taking a Tech Timeout for Mother’s Day


Roo Ciambriello

posted in Tips & Tricks

This post is part of a sponsorship with Foresters.

final TTO MothersDay R2 small2 Taking a Tech Timeout for Mothers Day

I told my husband, Jack that I thought it would be super fun to get our eldest daughter an iPod so we can text each other.

She’s 5.

I know! I knowwww. But she’s an amazing reader, and she loves sending people notes – hand written and typed out. I’ll hand her my iPhone, and she’ll text a message to her Auntie Sunnie and thrills are had by all.

Obviously, we’re cool with technology in this house. I work full-time from home as a writer, so my computer and I are so close, it’s practically another body part. Same for my phone. And my husband’s phone. And his iPad. And our daughters’ shared Kindle Fire. And the little device that I clip onto my jeans that tells me that I’m not walking nearly enough and I’m eating entirely too much pizza.

At the same time, we like to get back to basics and spend time together without being tethered to a 4G network, know what I mean? Our house is a five minute walk from the beach, we’re big into kite flying, and I’m that mom that waves excitedly and yells “Get it, Soph” when my four year old successfully paddles her way across the shallow end of the pool during swim lessons.

I love all that 2014’s technological advances afford us (points to hospitals; points to science; points to the phone app that tracks my monthly cycle), but there are some definite downsides too. As a millennial, and as a millennial mom, this video made me lolololol.

My husband asked me what I want for Mother’s Day, and I was like, “Oh, honey, nothing at all. I need no accolades for being the mother to three beautiful girls.” Hahaha, yeah right, more like “Here’s my Amazon book list and Pinterest boards, PS I’m sleeping in this weekend.” But on top of all of the things – seriously, honey, I’m not going to say no to dinner out – I’d love a tech timeout. Just some time with all of us hanging out, eating food, not singing the Frozen soundtrack (I love you, Anna + Elsa, but we need a break), and enjoying some sunshine. And maybe mimosas.

(For me. Not the small humans. Of course.)

50 Things To Do 502x650 Taking a Tech Timeout for Mothers Day


The Tech Timeout challenge started by Foresters encourages families to take a daily break from technology. Participating families are encouraged to disconnect from all things electronic with the goal of helping spouses, parents and children build stronger bonds, communicate more personally and get more involved in each other’s lives.

Pledge to turn off all the technology in your home (yes, even your cell phone), for at least one hour a day, and get to know your family better.

Foresters plum 300x121 Taking a Tech Timeout for Mothers Day


 This post is part of a sponsorship with Foresters.


10 books that should be required reading for parents


Sarah Welch

posted in Tips & Tricks

Parenthood has got to be the most humbling journey known to (wo)mankind. The Universe does not take kindly to smug know-it-all-ness.

Think about it in your own life.

How many times have you been SO SURE about your own parental approach or opinion on a charged parenting topic — wielding your right way as a yardstick against which to judge other parents’ actions — only to experience a radical shift in your understanding of the matter at a later date.

My little sister, whom I adore, had a brief window during the first year of her oldest child’s life where all food had to be organic and freshly prepared – and sugar was totally verboten. Even treats from grandmothers and aunties were screened for sugar. Cut to a decade and four children later. The two of us curled up on a couch and watched a home video clip of her first child’s 1st birthday party. Towards the end, after her daughter blew out the candles on her rather sad looking sugar-free, frosting-less cupcake, she proudly exclaimed to all partygoers that there were “more sugar free cupcakes in the kitchen!”

My sister rolled her eyes and guffawed at her younger “perfect” self, muttering, “God, that is so embarrassing!”

Like I said, humbling.

That’s precisely why I try to steer clear of celebrity (and non-celebrity, yet thinly credentialed) know-it-alls peddling their formulas for parental nirvana in books. Ahem, I’m looking at you, Alicia Silverstone, Mayim Bialik, and Jenny McCarthy.

Parenting is a huge responsibility, intensely emotional, and, for lack of a better word, really freaking hard. There’s just so much to figure out at every stage, and often what works for one child does not work at all for the next.

The high stakes add a layer of intensity; it’s up to you to figure out the right path forward and your child’s future hangs in the balance (or at least seems to). From breast feeding to breast pumping, baby wearing to sleep schedules, staying home vs. working, vaccines, and redshirting…

In the face of such complexity and ambiguity, black and white answers can be very appealing. For starters, it’s a lot simpler to navigate than shades-of-grey.

Too bad parenting is a decidedly shades-of-grey experience!

That’s why I take (and recommend) a curiousity-based approach to parental challenges, whether it’s figuring out whether or not to vaccinate my child or medicate for ADHD. Rather than books with “the answer,” I seek books that will help me learn about a topic in all its complexity, understand and confront my own irrational fears, and help me better understand the root drivers of my child’s – or my own – behavior. In short, books that provide frameworks for thinking about challenges and big decisions rather than answers.

Here are 10 books that have caused me to think more deeply about important parenting decisions and methods that I think should be on the required reading list!

Next I’m on the hunt for a good book on redshirting…

Do you have any favorite parenting books that take a curiosity-based, scientific approach? I’d love to hear!